I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Generally speaking, I think a lot of people have good intentions, start well, and fizzle out shortly thereafter because they either lack a well defined plan or the motivation to change diminishes for various reasons. Not to mention, there’s nothing magical about January 1st of each year. I am; however, a fan of thoughtfully considering where one needs to make some modifications to improve an area or enhance an area of focus. If the start of a new year triggers us to evaluate those type things, then so be it.
For instance, during this past Thanksgiving holiday, I really gave some thought to a few areas that really needed to be addressed in my personal life. For one, I needed to be more committed to reading the Bible every day without fail. For me, that was something I normally did, but my discipline around that commitment had gotten very lax. Consequently, I committed to ensure that I would read/study every morning before I would watch any news or read anything else. That way, my perspective for the day would be improved prior to taking in any other information or influence. (well defined and easy to monitor plan).
Secondly, I had to be more regular in my exercise or workout routine. Because I travel frequently, I would need to have some flexibility; so I committed to just ensuring that I do something every day for at least 30 minutes. Some days would be more, but at least something every day, without fail. If I am going to continue to do things as I get older, I have to get and stay in better physical condition. (flexible to allow success but still focused on the end result).
We all have similar disciplines that it would help us to follow similar to those noted above. However, the most important item that was clear to me during this period of reflection was for me to further narrow my focus on what I really wanted to achieve. The word significance came to mind. Making sure I had a meaningful impact at home, at work, or whatever I was involved with in the coming year was/is the idea. I guess I have been focused on success for a long time, but significance seems to be more and more important as I get older.
You know, as leaders, significance should be something we all think about. Success can be more of a self-focused aspiration if we aren’t careful. We should all aspire to being a part of a successful organization. We all want to be successful as parents, in our personal life, or with anything we invest time in. However, I think it may be even more important to be significant. Significance ensures that we help others be successful. Significance gives meaning to the seemingly mundane discussions, routine tasks, or every day problem solving events for the leader. Significance means every day matters, and it matters to someone that we encounter that day. Significance just ensures that we are making a difference. It’s the “something” that we will one day reflect back on and realize it was worth the investment.
I don’t know what your word for the year would be, but that’s mine. You are welcome to use it too. If leaders aren’t impactful, then what are they? Significance; it is something for everyone in leadership to think about.