I’m delighted to present a guest column by Roberta Matuson:

Leadership Tips for Succeeding All Around

By Roberta Matuson

If things this year haven’t worked out exactly as planned, you’ll be happy to know there is still time to make things right. Here are some tips to help you succeed all around.

Move forward by looking backwards. Have you been successful because of your leadership or in spite of it? I’ve watched time and time again, companies and leaders succeed in spite of poor management skills. Now imagine the levels of success they could have achieved if those who were in charge had great leadership skills? Or even good leadership skills.

Now before you go out and hire a big firm to do a 360 review on everyone, consider cutting to the core and asking those who know best to evaluate the performance of leaders. Sit your people down and tell them you are interested in improving your management skills. Ask them to share one or two things they’d like you to stop doing and what they would like you to do more of. Listen and resist the temptation to disagree. Now take action on what you heard, for nothing will change without you doing something to ensure you are moving forward.

Stop the blame game. It’s always someone or something that is at fault. But in the end, the buck stops with you. Sure, you may not have inherited a stellar team, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for mediocrity. You have the power to inspire people to exceed expectations. You also have the power to release people who aren’t making the grade. What you don’t get to do is blame everyone else for your team’s failure to perform.

Please don’t get me started on those who blame the economy. Yes, it’s been a tough few years, but there are firms out there experiencing their best years ever. I’m betting they are not blaming the economy for their woes. They are getting up every day and doing what it takes to move forward. Why aren’t you doing the same?

Invest in yourself and your people. Can you name one organization that has cut their way to exceptional customer service? I can’t. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is. If your firm prides itself on customer service then invest in more people to reduce the wait times, especially during peak calling hours.

Bring training back to life. You cannot expect people to sustain performance levels without investing in their training. One of the key factors in employee engagement is people knowing they have opportunities for growth. What message are you sending employees regarding their opportunities for development? Are you telling them they’ll need to go elsewhere to improve their career?

Don’t fret if can’t afford to return to the glory days of five-week training programs. Begin by identifying two or three books that you believe will help your people become the type of leaders others would be proud to associate with. Bring the team together over pastries and coffee to share ways for internalizing these ideas.

Strong leadership requires the ability to continuously acknowledge those areas where improvement is necessary and to adjust accordingly. This is shaping up to be a great year for many. How about for you?

© 2011 Human Resource Solutions. All rights reserved.

Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions (www.yourhrexperts.com) and author of the internationally best selling book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around. Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta’s monthly newsletter, HR Matters.