Call them what you like: resolutions, goals, declarations, aspirations, annual guiding words, self-promises. There’s something so optimistic and hopeful when we actively acknowledge and articulate what we dream for ourselves. Starting off this new year in a new decade that boasts a rather metaphoric set of numbers, I strongly recommend thinking about an oldie-but-goodie cliché, “Hindsight is 20/20.”
When we pause with honesty and humility to consider our choices and actions of the past, we gain a much clearer picture of how we might have done things better. New Year’s resolutions serve as an exercise of working toward 20/20 vision for a better future, and these goals are nearly always reflective and focused on self-improvement. As leaders, our demeanor and productivity are always on display—and much of the success of leaders worth following directly relates to very personal goals and guiding principles.
As you strive to grow as a person and a leader in the coming year, here are some suggestions to give you visual clarity:
- Before you are able to effectively lead others, you must first commit to leading yourself. If you haven’t already, take the time to establish and articulate your own core values. Are your actions reinforcing what you say you believe? Do others know what you value through the way you work with them and live your life? Ask for honest feedback, and if what you value doesn’t match what others see in your behavior, it’s high time to recalibrate.
- Take time for self-discovery and identify your greatest strengths—as well as what challenges you most. When you are willing to invest the time and energy in learning more about what makes you tick and why some things come so easily versus other things that may cause frustration, you become much more adept at finding opportunities to excel personally and professionally. Additionally, learning why certain relationships flow easily while others seem to take untold patience can be a game changer for helping you navigate team dynamics and inspire the best in others.
- Find your own way of embracing change, even if it’s not second-nature. Let’s face it: the speed of life, the evolution of organizations and the pace of business is only getting faster. It’s tough to work through nonstop transformations yourself, let alone lead others—but it can be done more gracefully than you might imagine. Learn about how you personally handle change, as well as how others on your team react, and then develop strategies to help keep everyone informed, motivated, connected and celebrating wins.
- Manage your stress so you can stay on your game. This particular goal aligns perfectly with so many of the classic annual resolutions, and for good reason. If you’re not taking care of yourself and finding proactive ways to stay healthy and happy, you’re not going to be an effective leader or be very inspirational to others. Sustained high performance at work is only possible when you give yourself the gift of self-care, and it should be nonnegotiable.
The beauty of all of these resolutions is that you don’t have to tackle them alone. At Milestone Leadership, our work as a nonprofit organization is built around supporting leaders and growing their capabilities in each of these areas and more. We work to stay on the cutting edge of leadership learning and development and we daily see the enormous payback when individuals and organizations actively invest in immersive team learning, personal assessment, strategic planning and ongoing executive coaching. Please visit our website to learn all about scheduled programs we offer throughout the year. And, if you haven’t had the chance to get to know us already, we invite you to visit our regularly updated leadership blog for free, timely inspiration.
Are you ready to see 20/20 for 2020 and beyond? Happy New Year!
Kelly Hale Syer