It’s the beginning of the year. And each year we get into this ritual of creating New Year Resolutions. A list of personal goals and achievements we hope to accomplish throughout the year. Beyond creating a personal new year resolution, leaders should be well served to create your new year resolution that’s specific to leadership role. This can overlap with your personal new year resolution. But something that addresses how you want to impact your team is highly recommended.
In creating your New Year Resolution as a leader, the similar process can be applied. Think about what you want to achieve and list it down. However, those resolutions must be realistic and attainable. Something such as getting a promotion one level above where you are today is possible and reasonable. Hoping to go from a low level manger to a VP or Director of a company is likely not realistic. Especially if your company is a large enterprise.
As you’re thinking about putting together your New Year Resolution, here are some questions you should consider. It can help guide you put together a solid New Year Resolution that you can be proud to say you’ve achieved your goals when you review them.
1. Review – Before putting “ink to paper”, review your past New Year Resolutions, if you have them. Did you achieve them? Why or why not? If you have the advantage of being able to refer to past New Year Resolutions, it can help you understand where you stand and better guide you into building this year’s New Year Resolution.
2. For you – The first thing I like to do in building my New Year Resolution is to have something for me personally. Something that I’d like to achieve for my personal career. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a promotion or a reward of any kind. It could be something as simple as challenging myself to take on a certain amount of new projects. Projects that I personally would feel challenged with.
3. Your team – Always think about your team when creating your New Year Resolution. But it doesn’t mean you have to set anything. Consider what you would like to challenge and help your team achieve this year. If there’s nothing interesting here, then move on. But at the very least consider it.
4. Member – Similar to considering to create a New Year Resolution for your team, consider it for individual members in your team. It doesn’t mean that you have to have one for each member. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you have to have one at all. Just spend the time to see who, how and if it makes sense for you to create one for any of your members. Those who gets your attention and support will cherish it more than you can imagine.
5. Short-term – Low hanging fruits are must have in creating New Year Resolution. That means that having short-term easy to achieve resolution helps you continue to pursue the other resolutions that are more difficult. If you don’t have any sense of success or accomplishments, it’s easy to give up and forget about all the goals you’ve set out.
6. Long term – Having short-term goals are great. The long term goals are more interesting and gives you a greater sense of accomplishments when you achieve it. Long term goals could be something that will take at least half, or even the entire year, to achieve. It could be as bold as a multi year goal. But I think long term goals are must have for any individuals, particularly leaders.
7. Skills – Consider your professional skill sets and where your weakness may be. This is a great opportunity for you to figure out how you can patch your area of weakness and possibly even make it part of your strength. One of the worst thing I think is detrimental to leaders is their lack of personal awareness of weaknesses. Make honest reflection of yourself, for you. You need not share this with anyone else.
8. Education – I personally like to take a look around my industry around this time of year. I look for any new trends, techniques and technologies that have surfaced. Being in the IT industry, something new is constantly popping up. It’s easy to fall behind or miss a few things. Look around and educate yourself. You don’t need to sign up for class room training. There are plenty of information, research articles and even free videos available for you online. You just have to put in the effort to find it.
9. Relationships – One of the most important things we hold is the relationships we have with others. Ask yourself if there are relationships with any of your members you want to improve. Are there any new connections you want to make that you think is mutually beneficial for you and the opposite party. Remember to give as much as you get, if not more.
10. Reality Check – At the end of the process, go back and look at it one more time before you say that you’re done. Ask yourself if the New Year Resolution you’ve just put together is realistic. Be honest about it. Having a reality check could be the simple difference between success and failure.
Not everyone spends the time and effort to put together a New Year Resolution. Most who do gives up on them before the end of January. It’s funny, but also disheartening. Spend the time for yourself to create your New Year Resolution as a leader. Be honest and realistic about it. Set yourself up to achieve your goals and those around you will appreciate you for it.
Photo by: Tim Mossholder
Denny Nguyen, a veteran IT leader and experienced operational manager with 15+ years working in the software and software related service industry. Currently, Denny oversees global operations of LogiGear including IT infrastructure and services, and facility worldwide and marketing and business development for the APAC region.
Started out as a test engineer, Denny has excelled his career into project management, IT management, account management, customer relation management, and marketing and sales management. In 2004, when LogiGear began to establish its present in Vietnam with two Software Testing & Research centers in Saigon and the third center in 2009 in Danang, Denny was instrumental and the key leader who was chartered to build out the entire foundation and infrastructure for LogiGear to grow for the next twenty years.