All leaders strive to be the best they can be, but the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to revisit and rethink the leadership skills you want to improve in 2022.

Here are eight areas you can focus on: 

  1. Communicate your goals. A new year signifies setting new goals that help you achieve your general business goals. Make sure you know what you’re aiming for and keep everyone in the loop. Often, leaders assume that their team already sees the big picture, only to realize later on that goal alignment wasn’t their organization’s forte. So, develop a sense of shared purpose by sharing your vision with your team and including them in the conversation about what steps you’ll collectively take to achieve it.
  2. Delegate effectively. A good leader knows the importance of surrounding themselves with a skilled team they can count on. Make it your goal this year to empower others by trusting them to take responsibility without your hovering over them. When you offer your team autonomy, you’re creating the leaders of tomorrow. However, delegation on its own is not enough; it also has to be effective. Namely, make sure to match assignments to the right people, communicate needs and expectations, and offer guidance when necessary.
  3. Support employees’ development efforts. Growth is a crucial aspect of resolutions, as well as an important factor in employee satisfaction. If you act indifferently or unsupportively toward the professional development needs of your employees, that will usually lead to negative feelings and high employee turnover. This year, flip the script by offering professional development to your team and discuss their individual goals and areas of interest with them. Most importantly, to be a good leader, you should never stop wondering how you can help your team become better.
  4. Nurture innovation. Innovation is crucial for any organization that wants to remain relevant and successful in its field. Running an innovative organization could refer to using technology to facilitate everyday operations. For example, project management or time-tracking software can help streamline processes and make your business more efficient. Another crucial aspect of innovation that helps you be a good leader is encouraging innovation. Specifically, a good leader identifies innovators within their organization and gives them space and motivation to express their ideas.
  5. Embrace accountability. Accountability is often painted in a negative light in the business world. Many feel that it is the downside that comes with taking on responsibilities. However, by being a good leader, you can turn accountability into a useful tool if you focus on giving your employees ownership over their decisions. The right amount of autonomy allows them to handle any problems that might arise in their own way. In addition, as employees naturally start feeling more accountable for their actions, you can take a step back and leave managerial pressure on the side.
  6. Break down barriers. A business can have all sorts of barriers, whether they are literal, such as walls and distance, or metaphorical, such as bureaucracy and hierarchy. If you want to be a good leader, you need to identify these barriers and break them down. You can’t expect your team to grow and find better ways to achieve your business goals if the existence of red tape discourages them from expressing their creative ideas. If remote working is causing distance, establish more time for face-to-face meetings, even if they’re virtual. In any case, this is your chance to examine your organization’s policy and culture and figure out how to help your team take more initiative.
  7. Recognize contribution. A good leader knows that every team member is valuable, and all contributions — big or small — must be rewarded. Considering that promotions and salary increases (although welcome) are not too frequent, you must find other ways to show your appreciation. A word of recognition goes a long way, and it can make your team feel more motivated and appreciated. If your organization is too big, you can use tools like peer recognition and bi-weekly or monthly employee recognition programs. The latter could offer more substantial rewards, such as gift cards. The effects on your team will be tremendous and will soon translate to your productivity levels.
  8. Lead by example. You could create a great organizational culture and encourage your employees to grow and become more productive with just words. But good leaders rely on more than talking. They become the model others look up to and are inspired by to give their best. Instead of explaining what the desired behavior is, demonstrate it. If communication is important to you, establish an open-door policy. If you want to nurture innovation, set up brainstorming sessions where you express your innovative ideas and encourage others to express their own. Ultimately, if you openly embrace next year’s resolutions, your team will follow.