Making New Year’s resolutions is easy. Keeping them is hard.
I believe this is especially true for business owners and managers. It’s hard to be a good leader.
Early January brings out a lot of zeal as many look to implement their new goals. I’ve seen a lot of this in the last few weeks. I’ve had people share with me their ambitious ‘20 business goals for higher sales targets, implementing new technologies, and greater efficiencies.
What I hear less often is a virtue that I believe is a key enabler to driving change and motivating your team: Listening.
Too much single-minded focus on goals can actually be counterproductive, if you go about it in a way that doesn’t jive with your team.
The key skill here is listening to your team, and ironically this “soft” skill can be incredibly difficult. In my experience, many of the smartest and most determined professionals are also the ones who have the hardest time with listening. Just because somebody has great ideas does not mean that their ideas alone are sufficient.
Top business leaders remember that their job isn’t just to come up with great ideas. It’s to get the most out of the entire team. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, leaders’ actions set the tone of their organization. The how can be as important as the what.
I encourage those with big professional goals for 2020 to add listening at the top of the list. It very well could be the key to unlocking your ambitions this year and into the future.