Monthly Archives: January 2019

Leadership Lessons from 2018

Leadership requires emotional maturity as well as intelligence.Have you noticed how valuable it can be to simply pay attention to what’s going on? As leader of your company, you can benefit from critically observing the good, the bad, and the ugly emanating from leaders in the limelight. It is my nature to highlight the positive lessons you can absorb from others. I’m going to deviate from that nature today. I simply cannot ignore the barrage of clear lessons of what not to do that have come our way recently. Here are my top picks:

  • Publicly belittling your perceived foes using childish language – not good.
  • Publicly berating key members of your management team – poison.
  • Falling in love with a project and refusing to let it die, even in the face of new developments that would compel a dispassionate observer to change course – not smart.

You wouldn’t be running an organization if you weren’t at least sensitive to these exhibitions of incompetence. Continue to observe what eventually comes from possessing healthy grey matter but lacking emotional maturity, and learn from it. 

Hold on! I almost forgot two of the most important lessons to be learned from last year.

  • Do not use social media of any type to communicate anything serious about your organization – totally inappropriate. 
  • Lying is bad form – period.
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Take Stock

Year-end summary; strategic plan; year in reviewAs a coach of entrepreneurs and small business owners, I’ve encouraged my clients to create a “Letter to Stakeholders” that concisely summarizes each year. The letter consists of three short paragraphs: highlights of accomplishments; comments on the disappointments or shortfalls; and a statement of the most important objectives for the upcoming year. More recently, I’ve broadened my recommendation to include additional lenses through which to view the past twelve months. 

One such lens is Personal Accomplishments, a list of personal milestones that don’t directly apply to your role leading your business. This is normally a short list – sometimes a single item. But that single item can be significant. 

Examples range from guitar lessons to starting a vegetable garden; from taking up cycling to becoming treasurer for your place of worship; from coaching your child’s little squirts team to learning to prepare Swedish meatballs. 

As with your Letter to Stakeholders, it’s worth taking the time to write down your personal accomplishment(s) and ponder them. It will not take you long to record them, and only a little longer to also record why each accomplishment is important.

The audience for whom you are writing is…you. The thinking that goes into your list creation will inspire your ongoing personal growth.

I’m still passionate about the value of your Letter to Stakeholders, but the Personal Accomplishments list can be just as powerful for a workaholic like you. It provides a reminder that you are more than your business.