Taking on a leadership role is not an easy task; being successful at it? Even more difficult. Finding the time to tune-in may seem impossible considering your busy schedule. However, with simple tweaks to your normal routine you can attend to your every counterpoint.
Whether you are running your own business or have assumed a managerial role of someone else’s, there are multiple groups that need your attention.
# 1. Your niche
Staying up-to-date on trends within your business’ niche is important. Unfortunately, your current schedule does not leave much room for continuing your education…or at least you don’t think it does. Yes, website surfing can sneakily steal hours from your day, but it doesn’t have to.
Seek out 3 blogs that are relevant to you (i.e. your specific business, leadership style, workplace environment) and subscribe to them. By subscribing, articles will get forwarded directly to your inbox, which eliminates the risk of getting sucked into web browsing. Commit to refreshing this activity once a month to expand your reach.
Another great tool: podcasts. With over 100,000 current podcasts streaming, you’re sure to find your niche. Once downloaded, listen to podcasts during your commute to save time and incorporate some educational multitasking into your routine.
Conferences are another way to tune-in, but they tend to require time, money and travel. Instead, subscribe to a Google alert for live chats that would interest you (i.e. “live chat ecommerce sites”). Google will do the work for you and will notify you when such an event is set to take place. Then, all you’ll have to do is hop online and join the discussion.
# 2. Your customers
Social media is the pulse point of your customers; tune-in to find out what people are talking about and what’s trending in their current world. Get people talking by starting a conversation and posing a question to your audience. Be sure to respond when comments are made and to humanize your brand by sharing real life stories, behind the scenes insights and photos.
Recently asked questions
Not keen on social media? Your best bet is to join the masses whether that means teaching yourself, delegating the social media responsibilities to a staff member or outsourcing the job. Until then, adding a “recently asked questions” page on your website can have a similar effect as it engages customers in a conversational tone through story-sharing techniques.
Need some inspiration? Hop onto you competitor’s sites and take a peek. They could spark some new ideas and show you where to fill in the gaps in places where their sites are lacking.
# 3. Your team
Implement a Monday morning meet up; informality is key if you really want to see where your team’s heads are at. Tone down the seriousness by surrounding the meet up around a fresh pot of coffee or donuts; then, pose to the group two questions: one for fun and one for insight.
An example could be asking your group to share “What was the best part of your weekend?” and then, “What is the biggest work headache you are currently dealing with?” Act as a true leader and be the first one to volunteer your appropriate answers.
Getting everyone to share gives them a chance to vent and feel heard while increasing your team’s community bond. Answers to the work-related question can open your eyes to potential problems and grant an opportunity to squash small issues before they transform into real problems.
# 4. Yourself
As the leader of your group your focus and attitude is detrimental to the success of the whole. Exercise, healthy eating and rest are the keys to optimal health, energy and outlook. Resist allowing “not enough time or resources” to stand in as an excuse.
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine by parking in the back of lots or taking calls on speakerphone so you can do squats at the same time. Continue at home by using the web to view free exercise videos that you can easily do in your living room (yes, even during commercial breaks).
Keep energy levels high with fiber and protein rich breakfasts and packing on-the go snacks that will keep your fire fueled throughout the day. Staying hydrated is another must; H2O a little too blah for your taste buds? Enhance your water with natural flavorings like lemon wedges, orange slices or sprigs of fresh mint.
Achieving REM sleep is essential if you want to wake up ready to kick butt. Dim the lights an hour before bed to kick start your production of melatonin and block interruptive light from electronics and windows. Also, iron your clothes and shower the night before to save you some much needed snooze time in the morning.
What tweaks can you make to help you tune-in?
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Images: ”Leadership flow chart written with red marker on white board / Shutterstock.com“