By Phillip Weiss and Teresa Edmondson
Greetings for the New Year!
Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back. If anyone was a thoughtful, purposeful leader, it was Lincoln. His natural introversion and penchant for reading and thought probably kept him focused on the bigger picture. It protected him from “shooting from the hip” or getting swept away by the emotions of his time. He was bigger than the circumstances that surrounded him.
Lincoln intuitively understood that before he could lead a nation, he first had to lead himself.
We’re convinced that self-leadership is the “secret sauce” or the “holy grail” of great leadership. But it doesn’t just happen. We must be purposeful and intentional, as we like to say.
Launching into the new year, we’re challenging you to carve out time, glean from last year, and create a plan for leading yourself in the new year. Jinny Ditzler, author of Your Best Year Yet, has created a helpful template for this with her 10 questions for your consideration. These are:
- What did I accomplish?
- What were my biggest disappointments?
- What did I learn? (Guidelines for the new year)
- How do I limit myself? What do I say about myself to explain my failures?
- What are my core personal values?
- What roles do I play in my life?
- What are my goals for each role?
- Which role is my major focus for the new year?
- What are my top 10 goals for the new year?
- What can I do to ensure the accomplishment of these goals?
And, we are adding one more question to the list:
- What key relationships should I focus on developing in the new year, personal or professional?
Let’s be honest, whether you’re leading at home or work, the quality of your relationships will impact the outcome of a project as well as your overall wellbeing. Period. You could be the smartest person at the table, but if you cannot effectively manage important relationships, you probably won’t get the results you’re looking for.
So, to start:
- Find a time and place where you won’t be distracted – this is time just for YOU.
- Shut off computer and phone notifications.
- Take a note pad or your computer for writing.
- Contemplate the questions.
- Write down your answers to create a first draft.
- Set it aside for a time.
- Come back to it.
- Rewrite your final draft.
- Keep it in a place where you can review it from time-to-time.
Here’s the link to Jinny’s book if you want to dig deeper:
We’ll be checking in with you on this in the next blog or two. And, as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for questions, thoughts, or help.
 Forbes reports a remarkable study about goal-setting carried out in the Harvard MBA Program. Harvard’s graduate students were asked if they have set clear, written goals for their futures, as well as if they have made specific plans to transform their fantasies into realities.
The result of the study was only 3 percent of the students had written goals and plans to accomplish them, 13 percent had goals in their minds but haven’t written them anywhere and 84 percent had no goals at all.
After 10 years, the same group of students were interviewed again and the conclusion of the study was totally astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, earned twice the amount of the 84 percent who had no goals. The 3 percent who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent of the class combined.
From Damien Pros, Elitedaily, June 30, 2015