It’s that time of year again… the end of the old and bringing in the new. We look to the New Year and engage in the process of setting goals for 2016.
Statistics tell us that somewhere around February or March, our new goals become old thoughts, which are eventually forgotten. For that reason, I’m not a big proponent of New Year’s resolutions.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in goal setting and benchmarking our successes or failures. I just want my efforts to be based on more than shortsighted goals upon which I will not follow through.
As I look back on 2015, I realize that it is not the goals I did or didn’t achieve that cause me concern. It is how I handled the struggles that confronted me that give me pause. The differentiating factor between strong and mediocre leaders is their ability to walk through difficult situations in a way that leads to growth instead of bitterness or defeat.
As I reflect on the most significant events in my leadership, by far the most powerful were those that derived from difficult circumstances. They were not easy or enjoyable, but they were powerful. Some I handled in a positive manner, others I did not. In those where I fumbled the ball, the cost was at times high, as I had to clean up my mistakes.
My New Years resolution is not that I will be perfect in 2016, for that is irrational. Instead, it is that when (not if) I make a bad call, I will own it, learn from it, and not repeat it. That goes for my personal as well as my professional life. It is my desire to continue to grow in my ability to navigate difficult situations. That, I think, is a goal worth having in 2016.
Choose to examine how you lead through difficult situations, and you will make a difference!