This time of year, things change. Maybe it’s the people to whom you give presents or invite for Christmas dinner. Maybe it’s the pace of work or your business. For entrepreneurs, it might be the goals, the systems, or strategies with which we approach things. For leaders, it might be the method, or the budget used to guide activities. No matter your station or position, once the furor of the holiday celebrations slows to a minimum, we all start thinking of things that need some changing. What better time of year to make fresh starts and change things, than at the beginning? Well, maybe what needs the most change is merely our mindset. Maybe it’s time to rethink a few things.
Goals and Resolutions
Oh, the age-old scenario of a crowded gym in the first two weeks of January. What if taking care of ourselves, eating healthier foods, and exercising were just part of our lifestyle and not some big resolution? What if we saw the value of starting on this better eating or running or walking mentality on the 27th of December. Horrors, that’s a Thursday. Do fresh beginnings happen midweek? Yes, when you rethink some things. What are you really after? At work and at home, what is the goal you’re seeking? If goal is too clinical, think of a positivity. What do you need to do, be, have, or experience that would increase your positive feelings? What are the positive feelings you’re really after? Perhaps answering those key questions is your most important New Year’s Resolution. Resolve to chase what you’re after. Decide when you’ll do it. Seek the positive feelings and be persistent. Besides, if you wanted it that badly, you wouldn’t need a written down goal to make it happen.
Skills Sets and Naturals
We have the same mindset about natural born leaders. Somewhere after the industrial age, we began to pinpoint people as either having leadership skills or missing them. We began to believe if people really wanted to be a good leader, they’d just do it. What a load of poppycock! There are people who have an internal desire to accomplish. They have an internally driven desire to take action and achieve and make things happen. If that works for leadership in your organization, that person will look like they are a natural. Put that same person in a highly research driven organization and he or she will get called a bully. There are skills sets and there are natural attributes. One needs both to effectively lead anything. Find that position that values your natural attributes, instead of tolerates them. Seek out development in the skills sets needed to supplement those skills that appear to happen naturally.
Persistent and Resilient
Whether leading your life, your family, a team, or your one-man operation you’re building into a company, nothing happens overnight, and nothing happens without some kind of effort and yes, failure. It seems we’ve grown so accustomed to instant gratification, we’ve forgotten to strengthen the muscle that keeps us going when results take a little longer. Leaders who learned this are seeing a different lesson in their team members. Teach them to be resilient. Teach them to get back up after a failure and try again, differently. Teach them to wait and keep trying and to keep going even when there are obstacles. We’re developing lazy workforces and employees willing to throw in the towel at the first sign of the slightest problem. Rethink what you accept. Rethink what you say then things mess up. Rethink how you think about being persistent to get what you really want and how to bounce back when you don’t immediately get it. That doesn’t mean it will never happen, but rather this effort might not have been the way to get it.
Instead of changing out a system or finding more money or changing out a difficult team member you’ve come to believe is difficult, let’s change our thinking. Let’s adjust our mindset. Let’s get up, get going and get after it and do what it takes to get what we’re after. Let’s teach our teams that first attempts are great and known as drafts, not final products. Let’s teach our leaders that one conversation does not behavior change create. Let’s teach ourselves that goals are simply the articulation of our pursuit of positive feelings and spend less time whining about what we haven’t reached and more time spent going after it. 2019 is a New Year and 2020 is right behind that one. Resolve, right now, as your best leader of your own direction, not to just lose 10 pounds or find that new position, but to DECIDE what you want and to find a way to get through whatever, think through whatever, and even climb over whatever, and go get it.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development specialist who coaches, consults with, and speaks to leaders of all levels, building their skills, emotional intelligence and authenticity. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.