How was 2015 for you? Great year? Could have been better? No matter whether you want more or less of what you got last year, here’s 5 strategies that can lead to great results if you practice them relentlessly. No need for New Year’s Resolutions, when you move into action on these. The key is to have someone hold you accountable.
1. Identify Your Four (4) Goals for 2016. Choose two personal goals which will make you a happier person. The other two goals are business goals, which when achieved will positively impact your career or your enterprise. Follow Dr. Ron Smith’s ABCs of goal setting – make them Achievable, Believable, and Commit yourself to work on them.
2. Find your Purpose. Why are you on this planet? According to Shawn Murphy of The Switch and Shift Change Playbook, your purpose is “the perfect intersection between ‘what you love doing’, ‘what you are great at’, ‘what the world needs’ and ‘what you are paid for’. Your purpose gets you up in the morning and keeps you working late…and it helps you achieve sustainable economic success.”
3. Build your Entourage of Trusted Advisors. Most of us spend a lot of time on social media. Commit to reduce your time online and spend more time meeting face-to-face with influencers. Join or create a group of peers who are respected and successful. (Yes, it can be a Vistage CEO or Trusted Advisor group, like those I chair or ‘do it yourself’. Just do it.) Leaders are not successful alone or living in the virtual world. They have real-life trusted advisors and collaborators around them. Make it your first priority to support trusted advisors with thoughtful insights, your own experiences, introductions and collaborations. Don’t expect anything in return. After giving generously, it’s your turn to ask for support. If you don’t get anything from the group, it may be because you haven’t made specific requests or haven’t proven yourself ‘trust-worthy’ Trusted relationships are a critical component of achieving your goals.
4. Think and Feel Abundance. Live your life with an abundant mentality, not a scarcity mindset, regardless of your financial situation. Create a personal culture of curiosity, generosity and caring about others. It’s clear from the experiences of successful people, that what ever we put out to the universe is what we get back. If you focus on not having enough, that’s what comes back. When you focus on gratitude for what you have, you get more of what you want. With an abundance mindset we see opportunities and new chances, rather than fear, anxiety and desperation. Watch the new film, JOY, to see both in action. You’ve heard it before, but probably didn’t do it: Write down 1 or 2 things you’re grateful for every night before you go to sleep. Sweet dreams. Expect the best!
5. Listen More and Talk Less. We are a nation of talkers – talk shows, politicians, pundits, professors and know-it alls. The most under-used communication skill is listening. The easiest way to become a good listener is to put your natural curiosity to work. Learn to ask great questions to your customers and your team. Questioning will help you discover what your customers want from your company. Show you care by asking your employees questions instead of telling them how to do it better. You may be surprised when they become more engaged and more productive. Use questioning to keep millennials working effectively and staying longer. Your team will perform better, because when you listen you are a better leader. Remember without a great coach, even the most skilled players won’t win the Super Bowl.
–Leslie Grossman, Vistage Chair, leadership coach and author Link Out: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections (Wiley)