Started making New Year’s resolutions? If you haven’t yet, you’re already late.

 

Did you know that you are 42% more likely to reach your goals in the New Year if you write them down? What are you waiting for?

 

Here are my top 6 resolutions that every leader should look into and would greatly benefit if accomplished.

 

1. Work on your character as seriously as you work on your competency

Competency seems to be a given for top leaders, but character? Not so much

Your competency will take you only as far as your character can sustain you.

Some very mindful leaders I know take time away from work every now and again to work on their character. It can be in the form of prayer, reflection, or journaling. Here’s some tips:

  1. Pray about it. To whatever God or entity that appeals to your soul and senses. It doesn’t have to be constructed and ritualistic. As long as you can use something to make you go deep, do that.
  2. Ask others how you’re doing. If you are prepared to hear the truth, then go ahead and ask, “What’s it like to deal with me?” Remember growth here.

Competency makes you great at your job, but character makes you a better spouse, parent, friend and all-around person.

The benefits are life-changing.

 

2. Shorten your meetings

Way too much time is spent in meetings. They are the enemy of real work. Bet you if you had to bring work home it’s because you spent the better part of your day in meetings, right? The enemy I tell you.

Do you remember anything of the meetings you were summoned to? Probably not, unless they were an annual off-site, a strategic planning meeting or a brainstorming session to launch something new. Most meetings are held merely to review what you are already doing. Drivel I tell you.

 

3. Schedule what’s most important

It’s a great idea to write your most important commitments into your calendar.

Too many leaders spend their day responding to other people’s crises, and in the process create a crisis for themselves in being unable to manage their lives.

Commitments like family night, exercise, a day off, a message writing day or whatever else you absolutely need to get done that nobody ever asks you to do.

You don’t need to figure it out on your own.

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4. Be an early bird

How do you get everything done: CEO to a business, writing, organizing, networking, social events, philanthropy, being a spouse, parenting, I tell you, I’m getting tired just writing this!

The reality is getting up early every day is critical to getting everything you want, done.

You are meticulous with traffic patterns when running errands right? You calculate what time you should run them based on when most people show up right? The earlier the better, and you are done right? The same is true of work.

You can move a LOT of “stuff” before 8 a.m. if you work at it. If you’ve got young kids, even squeezing in an extra 30-60 minutes before they get up can mean you leave at 4 p.m. with your work done rather than leaving at 6 with an hour left to finish up after dinner.

Make your day feel like a bonus rather than a burden. Getting to your day as early as possible also makes you sharper and more energetic for the rest of the day you have before you.

5. Smile more

What’s your default expression that everyone sees? Apparently, mine is that I look focused and pensive. I may be thinking about this awesome restaurant that I’m dying to try. Or a beautiful suit that I saw and wondering if someone else has bought it. In other words, nothing mind altering or life changing, yet… So, I check myself throughout the day. I smile more, and not for a reason, but, just because. And I found that it can actually influence people.

 

6. You work for your employees, not the other way around

Only the best leaders realize this. A servant’s heart beats within the best leaders; they treat their employees with kindness, respect and empathy.

You would be amazed at how much more your employees will give you. They will bring their work to another level for you. They want to see you succeed, because you have made them feel and think that they matter.

As the economy changes, employee loyalty is down. Frustration is up. And great employees have options today. To keep employees’ long term, it’s not just about the pay, it’s about the people. If you serve them, they will serve you in turn, trust me.

 

Need help sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions? Send me an email and I will help keep you accountable!

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