Improving leadership skills often remains a future goal for many, set aside for another day. While ads promoting fitness routines, gym memberships and self-help books abound, the concept of “leadership health” is seldom discussed.
In order to make progress and achieve success, it’s crucial to continuously develop both professionally and personally. While focusing on your organisation’s strategy, project portfolio and programme objectives, it’s important to also take a step back and consider how you are growing as a leader and as an individual. Taking the time to develop your skills and work on your own progress doesn’t have to be tedious – it’s a chance to improve in both aspects and shake up your everyday routine.
Complete a Technology-Related Task
Several top-level executives have already begun to scale back their use of technology in their daily operations. Despite the abundance of affordable technology options available, it’s not advisable to attempt to catch up on years of technological advancements by joining a development team. Rather, it’s more feasible to tackle a small technology project independently.
If it’s been a while since you last programmed, there are various “hello world” tutorials available online that cater to different mobile and desktop platforms. For those interested in exploring the Internet of Things, open-source automation software can be used to automate some devices in your home. Alternatively, hardware enthusiasts may opt to build a custom desktop PC according to their own specifications.
Chances are low that you will develop the next groundbreaking application or hardware startup, but participating in these activities provides the chance to learn new skills and stay updated on the latest technology developments. It’s also an opportunity to gain experience in a field where you may not have previous expertise.
Staying up-to-date with current industry trends is crucial for personal development. Familiarity with topics such as Jenkins and Intel’s latest socket shift can be advantageous during team discussions.
Explore Books Outside of Your Usual Reading Preferences
Numerous individuals aim to increase their reading, with some setting a deadline to complete a specific number of books. However, these goals can often prove too ambitious and be abandoned despite good intentions.
Instead of committing to reading a large number of books that don’t pique your interest, try broadening your horizons by exploring works outside of your typical reading preferences. This may involve venturing into books, magazines, niche journals or news sources that you wouldn’t normally delve into.
If you usually stick to reading about technology, consider trying out a novel or a travel book. For those drawn to politics, taking a break and reading from a different publication can be refreshing. Alternatively, making time to read a classic philosophy work or an English textbook that has been pending for years can be an enriching experience.
Diving into a different realm of reading can provide fresh perspectives on the world around us. David Macaulay’s ‘Underground‘ offers a fascinating glimpse into the subterranean world that exists beneath the surface of numerous cities. After reading this short but captivating book, I gained a newfound appreciation for the remarkable engineering and innovation that lie beneath the streets of a typical city. Despite its brevity, this book made a lasting impact on me after finishing it in just one afternoon.
After reading the book mentioned above, I gained fresh perspectives, which enriched my professional toolkit with new ideas. The experience has taught me the significance of investing in the essential ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of any system, be it technical support or training for new hires.
Create a Realistic and Challenging Fitness Plan
Fitness goals are a common choice for New Year’s resolutions; however, they can be challenging to sustain and are frequently abandoned as early as February. Goals that are too broad, such as ‘go to the gym more often’ or ‘get in shape,’ make it tough to assess progress, while extremely ambitious objectives, such as ‘run a marathon without prior experience,’ may be unattainable.
Now that the excitement of New Year’s resolutions has subsided, setting an easily trackable goal can prove beneficial. For endurance sports such as running and cycling, tracking distance and time are effective ways to monitor progress. On the other hand, bodyweight exercises like push-ups and sit-ups can be performed anywhere and tracked as you go.
Learning how to manoeuvre your body in various ways, or on how to overcome physical challenges goes beyond basic discussions about health and fitness. Engaging in physical activity and setting ambitious goals can have a significant beneficial effect on mental health. The ubiquity of ‘instant gratification’ in today’s society is a source of worry for many, particularly regarding social media and quick delivery services.
Reaching fitness goals such as running one mile or completing a single pull-up cannot be achieved with a single click of “Buy Now” or “Like.” Undertaking a challenge outside of work strengthens the belief that you have the ability to accomplish challenging assignments, an essential attribute for any leader.
As leaders, it is important to remember that we are multifaceted individuals with distinctive skills and interests that extend beyond our work lives. Our outside pursuits can frequently enhance our professional success, whether it is through imparting relevant information or cultivating improved attention to detail.
Allowing time each month to reflect on issues outside of the workplace, like strategic planning or portfolio management, is crucial. Contemplate what you aim to achieve and the actions necessary to accomplish that objective. For those seeking inspiration, the following ideas may prove useful. Investing in self-improvement can positively impact your leadership skills.