It is the time when we get down to making resolutions for the year ahead. 2016 has just begun, and this year has had its share of people making resolutions that range from making a foreign trip to earning a raise to making visits to orphanages more frequent.
As far as leadership is concerned, many have reasons to make their own resolutions. Is there something in 2016 for leaders specially? Is it that the New Year has potential for leadership in a way that no other year had? Not really, this New Year is like any other, as far as leadership is concerned. So, what is there that a leader can do to become a great one this year?
Quite a lot, if one looks at the opportunities that lie ahead for leadership for this New Year. Yes, as we just saw, there is no milestone or incident or event in particular that is set to happen this year, such as enactment or fulfillment of some milestone legislation or materialization of some breakthrough technology. Yet, the year that just went by was not disappointing for the American economy. So, it is on this premise that the potential for leadership for the New Year is built, which makes it look rosy.
To become a great leader in 2016, leaders and wannabe leaders can instill a few new outlooks and mindsets. Let us look at some of these.
Stay on course: Staying aligned to the company’s vision and strategy is the most important factor for becoming a great leader in 2016. This of course, is true for all years. At the start of each year, a leader needs to look back at how stuck she was to the organization’s goals and priorities. Good leadership is about remaining focused in the face of severe pulls and pressures that could turn one away from the goal. Remaining focused on the road ahead while being aware of what went wrong till now and working on how to overcome this is at the root of attempts to become a great leader for 2016.
Think of the big picture: Not letting trivial matters bother or pull one down is another hallmark of leadership. For 2016, why not look at this issue from the organizational viewpoint? What is my organization up to? How do we plan to go ahead and take it towards its chosen aim? What is my role in it? How do I take my people along and use their abilities to achieve this? These could be some of the questions one needs to ask oneself while trying to become a great leader in 2016.
Be honest and create new leadership: This is one of the prime requisites of a leader. Unless one practices transparency and impartiality in one’s dealings with people in the organization and outside, not an iota of respect is going to be gained. Likewise, even while being the leader of the organization is of paramount importance, it is equally important to create new leaders. These may be influenced by one great leader, but they need not be clones of that original.
Cultivate likeable qualities: To all these, many supplemental qualities such as being polite, caring, listening well, humble and other related ones may be added to become a great leader in 2016.
Some ways of screening potential employees
Screening forms a critical part of HR’s work. This is a core work because the consequences of having an employee without the necessary screening can be most detrimental to the organization. Imagine having skipped the criminal record of an employee who goes on to cause some irreparable damage to a fellow employee. Let us say HR overlooked the financial irregularity a new employee had committed in a previous organization and does the same here. In situations such as this, everyone in the organization suffers. This is why screening potential future employees is an exercise that is vital for the organization and something that is well worth investing time and effort on.
The most difficult challenge of carrying out effective screening of future employees is that no method is completely foolproof. A smart crook can always find ways of circumventing the law and suppress many major events in his past life to camouflage it at the time of interview or later.
Some ways of ensuring effective screening of future employees
Ask for professional references
Many employees think that offering references from friends or family is a way of completing the formality. This is hardly an effective means of ensuring the character of the future hire. A professional reference, such as from a senior colleague, a manager to whom he reported, a professor who taught him and so on, are good reference sources. It is important for HR to follow up with these people in time to make probing and insightful enquiries about the nature for the candidate.
Look for professional services
A professional detective agency is a reliable source for carrying out background checks on future employees. They may cost substantially depending on the kind of information sought to be elicited, but they are certainly useful and worth the expense. These agencies can get to the root of a candidate’s history.
Be compliant with laws
Laws such as The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) have been enacted to protect the individual’s right against invasion of privacy. HR in organizations needs to be very careful in keeping this in mind, or it can invite lawsuits.