Welcome to 2013! As a leader in your company, you’ve most likely been busy during the past few weeks thinking about what your team or department can do in 2013 to take business to new heights in terms of production, customer service and innovation. But with a new year comes new opportunities for you to develop and grow as a leader and boss.
Here are just a few ideas for you to put into action in 2013 to be the best leader you can be for your organization.
Get Social Media Savvy
If you haven’t already come to the realization that social media is changing the way business is conducted, you’ll need to this year. According to VerticalResponse, a small business marketing company, nearly 90 percent of small businesses are on Facebook, while nearly 70 percent have a presence on Twitter. Those businesses are participating in networks with more than one billion and 140 million people respectively. People are no longer just talking about their experience with a business to a close circle of friends; they’re letting their entire social network know what happened. And if your business is great at customer service, engaging consumers online could lead to some great brand advocates for your company. However, customer loyalty can easily go in the other direction as well. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to research and find out where and how your company can be active in the growing social media space.
Read, Read and Read Some More
If you are not reading one book a month, whether it’s on business, leadership or your industry, you’re going to be left behind and possibly put your career or business at risk. Don’t let a lack of time be an excuse for you to miss out on the knowledge and opportunities that reading can provide. The leaders of some of the most successful companies today are avid readers. The late Steve Jobs of Apple had a collection that included Shakespeare and Plato, Phil Knight of Nike had a library of books behind his office and Microsoft’s Bill Gates lists Catcher in the Rye as one of his favorite books.
It’s quite simple: the better the leader, the more they typically read. Take advantage of a new year and new start by setting an achievable goal of reading a few books each quarter in 2013. No matter what format you prefer to read on, you can really read anywhere you go.
Be a Mentor, Get a Mentor
Think back to how you came into the leadership role you are in today. Who inspired, taught, counseled and listened to you? Now think about a person in your business or personal life that you could offer those same skills to. Not only will being a mentor to someone allow you to pass on your knowledge and advice to another generation of leaders, you will be challenged to learn more and grow more so you can offer more to your mentee.
The best leaders also know that having a mentor leads to more success and increased fulfillment in their work. A study by the American Society of Training and Development showed that 75 percent of executives believed mentoring played a key role in their careers, and companies reported that managerial productivity increased by 88 percent when mentoring was happening. Take some time and think about who’s around you that could be the person you learn and gain insight from.
2013 is full of opportunities and possibilities for you, including being proactive in becoming the best boss you can be. Take advantage of this fresh start and see what new business trends, good books and new learning relationships can offer you.
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