It’s no secret upper-level management has to both evaluate itself and its team to find effective ways to succeed in business.
We’re good at suggesting goals that are necessary for success. But a lot of businesses approach this without going beyond what’s standard: Focusing on developing strategic plans to train and implement with a team during work hours.
In more recent years, the intersection of our personal life and work life has come to the forefront. The conversation has centered on how taking care of yourself outside of work can improve your career and your business.
But this marriage of business and pleasure is still often seen as unrealistic. The truth is, when we know how to marry both personal and work goals, we have the biggest impact.
While working with clients who are in leadership roles, I encourage them to write one list, including both personal and professional achievements they’d like to reach. Almost always, these lists include things like:
• “Getting better at reading people in order to know who to trust and who to put in leadership roles”
• “Taking a much-needed vacation with my family, and therefore figuring out how to shift daily tasks and operations”
• “Setting up a good leadership structure, so the job is done no matter who is in the office”
If you want to increase the collective performance of your team to improve both your personal and professional lives, you must craft a plan with your goals in mind. Leaders who don’t do this often end up burning out or shutting down, and they lose effectiveness. The best leaders are the ones who pay attention to their individual needs while also keeping their business in mind.
Choosing strategy development before you ever bring any technique or new procedure to your team means you buy in, and make it easier for them to buy in too. It’s not just throwing a new rule their way and giving them no guidance. It’s being thoughtful and giving them reason to want to do what you want them to do.
So how do you create your own development goals?
Here are five questions to ask yourself while brainstorming.
1. What is the breakdown of how I spend my time at work?
By analyzing how you use your day, you’ll be able to determine things like where most of your time is wasted and when you’re most effective. Or, if you’re wasting good time doing work you know someone else can do, acknowledge that too.
Then if you decide you want to reallocate how you spend your time, start strategizing the details. Give tasks that suck your time to other people on your team who you trust to get them done.
2. What do I want to do more of? What do I want to do less of?
If you could create your perfect career, strategize how to do it. What would you be doing the majority of the time? Is it realistic to think you could? If so, how do you get there? A dream job will light you on fire and get you back in the groove of being highly effective. It’s not a fantasy, especially when you can rework what you’re doing.
3. What do I do well? What do others do better than me?
Find your strengths and weaknesses and build a team around you that supplements where you aren’t your best. This will make your team more effective.
4. Am I bottlenecking our growth?
Do you think your efforts are slowing down the trajectory of the company? If so, figure out how, and stop doing those things. I don’t mean to oversimplify this, but a good leader will be able to both identify where they are hindering progress and figure out how to fix this (that doesn’t include extra hours in the long term.)
5. What energizes me to be the best leader?
Write out what fills your cup at work, whether it’s getting to do certain types of work or having certain roles you fill to help invigorate your team. If you’re doing things that make you feel incredible, you’re going to work more effectively (and get out of the office more, if you want).
As CEO, you get to decide how to organize a company. The way you show up, along with the people you hire and how you delegate tasks will determine how your business succeeds.
If you can answer these questions based on both your personal and professional achievements, you’re going to see better results both at home and within your company.