A Year-end Checklist That Will Make You a Much Better Leader

Published On: Thursday, November 29, 2018

Article is from Lolly Daskal’s website:


It spoke to me re: aspects of our lives and ourselves for introspection – for that is where the growth happens.

As with everything in life, if you want to improve you need to see where you are and where you want to go. To succeed (or stay successful) in leadership, you need to see what you did this past year and where you want to go in the new year.

On the other hand, the best leaders know that progress isn’t something you check in on once a year. Progress and success can be achieved only through continuous improvements.

Effective leadership can be mastered, and a leadership checklist is an effective tool for making it happen. A solid year-end checkup will make you a better leader—today, tomorrow, and every day of the year.

Here’s my checklist. Try it out and see how you score:

Did you lead with character? Is what you said the same as what you did? Describing you as a leader, will people cite your character?

Did you create a compelling vision? Were you able to translate your personal goals into a compelling vision that people can rally around?

Did you identify next steps? Did you articulate goals, roles and responsibilities so everyone could be successful in their own right?

Did you think strategically? Did you set forth a pragmatic strategy for achieving both short- and long-term goals?

Did you act decisively? True leadership is about making good and timely decisions and ensuring they are executed. Have you done that? If yes, great! If not, why not? What will you do differently?

Did you build others up? Did you build confidence in others?

Did you communicate effectively? Did you communicate persuasively, concisely and memorably?

Did you listen before you spoke? Did you listen to people until they felt heard? Did you listen with the intent to learn?

Did you encourage feedback from others? Did you listen to feedback and adapt in response?

Did you cultivate leadership in others? have you spent time developing leadership throughout the organization? If not, why not? And how will you begin?

Did you lead with positivity? If you aren’t leading with positivity, you’re likely leading with negativity, and it has to change for you to become an effective leader.

Did you take ownership? Always be responsible for what you do as a leader. If not, people come to feel they cannot count on you.

Did you manage relationships? Personal relationships are at the core of great leadership.

Did you lead with inspiration? Did you create an environment in which others feel inspired and motivated, secure in their capabilities and competence, ready for new challenges and successes?

Did you cultivate a culture of respect? Did you treat people respectfully?

Did you navigate or fix? Did you get out of the way and allow people to show you what they’re capable of? Or did you do the work for them?

Did you value the unique contributions of others? Did you value the gifts that each individual brings by recognizing and appreciating their individual efforts and work?

Did you lead by example? As a leader, did you set an example others would want to emulate?

This year-end checklist is really a year-round checklist—it works as a daily, weekly, monthly and annual self-evaluation. Make adaptations to suit your particular situation, then use it to hold yourself accountable for who you are and what you do to become the kind of leader you want to be.

Lead from within: Use a checklist to become a better leader, for yourself and for those you lead. It will help you and your team become more effective and successful.

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