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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a leadership development expert and author of Contagious Leadership and newly released, Make Difficult People Disappear.

Why would you fill your stockings with fear? Or are you and don’t realize it? The leader’s behavior is contagious you know, so are they following your lead?

One click of the channel changer and you can be surrounded by bad news. Apparently we’re all falling off a financial cliff and then of course, the world ends in something like 12 days anyway so what’s everyone so worried about? Seriously, there is some tough stuff predicted, but are you letting the external notion of doom and gloom put a damper on your plan for the coming year? Some of the best successes have come from the toughest times. Personally, we at Contagious Companies have always chosen not to participate in the recession and worry of the future and we’ve been quite fortunate to continue to experience growth, but it has taken leading with an attitude of hope, cheer, optimism, and yes, sometimes even pom-poms. Here are some simple steps to use to fill your figurative stockings at the office this year with cheer instead of fear and plan for an even better next year.

Record What Went Well

When you move so fast and do so much, you tend to forget how much really gets done. Invite employees to share what has happened that was good and what went well in the last twelve months. Chances are even they will start saying “Oh yeah, remember that?” Sometimes all it takes to change the focus is to well…change your focus. Are you looking at what went well or what COULD go wrong?

Be Clear on Corrections

At a certain level of success when it comes to leaders, teams or companies, growth is measured in teeny tiny steps of progress. Thus, chances are that to improve next year’s performance or team work, you don’t need to make major corrections, but simply very minor changes in a few areas. What are those changes? What is the one thing that if it were done differently would make a world of difference? Look for the one small thing and be clear on what needs to be corrected, instead of thinking the whole team, country… or I mean company… needs an overhaul.

Value Grandma-isms

I don’t know that anyone has ever coined the word “grandma-ism” but it seemed to work as so much wisdom seems to come from someone’s grandma or grandpa. In this case, it seems I’ve heard it credited to a grandma somewhere that “fear and worry were like borrowing trouble from the future.” Now that sounds like advice shared over some piping hot biscuits and gravy… but it also sounds true. Are the team members you lead looking ahead and assuming it will all be bad? Are they bracing for impact? Why on earth would you borrow that kind of trouble from the future? Why don’t we all borrow a silver lining or possibilities instead? Often the same scenarios offer both options… grandma would tell you to choose wisely.

Stress rises for many during this holiday time of cheer and stress at work is often about fear … for the future. Avoid the temptation to predict what next year will look like for your company or team. All we can control is right here, right now, and shutting down our efforts now (which is what happens when we’re stressed) will only help to guarantee that we have less to work with next year. Stay focused, stay strong, and maybe even whip out the pom-poms to lead that team to keep up the cheer and set aside the fear.

I’m Monica Wofford, and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!

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