New Year’s Resolutions the Best Leaders Commit to Every Year

New year resolutions

It’s that time of the year again. The time to make resolutions to make 2020 your best professional year ever. 

If you are anything like me, you have made your fair share of resolutions over the years only to make excuses for yourself when you give up on them. Turns out you aren’t alone.  The latest research shows 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week of February. 

In order to make this year different for you, it starts with level setting what a resolution actually is. A resolution is defined as; a firm decision to do or not to do something.

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. Let’s say you want to make a resolution about drinking less alcohol.  Instead of making a resolution to give up alcohol for the entire year make a commitment to give it up for January. Then keep tabs on how you are feeling and commit to February if you like where you are headed.  

If you are looking for some ideas to make 2020 your best leadership year ever, here are a few resolutions the best leaders commit to every year by making firm decisions and sticking with them: 

Ask for feedback about how they are leading

The best leaders know how important it is to do a gut check on how they are doing from a leadership perspective.  The best way to get this feedback is by asking their people where they are strong and where they need to improve.    

Turns out this isn’t a typical practice for most organizational leaders. After assessing over 40,000 leaders in all different industries and roles, the weakest leadership competency is asking for feedback.  

Resolution: Commit to the act of gathering unbiased feedback about yourself from your team through the BTB 360° Leader Assessment or something similar. 

Communicate why the team is doing what they do

When work and life get busy, it’s easy to lose sight of the long term view on life and work.  While this is normal, it isn’t what the best leaders do. They double down and constantly remind their team about why their work matters and who they are doing it for.  This isn’t something they live up to chance.  

If you aren’t sure if you have done this, ask a few team members, “why do we do what we do every day.”  If the first thing that comes out of their mouth is “money” or “I don’t know,” you have some work to do.  

Resolution: Allocate a day or more with your team to review purpose, mission, vision, values.  Use the time to invite discussion and collaboration.  

Reject negativity and naysayers

I am not breaking any news here but succeeding in today’s business environment is hard. This means there is more opportunity for failure and negative energy to infiltrate a team than ever before.

The best leaders don’t allow negativity to have a place in their culture. They set the standard that negativity doesn’t have a place on their team and if/when they hear it, they make it everyone’s responsibility to squash it.  If negativity continues, the person who is bringing it 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). Try “No Negativity January.”

Focus 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 are distractions coming from every angle at all times of the day.   

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 accomplish on each day.

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About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. He is currently booking events and speaking engagements for 2020. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.