January is a time for fresh starts. A blank page. It is also a time for self-reflection and personal assessment, especially for leaders seeking new and innovative ways to manage others. As you consider your journey, here are three things that can help you find new ways of working with others:

  1. It takes curiosity

Seek something new and different. If you want to implement a new management technique with your team, the first step is looking at your current style and identifying what’s working and what’s not. Ask yourself: what does the team need from me that they are currently not getting? Try to look beyond what has always worked in the past. In this case, I love the quote, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

  1. It takes a willingness to fail

Too often, we want things perfect. The constant drive for perfection or the fear of failing holds us back from trying new things. Fear keeps us from taking risks and stretching beyond our comfort zone. Without a willingness to fail, we lose the ability to come at leadership from different angles.

  1. It takes experimenting

To discover what works, you have to experiment. You don’t have to bet the farm. Start with small experiments versus going all in. See what works, learn from it and then implement it. This process will be clunky and awkward, however, dedicating time to trying something new in this way can be effective.

At InnerWill, we encourage beginning this work from within. The most complicated job we have as managers is to lead and influence other people, because people can be unpredictable and require different things. The challenge of adapting our style to meet the needs of a team is unique, and it takes time.  Time to build trust with other people, time to build credibility, time to find what works. Showcasing your own inner will and conviction is essential for strengthening your team’s confidence in you as a leader.

Wishing you a better, braver, and wiser 2018!


Tom Epperson

Tom Epperson

Dr. Tom Epperson is the President of InnerWill, and an instructor in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Executive MBA program. Tom is a certified business coach and has a Doctorate in Leadership from The George Washington University. Tom works with clients on cultural transformation, leadership development, executive coaching, and igniting individual and organizational potential. Previously, Tom served as the HR Director for Luck Companies, and played a significant role as one of the architects of Luck Companies’ cultural transformation.

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