The remote environment has brought on many unique challenges for leaders. Guiding teams, leaning into professional development and actively growing in your career all require a renewed focus and intentional approach to be effective. The Jacobson Group was proud to recently partner with Insurance Careers Month (ICM) to share how leaders can continue to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Judy Busby, senior vice president of executive search and corporate strategy at Jacobson, joined Marguerite Tortorello, managing director of ICM, on LinkedIn Live to discuss how leaders of all experience levels can develop their skills and rise to the challenges of today’s evolving work environment. The session provided a number of actionable takeaways and best practices for ongoing growth. Here are a few highlights:
Maintain a growth mindset.
Focus on how to continually grow yourself in a way that differentiates your personal brand. Determine the capabilities and skills you need to develop to effectively move forward in your career, pinpoint areas for growth, and strategically define your next steps. This could be as simple as reading a new business book, listening to a relevant podcast or taking online assessments. It could also mean enrolling in classes or seeking new certifications.
Invest in your long-term success.
Most workdays are filled with an abundance of meetings, project deadlines and new requests. However, by setting aside 30 minutes a day for yourself, you’ll create the time to ensure your larger professional goals remain a priority. Use this uninterrupted time to think, take a walk or meditate. Emerge refreshed, focused and with a clear mind ready to tackle your daily and long-term projects more effectively. “Investing in yourself is one of the most important things I’ve learned in my career,” said Judy. “Whatever it is that feeds you, find it and do it in that 30 minutes.”
Actively create opportunities and facilitate conversations that will help you grow as a leader. What information would help you do your job better? Who can answer those questions and provide the insight necessary to help you advance? Especially if you’re in middle management, initiate conversations that can help broaden your perspective and develop your network. Invite leaders to share insight with you and your team on different areas of the business, the general marketplace and your customers. Most professionals are more than willing to spend 15 minutes sharing their expertise and perspective. These brief conversations can make an impact on future success, while also sparking professional relationships.
Focus on three to five things you want to accomplish.
Determine the three to five things you want to accomplish each quarter and build a strategy for reaching those goals. A clear roadmap will keep you focused and help eliminate distractions. Revisit these goals frequently to monitor your progress and adjust your plan as needed.
Be mindful of others.
While you’re likely having work-related discussions with your employees on a regular basis, also make time for more personal conversations that don’t happen as naturally in a remote setting. Prioritize time to see how your employees are doing on a personal and emotional level. How can you best support them as they juggle new challenges at home and work? “As managers, we have to be more intentional than we’ve ever been,” Judy advised.
While everyone is navigating the remote environment differently, there’s still vast opportunity for growth. Be intentional and mindful with your actions, block 30 minutes a day to focus on yourself, and be strategic with your time and energy. For more insight on how leaders can focus on growth and development, view the full livestream here. You may also be interested in our recent posts on creating an effective personal brand and building relationships in the virtual world.