Resolutions are always made with the best of intentions! They come from a place of positivity and hope – a wish to improve.
We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the beginning of a new year, is this the way to go to really get sustainable results?
Are resolutions the best way to go if you want to improve as a manager, and if so, how can we keep them all year rather than have them fizzling out by the end of January?
A 2007 study by Wiseman from the University of Bristol found that 88% of people failed in their resolutions. This high level of failure has been put down to (among other things!) setting unrealistic goals, a lack of definition in those goals and not keeping track of progress.
If we want to become better managers, I think this runs deeper than a New Year’s resolution. This is about shifting our mindset. More of an intention to change than a resolution. A change of habit and a change of behavior.
Whatever we call it, a desire to change is something which we must manage, and not leave to hang in the air as a ‘wish.’ So, let’s get clear and make a plan!
Who do you want to be as a manager? Be detailed, be clear – what do you want to improve on? What do you want your team to say about you? Do you have financial or tangible targets to work towards, or is this all about mindset and attitude? Write this all down however your mind works; a spider diagram, a list, cartoons, whatever you prefer.
I’m joking. Don’t panic, however it’s OK to feel overwhelmed as you look at what you’ve got in front of you. You have given yourself permission to think big! By allowing yourself to empty your mind onto paper you can now see something more tangible and understand that by breaking this into smaller, more achievable goals we can get where we need to be!
Organise your goals
If you wanted to run a marathon this year, you wouldn’t just put the date of the marathon in your diary and sit back until it came along. You’d plan training, diet, building up your distance running and even attire. So, if we want to boost our team’s productivity, we may start off by researching management training courses, books, blogs and tips to help us to understand how we are as managers, and what we need to work on.
‘Learn to give feedback that inspires improved performance’ might be one of your goals, so we would learn about the different styles of feedback and which not to use. We’d then learn how to give constructive feedback and positive feedback. How to give ongoing feedback and finally, how to structure an inspiring performance review, building up our ‘Performance Review System.’ The end result being… boosting your team’s morale and therefore productivity – win!
Once you’ve organised your path to success, it’s time to build this into your planning system. Create time-bound goals for yourself and hold yourself to account.
Stick to it – whether it be in your diary, on a notepad or on Project Management Software. make sure you tick off each achievement and take a moment to feel good about yourself!
Give yourself time to review your progress and readjust. We’re after a marathon, not several panicked sprints. We want routine, balance, sustainability. If you don’t get the balance right first time in your schedule, give yourself the chance to correct it.
Ask for feedback from your team. Are you making the difference you hoped in their working lives? Encourage them to give you open and honest feedback and suggestions to help you to grow.
Your resolutions are therefore built in to your routine and not ‘in addition to.’ Make who you want to be as a manger part of your journey and your mindset will shift with you. You’re already on the right track, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article. Go for it, and one final piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
About the author
Marianne Page is the founder of Marianne Page Ltd. and author of the bestselling book, Simple Logical Repeatable. She has 27 years of senior management experience with McDonald’s under her belt, and a further ten working with successful small business owners, helping them to scale, grow and occasionally sell their business.