The beginning of a new year is a great time to pause, ponder and reset. There is always excitement attached to the new. Be it a new season, a new assignment or a new role. It is the sense of expectation, freshness and hope that makes the new exciting. So, it is with a new year.
Technically speaking, a new day is just another rotation of the earth on its axis and a new year is one revolution of earth around the sun. Every year, the the earth takes 365.25 rotations (while it is revolving around the sun) but while making the calendar we ignore that 0.25 for three years and add an extra day in fourth year (giving us a leap year). So, if you think of it logically, just because the earth rotates on its axis 365 odd times and revolved around the sun once; doesn’t in any way change my personal effectiveness, results or efficiency. The expectation and aspiration of the new in our life is largely an outcome of change, decisions and re-calibration that we are willing to make. I guess it was Einstein who succinctly amplified this point through his quote: “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”. In short, nothing will change unless we choose to make the change.
As I pondered over this truth, I asked myself this question: “What areas would I really want to focus on this year to maximize my leadership impact and influence?” That’s when I arrived at these five leadership resolutions:
I COMMIT TO BE WILLING TO LEARN
I am committed to continual learning. The willingness to be a continual learner is clearly a must have in the leadership armory. Feeding the mind a healthy diet is akin to nutritious food for the stomach or fuel for an automobile. Knowledge requires updation, wisdom requires pursuit and understanding requires a desire to learn. Life is busy but don’t allow the busyness to prevent you from being effective. Make time to learn. Create learning time slots during the week. Read up, study up and learn up. Effective leaders are life-long learners.
I COMMIT TO FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT
I will focus on what’s important. As I analyse the year that’s gone by and how I spent my time using the ‘Eisenhower Urgent-Important Matrix’; I recognize that the important-and-urgent section is the most well-populated quadrant. This indicates that I have spent a large chunk of my time fire-fighting. A quadrant that I could have used more was the important-but-not-urgent quadrant. It’s here that the important aspects of leadership and life get done like self development, building relationships, planning and even thinking. Because the quadrant is labelled important-but-not-urgent, we tend to make it a lesser priority which is a presumptuous error. When the important is focused on, effectiveness is enhanced; but when it is neglected, we end up sacrificing the important for the urgent.
I COMMIT TO CREATING VALUE
I want to revisit how I measure effectiveness. There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to look at how much stuff got done and the second is to understand how much value was created. The problem with the sole focus on only getting stuff done is that we operate largely out of a transactional mindset — a ‘tick-the-box’ perspective where the objective is just to get the job done. While being intentional about creating value, the focus is on impact and being productive. The objective here is what impact was created. The ultimate goal of each interaction, assignment or project — big or small — should be value creation.
I COMMIT TO BUILDING OTHERS UP
I want to be intentional in building others up. If I can assist people I interact with to recognize their potential and support them in converting it into performance; I believe I would have done well. This would require me be less selfish and more selfless in my interactions and to not be held hostage by the WIIFM- “What’s In It For Me” phenomena. It will require me to respect people while being committed to the task as well as to be aware that people have emotions unlike robots and therefore I need to be proactively emotionally intelligent in my interactions.
I COMMIT TO MAINTAINING A BALANCE
I choose to pursue balance in all aspects of life. Balance helps us to stand straight and to remain standing in life. It is imperative to first learn to balance in order to walk or to cycle. So it is with every aspect of life! When balance is lost, you are bound to tumble sooner rather than later. There is no point being a rock star at work but a failure at home or trying to be happy at home but a failure at work; or pursuing wealth by sacrificing health. Holistic effectiveness requires balance. A trade off may not always be possible and so maintaining balance is critical.
In conclusion, even as the earth continues to rotate around its axis and revolve around the sun in perfection; it indeed is an appropriate time to pause, ponder and make the right changes in order to be an effective leader both personally and publicly.
Rajiv Chelladurai, is a certified Executive & Life Coach besides a certified EQi coach & assessor. Stepping away from a successful career he has chosen to pursue his purpose of assisting people to practice personal leadership. Rajiv is an author and an accomplished speaker