“Without forgiveness, there’s no future” ~Desmond Tutu
A new year is upon us and as you are looking forward, you may be thinking about the year ahead, what you want to do in that year, achievement, goals. Me too! I like to think about the upcoming year and my vision for my business, my life, my family. What I would like to invite you to think about is what you need to let go of, in order to look to the future. What are you holding onto that does not serve you any more, (even if it has served you previously)? It could be a behavior, a habit, or a story about a person such as an employee, colleague or maybe even yourself? I invite you to think about what you need to let go of, forgive, from the past, so that you can move more freely into the future.
Leadership is hard and challenging work and requires risk taking, which of course, will lead to some failures and missteps. As you challenge yourself, your team, colleagues and leaders, you and others will surely disappoint at times. I invite you to forgive.
To clarify, forgiveness does not replace accountability. One of the responsibilities of leadership is to hold ourselves and others accountable. Forgiveness is for you. It allows you to let go, to move on, to free up energy. Forgiveness, allows us the space to accept, and make room for new behaviors. If we hold onto negative stories, then we may work to recreate dysfunctional stories about people, situations, and even ourselves.
So.. as a leader, what behaviors do you want to model around forgiveness? If you’ve had challenges, then you probably have experienced some bumps in the road. I know that I’ve had many bumps and even potholes along my journey. I have to intentionally remind myself that mistakes are ok, that I’m not perfect and neither are others. I invite you to forgive yourself. When we forgive, we give ourselves permission to open up our ourselves to our own potential to try, and to learn, and therefore… to improve. We also allow others room to grow, develop and learn. Forgive, let go, learn, improve and lead.
Here’s to you and your journey in 2010!