It’s that time of the year again. We’ve all come up with resolutions to make 2018 our best year ever. This first week of January, everyone is on his or her best behavior but the problem is never getting started. The problem is keeping the resolutions going throughout the year.
The latest research says 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week of February. So the odds of your New Year’s resolution lasting 365 days are as Flo Rida says, “low, low, low, low.”
To help improve your odds, it’s important to understand what a resolution actually is:
Resolution: (n) a firm decision to do or not to do something.
So the key to creating resolutions that stick is to make firm decisions about things that are extremely important to you and are attainable to complete. If you are a manager or are responsible for other people, being a better leader is or should be something that is important to you and is attainable to complete.
Through my work hosting the Follow My Lead Podcast and working with many companies in 2017, here are 5 New Year’s resolutions the best leaders commit to every year by making firm decisions and sticking with them:
Asking for feedback about themselves at least once a year
Self-awareness and high emotional intelligence are two qualities the best leaders have. This allows them to understand the importance of having ways to gather feedback about how they are doing as a leader. Over 20k leaders have taken the Welder Leader assessment, and the one competency most managers lack is asking for feedback from their team about their own performance.
Resolution: Determine a way and a time to gather unbiased feedback about yourself from your team
Communicating why the team is doing what they do
I love what Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney does every year with his staff. Swinney and his staff go on a retreat to review what he calls the “All In Book.” For 5 days he sits with his staff and reviews every page of the book. Much of it relates to the purpose of the program, the importance of culture, and being and building men of great character at Clemson.
Resolution: Allocate a day or more to your team to review purpose, mission, vision, values, standards, and expectations. Use the time to invite discussion and collaboration.
Rejecting negativity and naysayers
Succeeding in today’s business environment is hard. The best leaders don’t allow negative team players or listening to the naysayers. Set the standard that negativity doesn’t have a place on your team and if/when you hear, make it everyone’s responsibility to squash it. If negativity continues, that person must find another place to work regardless of how great of a performer they are.
Resolution: Make rejecting negativity everyone’s responsibility (not just yours).
Focusing on the most important things each day
The average professional gets 121 emails per day, exchanges 67 texts per day and checks their phone over 80 times per day. This means there is distraction coming from every angle and this doesn’t even include the work distractions and daily fires that have to be put out. The best leaders know this and set up their day to work on and achieve the most important things each day. My friend and entrepreneur Mac Lackey taught me about a secret called WMN. It stands for “What Moves the Needle.”
Resolution – Use a 3×5 notecard every single day and write down the most important things you are going to focus on each day
Showing belief and appreciation for each team member individually
When you work for someone for a long time, it’s easy to forget to show belief and appreciation for each team member. The best leaders don’t forget to show people they believe in them and appreciate the work they do.
Resolution: Verbally tell each member of your team how much you appreciate their effort – at least once a year hopefully much more.
Here is the best part. Regardless if you do or don’t currently do all of these resolutions you can use my favorite Latin saying, “Nunc Coepi,” which means “today I begin.”
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About the Author John Eades is one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace. He is the CEO of LearnLoft, host of the Follow My Lead Podcast and author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader. He has set aside 20 speaking opportunities in 2018 and there are only a few spots remaining, learn more here.