The New Year's Resolution That Every Leader Should Have
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I’m Dr. Chris White, New York Times best-selling author and Ph.D. statistician. In a minute, I'm going to tell you the new year's resolution that every leader needs to make, including you. But first, as we think about the new year, you can already see I'm dressed in my workout clothes and doing left bicep reps with this dumbbell.
I need to work out both arms, though, so with my right arm I’m pumping something different - a nice yummy doughnut! How’s that for balance in life? That’s tasty!
If you think that’s bad, let me share with you some really funny new year’s resolutions I ran across that might be even worse. One person said, “This year I promise to stop correcting your terrible spelling and focus more on your pathetic grammar.” Nice! Another said, “I resolve to make better bad decisions.” Another wrote, “I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I didn’t become a better person.” One last one - I saw a funny one where the person had marked out the old year and just wrote the new year over it but changed two items on the same list. He changed “Lose weight” to “Lose more weight...again” and he marked out “Stand up to my boss” and changed it to “Find another job.” Uh-oh!
Well, it looks like there are a lot of bad resolutions out there. So what is this resolution that I’m suggesting every leader should have? It’s certainly none of the ones I’ve shared so far! The new year’s resolution that every leader should have is this: “Know my one thing.”
What is the one behavior you could focus on to get better? What is the #1 personal constraint you could zoom in on and make progress? Do you know what yours is? Are you 100% sure?
An equally important question right now is, “Why? Why does knowing my one thing really matter that much?” Should you just take my word for it? Let me answer that by giving you the four categories of people ATTEMPTING to answer this very question, “What is my #1 constraint?” You fall into one of these four groups.
Group 1: They don’t know. They don't know what their one thing is. Well, uh-oh - if you don’t know it, then you can’t grow it.
Group 2: They know. They know what their one thing is, but they’re wrong. Uh-oh, that's not good - they're moving sideways, or maybe even backward!
Group 3: They know, and they’re right, but they don’t have a plan. A lot of us are in this category - we have a good idea of what to work on but just don’t know where to start.
Group 4: They know, and they’re right, AND they have a plan! This is the group I want you and me to be in.
Think about the two big payoffs for being in Group 4. First, they know what to work on. Think of how much more effective you can be if you truly know what to work on. Second, they have a plan. What would a clear and customized plan to break that constraint be worth to you? What kind of difference could that make in your life, to your team? To your teachers? To your schools...your students? Wow! Just think about the ripple of positive impacts that comes from having a laser focus on changing that one thing. Now think about what it could cost you if you don’t work on your one thing? If I stay unaware, my constraint keeps holding me back...keeps limiting my influence...keeps causing misfires and conflict.
Well, maybe you aren’t sure what your #1 constraint is. Or maybe you are pretty sure but aren’t sure how to tackle it while still being true to yourself. Well, that’s one way we can help. We bring science and experience to make sure you know and that you have a plan. Contact us if you’d like more information - we’d be honored to help. Another way to get started would be to click the link below to download our Overcoming Personal Constraints e-book that I co-authored.
While you think about what your #1 thing is, I’m going to finish my workout with a few more reps of this doughnut!