“There is nothing noble about being superior to your fellow man; true nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”
The New Year is upon us and with it, a sense of renewal, opportunity, possibility and hope. No doubt, you are hearing people around you talk about resolutions and goals for the New Year. “Resolution” is defined as the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. Resolution also includes demonstrating a firm decision to do or not do something. Interesting, the origin of this word comes from the Latin word resolutio (n) and resolvere meaning loosen, release. Let’s see if we can “release” some of the stuff that gets in our way around resolutions and decide firmly about installing supportive behaviors.
I have compiled a list of practices that will help support your leadership growth for 2014. These practices are for the serious leaders – serious about dedication to their own development so that they can get some seriously great results. Here they are:
1. Practice goal setting: We all have been required to set and meet goals by our jobs, our customers, and even our parents. But how are we at setting goals for ourselves and our own development? I am asking you to make this the year that you embrace personal goal setting. Practice setting small daily goals that connect to your bigger long term goals. Create a plan and review your progress on your goals regularly. The practice of setting, planning, reviewing and holding yourself accountable to achieving daily goal setting is a great stuckness killer and success builder. It builds momentum and allows you to experience progress and build confidence.
2. Invest in your own personal development: To have better results, it helps to be better. Investing in your own personal development gets you prepared for new adventures and challenges. Here’s a fun activity: Pick a non essential cost in your life, such as the bill for cable TV. Let’s say it’s approximately $100 a month or $1200 per year. Would you spend at least as much on yourself as you pay to the cable company? Would you spend more? How much more? Twice more? If you’re cringing at the thought of spending 2-3 thousand dollars of your own money to develop as a leader but don’t blink as you contribute to the cable company, then I want to invite you to ponder that thought for a bit and see if you want to make any changes in how you spend and invest, as well as the returns that you get on the money that you spend. What returns could you get by investing in you?
3. Complain less: To complain less, you have to notice when you’re complaining- then pause and ask yourself these questions. What do I need from myself or others to improve this situation? Is this a situation that I can influence? What’s my part in it? Resist becoming seduced by complaining by calling it “venting”. Sure we all need to have a friend hear our concerns, worries and doubts from time to time. I know that I do. I also know that at times I can overdo venting. I am encouraging you to pause and see what you can do to lead yourself to a better situation, especially around complaints that you seem to visit often.
4. Journal: Perhaps the single most powerful leadership tool is the journal. I have noticed more and more that the best of the best have some practice around keeping a journal. Keeping a journal allows you to track your ideas, thoughts, emotions, goals and progress. Email me at welcome@L4Leadership.com and I will send you a link to a new and practical short video that I have created about how to select, organize and keep a journal. I have yet to have any client come back to me and say that this practice is not truly valuable in their development and overall well being.
5. Spend time with those that you want to learn from: Schedule time with people from whom you’d like to learn, people that you admire. Whether it’s in person, on the phone or through a book or video (if it’s somebody that you don’t know). We do pick up habits and behaviors from those that we are around. Why not be around those that you want to pick up the behaviors and habits from? I am incredibly grateful for the mentors, colleagues and awesome friends that I have in my life and I treasure the time that I intentionally schedule with them. Don’t leave investing time with important and special people to chance. Reach out and schedule it.
6. Practice gratitude: Gratitude gets us out of the habit of noticing what’s wrong (something that we as humans are very good at). Gratitude gives us a the opportunity to notice what’s right and to develop our underdeveloped positive brain. Gratitude allows us to feel better about ourselves, experience more self confidence, feel less alone and can also support us in stretching ourselves towards goals and taking smart risks.
7. Develop leaders around you: I am inspired by those who inspire and develop others. For you to be your best, others around you have to be their best. Leaders who get this point and invest time to teach and develop those around them get more done, build better teams and attract people to their teams and organizations.
8. Take risk: Risk is not the same is chance. Here’s how I distinguish the words. We take a chance when we have no control or influence on an outcome. Betting on a football game is taking a chance. You bet based on records, experts and opinions, but it’s really up to somebody else as to whether or not things will go the way you would like them to go. We put a known quantity at risk (an amount of money), but the outcome cannot be influenced by us. Risk involves the intentional and conscious choice to take action towards something that we want even when we don’t have all the information or can predict with all certainty the outcome. Taking risk allows us to grow, to face fear and to challenge ourselves even though we may feel fear and discomfort along the way. Don’t be reckless but don’t hide in a personal growth bomb shelter either.
Now what about that nagging dilemma of keeping a resolution? Resolutions when they’re just words or thoughts in our heads are easy to break. Going back to the definition of resolution, you have to commit or it’s not a resolution. It’s more of a fantasy. Something to consider- make resolutions harder to break than to keep. For example, want to take a course that’s being offered in another part of the country? Sign up for the class AND buy the plane ticket. There’s nothing like that lousy feeling of losing money on a plane ticket to help you stay committed. Other ideas could be sharing your goals with others, put mentor meetings to your calendar, hire a coach for yourself and your team, and displaying your goals where they can be seen by others. You decide the strategy. What you practice, you will improve. Practice keeping your commitment to yourself and to your personal development.
So which of these strategies resonates most with you? Which will you employ? Would you please share your thoughts in the comments section below this article? Thank you!
Thank you for reading. My motto for this year continues to be that I am dedicated to helping great leaders get better ~better leaders make a better world. By being a better leader, you help create a better world. I wish you great success, support and positive energy on your leadership journey
Your coach, fan and friend,
Larysa Slobodian, MA
L4 Leadership LLC