16 Personal Development Tips for Leaders in 2016

It is easy to be so task and performance oriented that we don’t pay enough attention to our own personal development as leaders. As a new year begins, I encourage you to grab hold of some of the following tips, adapted from several of my favorite sources which are listed at the end of the article.

Consider the following tips:

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously; it is rare that others do.
  2. Dream more while you are awake, and don’t be afraid to share those dreams with others.
  3. Accept the fact that the biggest and best ideas can be shot down by those with the smallest minds, but dream big anyway.
  4. Life is too short to waste time disliking anyone. Let the past remain in the past. Try not to dredge up past negative memories in ways that influence your ways of relating to the present.
  5. Smile and laugh more, and try to give at least three others something to smile about each day.
  6. Read more books than you did last year… some to improve your work, some to help enhance your relationships, and others just for fun.
  7. Remember that your work won’t provide you with support when you are sick. Family and friends will. Cultivate these relationships.
  8. No matter how you feel, dress up in ways that give others something to look at that makes them feel special.
  9. Make time daily for prayer and reflection on Scripture. Don’t hesitate to share a prayer request or biblical insight with someone during each day.
  10. Regularly pray all or part of the prayer of St. Francis: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace… where there is darkness, let me shed light… where there is sadness, let me share joy… and where there is hatred, let me show love.”
  11. Share possessions or resources with others, even to the extent of giving when there is nothing that you will receive in return.
  12. Clean up after yourself, and don’t hesitate to pick up after others so that spaces and places where you have been look better as a result of your being there.
  13. Enjoy warm cookies, cold milk, and hot coffee more often.
  14. Even though people can be illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered, love them anyway.
  15. Understand that while you can’t change what has happened, you alone can decide your attitude and processes for responding to life’s challenges.
  16. Invest in continuing to learn and in the continuing education of others. Church Leadership Center provides relevant courses for equipping leaders.

The above sixteen tips are adapted from The Paradoxical Commandments (Kent M. Keith), All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (Robert Fulghum), The Prayer of St. Francis, and 20 Pictures of Small Tips to Live a Satisfying Life.