Who Will You Become as a Leader this Year?

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as who you become by achieving your goals.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

The new year is here.  A fresh bit of canvas on which to paint, to achieve, to set goals and to get excited about all that is possible. No doubt you have discussed this coming year with your family or friends and maybe even read an article or two about setting yourself up for a new year.  I have also written articles and created videos on how to set up a great year.  If you have not had a chance to check them out, or would like a refresher, then please click on these links

Video: Leadership at Sunrise

Resolutions for Better Leadership

I want to inspire you to have another great year and to help you as you lead your organizations, your careers, your lives, your families, and your teams. I want you to set yourself up for the best opportunities of creating a year of leadership. This year I want to encourage you to create your next great year with a slight shift in approach. If you read my articles, then you know that I espouse the importance of  setting goals and going after them. One thing I do not often discuss is achieving those goals and how achievement impacts who we are.  As we come up on creating this next year, I want to address this dilemma of achievement.

When we achieve we often think about what we will get. Is it a new car? Is it a lot of money? Maybe it is a new title at work or buying that second home.  Those are all great things to achieve.  Achievement is great.  In fact, one of my favorite sayings is pain is temporary but achievement is forever.  This saying comes in handy during mile 24 of a marathon or burning the midnight oil designing a project for a client.

But why achieve? Does it really matter if I finish a marathon?  Does it really matter if I deliver a great client experience instead of just a decent one?  I say it does matter. There is a reason to achieve. Work to achieve and strive to achieve not so you get things, accolades, money or medals, but because of who you can become as a result of achieving those things, as a leader, community member, and as a human.


When you think about this year that is in front of you and the challenges that lay  ahead of us as world today who do you want to become? And what can you do this year in order to move closer towards becoming the leader you want to be? And as you go towards the achievement of your goals, what will be required of you in order to get to those goals? Who will you become? It is in becoming and growing that has something advantageous and unique that getting “a thing” on its own never can.

The greatest leaders have often appeared to have lost it all in terms of big failures resulting in loss of business, status, relationships, family and even wealth.  The truly great ones get up again and again.  They rely on perhaps their most valuable achievements and that is what they had learned and who they had become in their challenges in order to come back again and again.

I want to borrow a quote that my father taught me when I was a kid. He would say, and I quote “Kid, always go for education. It’s the one thing that no one can ever take away from you.” I love that lesson.

What do you want to become this next year? What kind of leader do you want to be? What do you have to go after in order to grow in the way that you need to grow and be this leader? What must you try to achieve in order to become what you want to become so that you can continue to live your purpose in this world?

Achieving is great. Getting stuff is awesome.  Who you become as a result of reaching for your “stuff” is the true reward. It is the skills that you need to learn in order to achieve the “things”that make the achievement worthy.  The more that you can become, then the more you can leave to others and I don’t mean assets.  You will be able to leave a truly special and unique piece and that is your impact on others~like the lesson that my father left for me, that I am now sharing with all of you.

trailrunWhen December 31st arrives this year, I hope that you have achieved great things. I also hope that you will love and be proud of the company that you keep, (YOU) as the true reward when you get to your mountain top.  These are the rewards that will never be taken away from you.

As always thank you for reading this article. Please share it and also please share your thoughts and comments and impact on you in the comments section below.

I am sending you tons of positive energy, support and love for your leadership journey.

Your coach, fan and friend,


Larysa Slobodian, MA

L4 Leadership LLC




  1. Laura February 1, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    Larysa – thanks for another great and thought-provoking article. I love the metaphor of the mountain climb to both overcome challenges as well as to gain personal development in various areas of our lives. I have some work to do on what I want to achieve this year, and who I want to become as a result. Thank you for the inspiration and support to do this work!

  2. Lisa February 2, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

    Thank you for the thought provoking twist on goal setting, or rather, achievement setting. I have learned a lot from missed attempts, and have received opportunities that come from the road less travelled (because I have made a wrong turn). I believe that achievements come because the bumps and bruises make you stronger. I have never thought, however, about looking to goals or achievements as growth opportunities, rather than destinations. I will choose my goals and attempted achievements more carefully and open my eyes more widely to the journey.

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