If 2020 taught us anything this year, it’s that we need to be adaptable more than ever to survive. However, what does that mean when it comes to leadership? Throughout this challenging year, remote work became the new norm forcing leaders to explore new ways to keep their team connected. One thing is for sure – Ivy Slater, CEO of Slater Success taught us a few amazing tips and tricks! (and we had fun learning from her…virtually!)

On December 10th, SMPS-NY’s Leadership Committee hosted a lively discussion led by Ivy Slater, the CEO of Slater Success an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and professionally certified business coach.

In this session, attendees learned there are seven traits of all great leaders and had the opportunity to discuss each trait and learn why they are important.

Despite facing a pandemic this year, Ivy reiterated that goals should still be pursued. Even if the tools or strategies need to be adapted, our drive to achieve them should not. We’ll recap the secret for you below if you missed out on the fun!

  1. Think Big & See Possibility – When leaders see possibility, they take action. Identify what you need and create it. Need an accountability? Seek it. Set yourself up for success. Do not use the word “try” – Either commit to action, delegate it, or strike it off your list.
  2. Write Down Specific Goals – We all have goals…but what is the key to achieving them? Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based). Don’t just write them down, instead write actionable steps you will take to achieve them. Assign dates to action items and set them in stone on your calendar. Finally, have check-ins with yourself or an accountability partner to see if you are staying on track. Without assigning dates or tasks, it is less likely you will achieve your goals.
  3. Create a Plan – Understand where you want to go and write a plan that helps support your vision using the “smart” steps from above!
  4. Exhibit Great Habits – Working in a virtual world can be very overwhelming. We have all felt it this year. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, “KEEP IT SIMPLE,” Ivy suggests. Break up larger tasks into smaller bite-sized pieces so it is easier to create momentum while working towards your goals. By doing this, it makes it easier to establish habits that you can stick to.
  5. Build Solid Relationships – More importantly, make it a point to keep strong relations! Working from home made it difficult for leaders to “see” or keep in-touch with their connections. Ivy recommends reaching out to your network authentically either by calling them on the phone, emailing them relevant articles you think they would enjoy, messaging them on LinkedIn with a quick note, or setting up a virtual coffee break. Keep it simple, manageable, and personable!
  6. Have Great Communication Skills – Leading in the virtual world taught us all new ways of communicating this year. It makes great communication skills even more essential. The necessities? Eye contact and facial expressions are the most powerful non-verbal communications. Do not multi-task, especially when you are on video platforms… you must listen well. When speaking to your team virtually, try looking at green light, it helps make eye contact with those on the receiving end.
  7. Have a “What Can I Do” Attitude – this defines our 2020. You can do it! Asking “what can I do” helps elevate each interaction into a relationship building opportunity. Having that “can do attitude” helps make you a team player and ultimately builds lasting relationships.

I’ll end with two more of my favorite key takeaways for leading virtually:

  • Start every meeting with agenda. This helps your team stay on track.
  • How we show up on a video call, is a reflection of how we lead in the long run in business. Do not multi-task. Turn your video on and listen! The more you are on video, the more you are engaged in the conversation. People remember how you show up, so make it count.

And with that, let’s look forward to putting our new leadership skills in action for 2021!