2022 is well underway, but it is never too late to introduce new leadership habits that will help any manager have a successful year. As the world continues to endure the challenges of a global pandemic, leaders must embrace change and take new approaches to manage their teams and build successful organizations. To help leaders meet these challenges, we’ve compiled three new leadership habits you can practice in 2022 and beyond.
The number one habit every leader needs now is flexibility. Most leaders like to feel in control of every situation. However, the realities of conducting business in 2022 require the ability to stay open to new ways of doing business and getting things done. To remain competitive as a business or an employer, leaders must embrace meeting people where they are and be ready to conduct business virtually when needed or change a meeting because of unexpected illness or childcare issues. When planning projects or estimating timelines, the new leadership habit is to add stretch days to any plan. Build flexibility in your timelines from start to finish to account for unforeseen issues in the supply chain, staffing shortages, travel difficulties and other problems. “Expect the unexpected” is a great motto to embrace for 2022 and beyond.
Connect Through Communication
Zig Ziglar once said, “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” Connection-building is the foundation of leadership, and the world needs it more than ever. The prevalence of working from home and limitations on social events due to COVID have shrunk people’s networks in the past two years. Leaders must prioritize communication with clients and employees, and that doesn’t mean just sending another email. Take time to have real one-to-one conversations with your team members— and not just about work. Building relationships requires taking an interest in others and being curious about how they are and what’s on their mind. If you are suffering from Zoom fatigue, schedule time for an old-fashioned phone call and create a new leadership habit! Remember significant dates like anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations, and send a kind note or card to let others know you care.
Prioritize Learning and Development
Perhaps the most important new leadership habit is to make learning and development a priority for yourself and your team. Staying updated on current trends, being exposed to new ideas, and learning new skills will help leaders remain relevant in a rapidly changing business environment. Investing both time and budget in the growth and development of your team demonstrates your commitment to them as individuals while also improving performance in the workplace.