As you dive into 2019, you may stop to reflect on the past year. Perhaps you took some missteps on your leadership journey. Fret not! The dawning of a new year gives us the opportunity to start afresh. It is time to assess and gain clarity about where you are currently, and develop the courage to make the necessary changes that will catapult you to your wildest dreams as a leader.
Here are three important things to consider as you navigate your path this year:
What’s Your Purpose?
Without a clear purpose, your leadership will be ineffective. As Mark Twain succinctly puts it, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Speaker and leadership consultant Myles Munroe expounded a bit further when he also said:
“The greatest tragedy in life is not death but life without a purpose.”
Purpose dictates the direction of your life. It’s when you establish your underlying and overarching why. Are you excited about getting up in the morning to do what you do? The late Apple founder Steve Jobs said, “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
If what we do every day doesn’t align with our purpose, it’s time to make a change. And if you have a hard time doing so, try the 5 second rule proposed by Mel Robbins, which says: “If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.” I say, the longer the distance between ideation and execution, the more likely it is that no action will be taken.
What’s Your Plan?
As you embark on your journey in this new year, it is important to lead yourself by making plans and assessing where you are against the goals that you have set out to accomplish. Revisit the plans you made last year and compare them against what you accomplished to see the outcomes you had. Before creating any plan, you must have a clearly defined purpose; a solid and firm why must be established in order to make and execute plans for the future. I want to underscore the importance of setting goals. And not just goals, but goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound). Taking it a step further, set SMARTER (exciting, relevant) goals for yourself, a concept put forward by Michael Hyatt.
What’s Your Positioning?
By positioning, I mean: What is your mindset? It is important to develop the right way of thinking that will give you a leg-up to win in leadership. What does it mean to have the right mindset? It means your intention must be set on what you need to accomplish. As we have been reminded time and again, thoughts become things, therefore whatever you focus on gets magnified. As you set your intention and focus on the things you want rather than the things you don’t want, you begin the see them manifest. Whatever you want you have to put your energy behind it.
Identify what you value most and prioritize that over what you want now. At Leadercast Live 2018, Michael Hyatt put it this way: “Don’t let the ultimate suffer as a result of the immediate… Sometimes you have to delay gratification for the greater good,” he said. For example, if your ultimate goal is to lose 5 pounds in three weeks but your immediate want is to indulge in a heaping bowl of ice cream—no! Sacrifice the ice cream for the greater good of losing the weight.
As you position yourself to be the excellent leader you are, know that only you can determine the direction of your life. While you contemplate your purpose, make plans and position your attitudes, be sure to celebrate your successes and heed the lessons from your failures. Life is more about how you handle your circumstances rather than about the circumstances themselves.