The Excuse Proof Leader’s New Year’s Resolutions

The Excuse Proof Leader’s New Year’s Resolutions
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s that time of year again where we’re all setting our goals and expectations for the new year… well, actually the start of a new decade. So often, we get so focused on promotions and raises that we don’t really set goals that will have a deep and long lasting impact on our success. Our goals this year should lead to the overall goals we have for the next 5 – 10 years. If not, then we’re just a hamster on a wheel running really fast and getting nowhere at all.  

Over the last decade, I’ve committed time at the end of each year to assess my progress in the current year and determine my goals moving forward. This time of reflection for myself, as well as my clients, has enabled me to see REAL growth. I’m sharing some of the goals that I’ve seen impact growth for myself and the amazing leaders I’m blessed to work with each year.   

Resolutions for Your Internal Customers 

We always set goals that impact ourselves personally as a leader professionally and even personally. These goals may have an impact on your team, or I call your internal customer. Most of this impact is a side effect inside of intentional effort. Include some goals this year that intentionally will focus on the people who help you make it all happen.  

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  1. Invest in your internal customers by providing learning and growth opportunities. Providing these opportunities will enable your team to become more capable in their current positions and position them for leadership within your organization. Don’t be so afraid they’ll leave that you don’t provide opportunities. You’ll guarantee their leaving if you don’t. When they can see their individual goals aligned with accomplishing the organizational goals, they will have a vested interest and be more likely to stay with you for the long term.  
  1. Celebrate and reward ALL accomplishments. Often times, we get so caught up on the big goal that we forget to celebrate the small ones that occur along the way. Pat your team on the back consistently for the little things they do. It will encourage them to keep going and will ultimately build to the overall goal. It doesn’t take much… sometimes a simple thank you goes a long way.  
  1. Serve by example… be of service to your internal customers and they will serve your external customers. When you take care of your people, they will be motivated and engaged to take care of your customers. An employee that feels underappreciated and mistreated will not care if your customer is happy or not. They will do just the minimum to keep from losing their job. They will not go above and beyond. They will focus on collecting their paycheck and will not serve effectively. Show them how to serve by how you treat them. Be consistent.  
  1. Provide non-traditional benefits to your internal customers. It’s not always about giving your employees a raise. Don’t get me wrong… compensation plays a key role in the benefits they receive. Just don’t stop there. Many companies have begun to offer flexible work schedules and work from home days. This can be just as effective as a pay raise for employees who value the flexibility for their family priorities. Get to know your people so you can learn about what’s really important to them.  
  1. Do your part to create a non-toxic workplace. No one wants to work in a place that makes you feel bad from the moment you pull in the parking lot. I’ve seen employees who love the work they do leave companies that enable toxic managers to exist. Create a healthy environment that promotes growth, engagement and empowerment. Remember employees don’t leave companies; they leave bad managers.  

Resolutions for You as the Leader 

  1. Begin a practice of gratitude daily. Remind yourself daily of at least two good things that happened and at least one bad thing that didn’t happen. It’s all about perspective. For several years, I maintained a gratitude jar. I wrote all of these things down and put it in a jar each day. On my tough days, I would pull a note out and read it to remind myself of all the great things that have happened so far. It helped me bounce back quicker. Give it a try.  
  1. Wake up earlier to have time for the most important person in your world… YOU. Schedule this time to read, meditate, journal, exercise, etc. Do whatever energizes you and puts you in the right headspace for the day. This is not time for social media or email. Take at least the first hour of the day just for you and no one else. It will give you what you need to be more productive throughout the day.  
  1. Have more fun while working. Work doesn’t have to be grueling. Find ways to infuse fun into your day. Take a walk. Tell a joke. Listen to someone share a happy story. Share a happy story. Be intentional and be the catalyst for fun in your office. Employees shouldn’t be afraid to show you they enjoy working in your office.  
  1. Focus on building and maintaining your character. Your character is a reflection of who you are when no one’s looking. We all have issues that need work. Identify at least one character flaw to work on this year. Put it in daily practice to make a change. Work on your being more respectful or more caring or exercising more self control.  
  1. Ensure your time and money invested line up with your stated priorities/goals. So often we say one thing and our actions are doing the exact opposite. For example, we say we want to lose weight, but we never make time to work out. It won’t happen unless we make it a priority. Schedule your priorities and invest in them consistently.  

The New Year is just the beginning of the next decade. Let it be start of all the amazing things you want to accomplish before it’s over. Be intentional and hold yourself accountable for the goals you’ve set.  

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