Five Leadership Resolutions for 2014
A history of failure prevents you from making New Years resolutions. You fell short last time. Why try again? What’s the point?
One friend said, “The only resolution I’ve kept is the one not to make New Years resolutions. But…
Those who can’t start fresh are doomed to repeat the past.
People who get it right the first time reached too low. Meaningful relationships and noble goals die if you don’t start again.
Those who don’t start again quit.
5 leadership resolutions for 2014:
- Resolve to spend 15 minutes a day listening. Refuse to make statements, just explore. After you’ve mastered 15 minutes, up it to 30. Most leaders talk too much.
- Spend an hour every week with someone you admire. The people you hang with reflect your future.
- Talk about the past in terms of lessons learned. Stop circling the past like a vulture eyeing a carcass. Everyone captivated by the past repeats it. The past is a tool for learning not a target for circling.
- Reject isolation; embrace connection. The double trouble of failure is pulling into a shell. Isolation is a symptom of sickness and fear.
- Don’t talk about it unless you plan to do something about it.
4 Ways to help someone else begin again:
Leadership is always about others. Real leaders ignite fires. Any idiot can douse flames.
The power to start fresh often comes from another person. Be that person. Someone helped you begin again. What did they do? Do that for someone else.
- Go with. Use the first rule of improvisation. Go with your partner not against.
- Help them feel understood, respected, and appreciated. People don’t have to be perfect to be supported.
- Talk about challenges realistically. Unrealistic optimism is foolish. Truly great stuff is hard.
- Fuel confidence by identifying simple, actionable steps forward.
What leadership resolutions do you recommend for 2014?
I agree with your friend but also you in that I believe a person shouldn’t wait for New Year’s Eve to make resolutions for changing. Change needs to be done constantly, always looking for ways to improve yourself and how you act. Kaizen should be the concept, not New Year’s Resolutions.
Thanks TMM04. So true. Beginning again is a daily behavior for anyone who’s reaching high. Best to you.
Great stuff today Dan!
1. Sharpen my tool, everyday, relentlessly, stay incurably curious so much stuff out there I know nothing about YET!
2. Share the good news I discover
3. Become as repulsive as humanly possible to those who do not believe what I believe so I do not waste any more time trying to convince people who in my eyes do not get it.Theirs and mine. It goes both ways they feel the same way about me. So just cut to the chase and just spend time becoming more of a magnet to those who believe what I believe. Really helps me when I remember people who do not see things the way I do just have a different perspective, not wrong or dumb, just different. They think they are as brilliant as I think I am. As I age I care less about spending anytime with people who see things differently or trying to convince the dim and unaware and not interested. The approval of all others to validate what I hold dear, not as much as time chugs along. Lots of freedom in that.
4. Share my soul……spirit of unconditional love.
5. Become the greatest oxytocin generator of ALL TIME!!!! Go LARGE or don’t go!
6. Attract DO NOT PROMOTE Promoting is for dummies.
7. Dream, plan, act 2014 gonna be a big year for me
8. Make it to May 22nd 2014, 30 years clean and sober, not bad and puts me in very select company for 52 year olds. Heck for any olds!
So 8 is for me a good start.
Ok back to generating oxytocin for those who believe what I believe and completely repulsing everyone else!
SP back to generating oxytocin in the moment.
Thanks Scott. One of my favorites is attract don’t promote. What a difference that makes.
Dan: There’s something about your leadership tidbits that not only make me think deeper but make me feel hopeful…and better. I’ve always wanted to create a staff “personal fulfillment” program with the ultimate goal of bettering “professional” performance.
What do you think of sharing your leadership wisdom with staff?
Wonder if starting by asking, what helps you grow and what hinders your growth of those you work with/for and then as Dan noted, just listen. Even asking what blogs do people read to help them grow might be a more direct approach. Of course, you could also hire Dan to come and speak… 😉
Rick you ever heard of Bob Chapman? if not you are in for a TREAT IF you google and watch! Youtube, Bob Chapman talk at Scott Air Force Base and no they did not name an Air Force Base after me. Also two other fellas you might find interesting…..Dan Sullivan…..Strategic Coach and Robert Ciadini. Cialdini has a cool website www. influenceatwork .com Sometimes I tried in the past to put videos and links on here and awful things happened so spaced it out. Got books by both ordered and CAN”T wait to learn from these smart EFFECTIVE DUDES. Cialdini also has cool videos on youtube! FREE but the time you give to watch and learn.
Also would be terrible of me not to mention my other Hero Simon Sinek. You want to know what makes people tick??? Yes including at work. Google Simon Sinek Leaders Eat Last on vimeo and think it is on youtube now too. FREE just google and watch! I got an autographed copy of his latest book and found my doggie ALLY must be a Leader! She ate some of the book before I got it away from her!!!!!! LOL Maybe his next book will be Doggies Eat First!!! hehe
Just a few suggestions about a few fellas you might not have heard of before. If you have no contempt prior to investigation like some, you might just experience what they have to share like I did! PURE AMAZEMENT. Boy are there some sharp, smart fellas out there. I would have never known if I did not step out of what I thought I knew into cool new cutting edge stuff. So glad I did.
Hope one day Dan shares what he knows about them and what they teach on here.
Hope you do look into these fellas and share what ya found.
If not retreading the same old same old is always a choice. Thing is just redoing the same gives us the same. Does take up time so we think we are doing something, but time can be used effectively or just used. New, different from sources I may have never heard of, that is where the cool stuff hangs out.
SP back to being repulsive to those who do not believe what I believe with GUSTO!
I love your listening advice with the specificity of not making statements but just exploring. I’m thinking I may even take it a step further and ask at the end if I did a good job listening. What could I improve? Did I make enough eye contact or did I seem distracted like I was looking for an ‘out’ or a chance to contribute my own opinion?
I’m starting to make the habit of sitting on a stool in the kitchen while my wife is cooking to force me to stay grounded while I listen. It’s not a consistent habit, but it’s slowly getting more frequent (the 2 & 4 yr old create the biggest challenge).
Thanks James. One think I enjoy about your contributions is you consistently think about execution.
Best wishes with the 2 and 4 yr old!
Lots of nuggets in the mind today Dan, thanks! Love the visual of vultures circling the past in slow monotonous meeting, er uh, circles.
Might add if you have the 15–>30 minutes listening down, do the same for reading something that challenges you on some level. (Still have a dwindling pile of tomes that I have heard about here and picked up.)
Identify the markers along the journey that reflect true progress toward vision. Sometimes we get so busy with the doing in the moment, we miss an opportunity to breathe, savor and note that what we are doing now is moving us toward something better. Timing is everything.
Thanks Doc. Your experience and insights consistently enrich my thinking. That last paragraph is a big one. Define and track the win. Just ask, “Are we getting there?” Making sure “there” is clearly defined. To practical! 🙂
Thanks, Dan. I needed this encouragement in the form of a reboot today.
Thanks Steven. I need it too.
For me, a shift in attitude about starting again is essential. We have to jettison the “why bother” attitude and realize that starting again is just part of life. You have my best for the journey.
The “why bother” is what catches me every time.
I’m a new reader; found you via a share on Facebook. I think I’ve found my new favorite reading material.
Thanks Ladonna. It’s a pleasure to be part of your journey. I look forward to your future comments.
One more resolution (self evident, but not easy to practice) is “Do what is truly right, not necessarily what makes you fit in, get promoted, or be liked – in fact do right even if it has negative personal consequences or appears inconsequential”.
About 2500 years ago Daniel, who rose from being a slave to the second in the Babylonian empire, refused several times to do what he knew to be wrong, at the peril of his life. He nevertheless served two Babylonian kings, survived the invasion of the Medes and Persians, and served the new Median king as well, living through a putsch designed to make him into lion food. This was not a man of privilege, but of character and wisdom. He did what was right. There is a verse in chapter 1 of Daniel that defines his life. “Daniel resolved in his heart not to defile himself”.
Not long after Daniel, we read of Nehemiah, who left a comfortable position as the Persian king’s trusted cupbearer (some historians say the cupbearer was also responsible for the king’s treasury) to take a demotion and lead an effort to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He organized a depressed population, encouraged them, gave them reason to succeed by having them work in front of their own houses, provided building materials, kept enemies at bay, and kept the focus on results. The walls were restored in less than 2 months. He followed that with about a week of rest, then encouraged the people to restore their relationship with God as well as to treat poor people correctly – even paying for some of the poor from his own pocket. There is no mention that Nehemiah ever got his plum job back – to him that was inconsequential. He had done what was right.
These are but 2 examples from ancient literature. Doing what is right can come in many ways, from avoiding wrong to building others up to ensuring proper time spent with family to non-profit charity to always speaking truth. The motive should not be “look at me, I’m good”, but “doing what is right with the right attitude is the right thing to do, so I’ll do it”. Such leadership can alienate some, but provides a model around which others will rally.
Thanks Marc. The world needs leaders who live by principles rather than convenience. Happy New Year
Don’t talk about it, unless you want to do something about it.
This sounds so simple , yet 99% talk ….
This is the best resolution for any leader. I personally love to read all your post and it has helped me a lot .
Thanks again for sharing. Please keep sharing .
I’ll have to amend the “don’t talk about it….” statement to include: Talk about it long enough to determine if you are going to do something about it. If you decide you aren’t going to do anything about it, drop it. 🙂
I will remember to listen and to give. All is about receiving and given. Leadership is an EXCHANGE, an exchange of knowledges, of time of given things
Thanks Geoffroy. Your use of “exchange” is really helpful. 🙂
This is one of my favorite posts, Dan. Many ideas for which I needed reminders.
I always reflect at this time of year. You helped me focus my reflections. I love all 9 points. Great stuff! Happy New Year!
Thanks for being a regular and sharing your journey. Best wishes for the journey.
Professionally speaking, I recommend all leaders to work on 3 resolutions to make 2014 much more rewarding.
1. Avoid Procrastination. This can be in terms of delaying communication, decision and action which can affect the moods and morale of your followers. People look at you as a source of inspiration and encouragement and if you fail in this area you shall never win their hearts which is the driving force for all creativity and productive results.
2. Be truthful and remain committed. People respect you for your words leading to new hopes and fairness and you need to be truthful in terms of its timely fulfillment.
3. Never disrespect anyone. This could be by way of your undesired reactions and anger. Even, mere negligence is also harmful as you loose the basic faith of your followers.
I would prefer all in leadership position to act as true professionals to keep their own image and care for all those whose lives are dependent on you and your style of working.
Thanks Dr. Asher. Powerful resolutions. I like the way you say “avoid procrastination.” You could have said be proactive but adding the term procrastination makes you comment address a dangerous issues.
Couldn’t agree more. I shall follow these
Happy New Year and best for the journey.
Dan – This is a great list! #1 amd #3 listening more and learning instead of dwelling have been huge lessons for me that I’ve written about too. (I love your suggestion in #1 to increase the listening time!) I’ve lived #4 and watched others live it. (Ouch!) And I’m taking you up in #2!
Thanks Chery. I think I enjoy #2 the most. Cheers
I appreciate this post and your insights throughout 2013, Thanks again for the value LeadershipFreak provides.
Thanks Ken. You are very kind and thanks for your contributions throughout the year.
Good overview and something I will bring to our 2014 planning meeting. On our mind currently is some relationships just don’t work out… and that includes the commercial relationships of buyers and sellers. For a relationship to be longstanding it must be mutually beneficial. Sometimes a customer has to walk away, sometimes an organization must choose to respectfully decline the engagement of a business deal. It is folly to think you can satisfy all of the people all of the time… That said, more attention needs be placed on keeping existing customers, communicating and listening to them. It is often given lip service only. It is far easier and more cost effective to maintain a customer than to get a new one, and far, far cheaper than the cost of getting the new customer who is a lost former customer. It is about better customer care.
Thanks Paul. Well said. In the end, finding shared benefit makes the most sense and how can we do that without listening? 🙂
It is often easier to define the destiny than it is to plan the journey. Visions are elusive and goals are defined while the journey itself is seldom considered.
Understanding what will keep you motivated and inspired is as important as the destination itself. If the journey begins with a single step, what motivates you to take the next?
Another great post as always Dan.
Thanks Redge. Good reading one of your comments again.
I enjoy your focus on the journey. Something we often need to be reminded about.
Dan- As I was creating my own “resolution” list in my head today, I thought…let’s not get too fancy, since I can barely get one foot in front of the other sometimes. I like the simplicity but how realistic it would be to implement these ideas. Leadership resolution for 2014 that I would add: lead by example. It’s cliché but works. If I expect results from my team, I should also expect them from myself.
Thanks HR Laura. The one word approach that I wrote about after this post really takes simplicity to it’s ultimate end. Cheers
Dan, as I read the five resolutions you posted, I was in amazed with their simplicity of understanding and implementation. The key to any resolution as the old NIKE slogan goes “Just Do It!” It is up to the person(s) to make a conscience effort to make change(s) in their lives as well as the lives of others. Thank you for LESSING my work for finding professional resolutions for 2014.
Thanks Stafford. NIKE nailed it. 🙂
Dan, these are five great resolutions for any leader. 3 & 5 go together work together well. Those who dwell on past mistakes but don’t do anything to improve the situation just bring everyone down and create a negative culture.
Thanks Christian. Great hearing from you. I hadn’t seen the connection but it makes sense!
On #2, can that person you admire be the same person each week?
Thanks Heady. For me personally, it’s more than one person. It’s at least a 20. But, each to his own. 🙂 The idea is to intentionally be in the company of people we admire. I have a few regulars but I also get the opportunity to have one time meetings with people I admire. Sometimes I write about it.