If any year has demanded change, it’s this one. 2021 is coming at us fast, and with it, the need for change. The American people — and indeed those all over the world — took a beating in 2020 with a global pandemic that put everyone in the same storm, if not the same boat. There’s not much certainty as we head into a new year, but one thing is for sure: it’s time for change. If your plans to reinvent yourself were sidelined throughout much of last year, now’s time for change: tips for reinventing yourself; your chance to take the bull by the horns, declare war on the status quo, and say enough is enough.

2021 is the year of your reinvention as a leader. And it starts now. OK…well, so how do you do it and where do you start? First, it’s important to note that reinvention is not just something that happens on New Year’s. It’s a constant building block that forms the very foundation of any good leader — year round. Things have changed. In past generations, there was always a consistent set of core skills and clear career paths that in essence acted like a road map for top executives and entrepreneurs. Do this, follow that path, and you will end up here.  

Not so today. This generation’s leaders are constantly revisiting their skills, re-investigating their aspirations, and reconstituting their careers, points out Coruzant. This can pose challenges if you tend to get caught in ruts and trapped in routines, avoid risk, and simply don’t like stepping out of your comfort zone.

Reinvention of the leader is not always comfortable. It’s difficult, time consuming, and decidedly uncomfortable at times. But no leader was ever born who didn’t look discomfort in the face and vow to defeat it.   This begs the question: why do leaders always have to be mindful of reinventing themselves? Turbulence…shifting technologies…changing organizational structures…unpredictable markets…competition. All of these factors demands we pivot at a moment’s notice to branch off onto different paths. It’s not easy, but here are some tips to get you going.  

Why Reinvent Yourself?

Reinvention is key for many reasons:

  • It keeps you in the game: Embrace the changes that come with every new day and your perspective will change for the better because it becomes habit. You’ll soon tackle each day with renewed vigor to achieve the most you can each day.
  • It keeps you positive: It’s easy to become crippled with negativity, which is the result of being trapped with the same perspective. Approach new perspectives with zeal and you will be rewarded with a positive outlook on life.
  • It helps you push the envelope: The only limits you face are the ones you impose on yourself. Taking on new responsibilities and skills on a regular basis not only benefits you on a personal level, but it makes you a more effective leader and team member.
  • It redefines you: Redefining your goals and outlooks forces you to shift focus on the regular, bringing a fresh perspective to each new endeavor.
  • It keeps you on your toes: Boredom is born from an unstimulated mind. When you reinvent yourself as a leader, you’re constantly overflowing with new ideas, which keeps stale thinking at bay.

Tips to Hone Your Leadership Skills

  • Know Your Direction: Get inspired, do your research, read reports, watch videos, take note of all ideas that inspire you. Then define and hone your direction. Identify what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are, then build a plan that takes into account threats as well as opportunities.
  • Start learning: Create a list of the skills you want to achieve and number them in order of usefulness. The ones worth pursuing will involve learning something new. Whether that’s a new technology or a new language, you will need to embrace the certifications and training involved to get you there.
  • Develop a network of support: You’ll need people behind you for support as you take on new directions. Look for professional networks in your desired niche, find industry events, connect with others online, join pertinent sessions and exchange ideas, all of which will help you grow and hone your skills, says Forbes.
  • Keep reinventing yourself: Impactful leaders don’t stagnate. When you feel this happening, start the process over again.

In the end, leaders influence and inspire others around them. Putting into action what you have learned is essential to your reinvention. Like a muscle that gets insufficient use, leadership is not something you can commit to on January 1, polish it, and set it in a corner. It must be worked on, built on, and shared for it to have true worth for your organization, your network, and yourself.