3 Questions That Will Change the Way You Lead in 2024

Holy cow. Doesn’t it feel like we all just blinked and 11 months flew by? Eleven very twisty-turny months? 

We’ve got customers asking for bigger and more avant-garde products and services. Robots, AI tools—tech, in general, is challenging where, how (and when) we think, work, and deliver solutions. 

As leaders, we’re feeling the pressure from every angle. 

So how do we stay focused, take the right actions, and succeed through the chaos? What will give us the agility we need to thrive in these intense and exciting times? What is the missing skill? Yup, you guessed it. Courageous Leadership. 

Courage can turn an unreasonable demand into an unbelievable opportunity. It can empower us to make quick decisions that trounce the competition. Courage can transform a disorganized, disenchanted team into a league of champions. And flip our fear of the unknown into calm, cool, focused action. 

As this year comes to an end, and the Year of the Dragon dawns, take a minute to leverage the lessons of 2023 to make yourself a better, stronger leader for your team in 2024. Block out some time right now to ask yourself …


Where did I win in 2023?


Take a few minutes to look back on the past year and decide which accomplishment you’re most proud of. Consider why you and your team were successful in this effort. 

If this feels a little awkward that’s because we all spend way too much time thinking about our failures. It’s rare when we allow ourselves to look closely at our successes. But those successes harbor secrets about how we create success and how we can leverage that into more success for the future.

What were the conditions of your biggest achievements in 2023? Where did you and your team “go right?” What specific steps did you take to make it happen? 

As you look ahead to the new year, where are the opportunities to take those same steps against other goals? Where can you leverage those same skills, actions and opportunities to help your team move more quickly toward their goals?

Action Plan: Gather your team for hot cocoa and a discussion of your successes this year. Where did the team score an indisputable win? What team member actions and skills led to those wins? How can you build them into your action planning for a winning 2024? 

Where were my missed opportunities?


Looking back on 2023, think for a few minutes about the most challenging moments with your team. Consider everything. A groan-inducing screw up. A simple miscommunication that led to something worse. Even an uncharacteristic lull in an otherwise productive workweek.

Now, with hindsight, look for missed opportunities—moments where a little shift in your leadership actions could have made a big difference in the outcome. Were there times when you could have used encouragement to get someone over a hurdle? A moment when you could have been more specific to make the path to success clearer? An opportunity to coach someone who needed practice in a certain skill?

What did those missed opportunities have in common? Were you in a rush? Was your focus split? Were you too close to the issue to be objective? Were you too far away to notice waning engagement? Once you recognize the hallmarks, it will be easier to act on opportunities for little shifts in leadership that could turbocharge your leadership effectiveness in 2024.

Action Plan: If you find you’re always pressed for time, resolve to take a step back and breathe. Team members falling short? Implement two-minute, one-on-one coaching pep talks. People just aren’t “getting it?” Make a pact with yourself to be more detailed and specific. Productivity lulls? Break tasks into smaller goals and celebrate incremental wins.

Where can I score an early win?


What is the most important, specific, bite-sized goal you can attack in Q1 that will set you up for success throughout 2024? What is the one new leadership habit you can lock in place that will make the rest of the year a series of glorious career highlights?  

To set our teams up for success, we need to be crystal-clear about our goals and – this is important – break them into bite-sized pieces that are achievable in short sprints. Bite-sized goals give our team members something to celebrate at every step along the way. 

Whether it’s at the end of each day or at the end of each week, take time to celebrate every little win you and your team had. When we feel like we’re winning, dopamine flows, and the positivity washes away stress and anxiety. 

Being crystal-clear about achievable, bite-sized goals – and celebrating those daily or weekly wins frequently and publicly – is the first step to success in 2024.

Let’s face it, many of us have advanced in our careers by figuring out how to limit risk. We’ve played it safe. We’ve tiptoed through hierarchies and office politics. We’ve done what we were taught to do. 

But staying safe can often translate to staying put. And staying put means we stop growing, and maybe miss out on exciting opportunities in a world that’s spinning on innovation and new definitions of success. 

Action Plan: Take a minute now to paint a detailed picture of what you want your Courageous Leadership legacy of 2024 to be. 

Imagine compounding your successes from the previous year, taking in-the-moment actions to sidestep regret, maintaining a keen focus on your big goals while celebrating incremental wins along the way.

What will this look like for you, your team, your organization? Could it change the trajectory of a project, the company, the industry? You don’t have to be an AI to be a part of the bold new world of business. You just have to have the courage to lead.

WHAT’S NEXT? Right now, at Cindy Solomon & Associates, we are having a blast creating cultures of courage and building Courageous Leadership legacies. If you’re an executive or leader seeking guidance in how to engage, inspire, and develop teams of your employees in the New Year, go to www.courageousleadershipinstitute.com to grab a webinar, workshop, or keynote customized to your organization’s specific needs.

Signature of Cindy Solomon, Courageous Leadership expert and keynote speaker

Cindy Solomon is CEO of the Courageous Leadership Institute, a thriving leadership and customer experience training organization with access to up-to-the-minute insights on how today’s most innovative corporations are defining the future of leadership. Learn more at www.CourageousLeadershipInstitute.com.

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