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One Leadership Skill to Develop/Improve in 2024

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you. I love this time of the year for various reasons, some of which include but not limited to:

  1. Slow down, recount my blessings, and be more grateful for what I’ve and accomplished than complaining about what I didn’t have, the missed goals, and other disappointments I experienced throughout the year. Life is not perfect… I’m not perfect…
  2. Take lessons from both my successes and failures, regroup, prioritize, strategize, and plan to take on the New Year with renewed spirit, desire, and vigor.
  3. Evaluate how far I’ve come, what enabled me to succeed, and enumerate a couple of skillsets I need to develop next year that may allow me to go to the next level and achieve my New Year goals.

If you would like to read more about how I developed one of the habits of High Performers: The ability to craft GOLAS that translate into RESULTS, check the recent blog I wrote entitled “Going Beyond New Year Resolutions.”

In this last blog for 2023, I’d like to emphasize what I shared above under #3, more specifically recognizing some of my skill gaps and developing them intentionally in the New Year.

First, let me ask you a couple of questions to help you reflect:

  • What are the three important skillsets that are responsible for your success in 2023?
  • If you’ve not met some of your grand goals, which competencies do you think were lacking that could have empowered you to achieve these goals?

If you personally know me, regardless of many of my weaknesses, flaws, and failures, you know that I try all my best to stay optimistic, if not always, most of the time. One of the mindset attributes I’ve that allows me to stay positive is my inclination to always take personal responsibility for my failures even if there could be some external factors that played some role for my stumbling. Here is why:

  1. When you accept responsibility for not meeting your own goals, expectations, desires, vision, and standards, you’re the author of your life, not other factors outside of you.
  2. When you refrain from blaming others or circumstances, you refuse to be a victim.
  3. When you own your failures and limitations, you’re indirectly believing that you have control and you’re in charge. You can turn things around. Your case isn’t closed. You have another chance to try again, which is within your control…

If you disagree with one or more of the things I said above, you’re not the only one. I’ve some relatives and friends who think that I’m being naive and unrealistic. If you’re surprised about how some of the people close to me perceive me and think that I’m delusional, well, there are a few who actually believe that I’m crazy šŸ™‚ I don’t take these personal. I don’t expect the whole world to agree with me in everything I believe, say, and do…

That said, just be patient with me for a couple of minutes. I’m going somewhere. What I have to say in this last blog of 2023 may give sense.

Here is my framework of thinking. In most cases, I failed because I lacked either:

  • The mindset and attitude, and/or
  • The necessary competencies, and/or
  • The personality it takes to succeed; nothing more, nothing less!

That is why I like this season…

After rolling my sleeves, going all-in, making my hands dirty, and staying in the field day in and day out, NOW is the time to slow down and evaluate my progress.

As you might have already noticed in your own life, we all fall short of some of our expectations and target goals. In my case, I embraced this truth that rather than lowering my bar or complaining and whining or pointing fingers somewhere or at someone, I take responsibility, and regroup to fix things in the New Year.

This time, I’ve already identified a couple of growth areas for 2024. As you can imagine, as an experienced leadership expert, author, consultant, facilitator, and speaker, at this stage of my career, the skillsets I am working on right NOW are very advanced. I may come back again in the future to share with you these skillsets and how I developed them. Stay tuned!

For now, let me share with you one of the leadership competencies I used to work on for years: my Speaking ability.

At the early stage of my training and speaking career, I wasn’t getting invitations. Nobody was interested in listening to me for FREE, let alone paying me for it šŸ™‚

When you find yourself in that situation, it is tempting to blame others, your luck, or even yourself by saying:

  • I’m not good enough as a person.
  • I’m not tall (too tall).
  • I don’t have charisma like so and so.
  • I’ve a thick accent.
  • The list continues…

Rather, I decided to do multiple things at once to improve my speaking ability. Here are a few things I did:

  • Read books on how to speak like a pro, acquire the American accent, etc.
  • Stood in front of my bathroom mirror and every day to practice.
  • Recruited mentors.
  • Joined professional associations such as NSA, ATD, Toastmasters, and so on to gain access to platforms, practice, and get feedback.

After a while, people could notice the difference. I began getting invitations.

Now, I’m paid well to speak.

Actually, for this particular skillset very critical in every industry, I coach both novice and advanced speakers. I travel around the country to facilitate 1-day and 2-day workshops…

Click here to learn the kind of coaching service I offer at Success Pathways, one of our Strategic Partners (Remember, if you are PRO Leadership’s strategic partner or volunteer, you get discount whenever you get Success Pathways services for yourself, your team or organization. Take advantage of that in 2024.).

The point I’m making in this blog, beside wishing you a Happy New Year, is that you should identify a few leadership skillsets, and work on them proactively and intentionally in 2024 to take your leadership to the next level.

Of course, the competencies you need to achieve your 2024 personal, career, and organizational goals is different than mine and everybody else. Whatever goals you may have in the different aspects of your life, career, or organization, this is time to:

  1. Regroup,
  2. Prioritize,
  3. Strategize, and
  4. Plan.

Happy New Year once again!

Looking forward to working with you in 2024…

Interview with the Leaders of Your Ethiopian Professionals Network

Last week,Ā I had the opportunity to interview the co-founders of Your Ethiopian Professionals Network. In this interview, we talked about:

  1. Why YEP exists? What was the very reason that led you to establish YEP
  2. What areĀ the top three major achievements of YEP?
  3. What are the 3 biggest lessons you learned individually because you have beenĀ serving as leaders?
  4. What are the toughest challenges YEP faces?
  5. What lessons would you like to share with other similar professional groups?
  6. What the future holds for YEP? Where do you see YEP in the next five years?
  7. Are there some ongoing or upcoming projects you’re engaged with right now that you would like to share with our viewers?
  8. And more.

These young dynamic leaders have a lot to offer. I encourage you to watch their interview. Reach out to them if you may have any feedback or question. And of course, if you’re in the DC metro area, join YEP, be with like-minded people to grow personally and professionally. If you’re in Ethiopia, no worries, you can be part of the initiative they recently introduced in Addis.

To learn more about Pick Yourself Up and watch archiveĀ interviews,Ā check out its website.