Twelve No-Compromise Resolutions for 2015

fresh_startAs we wrap up 2014, it’s the perfect time for business leaders to reflect on the year’s accomplishments, ponder the lessons from challenges overcome, and look to the New Year with anticipation, confidence and determination. It’s also a time to address those patterns of behavior that, much like a minefield of your own making, routinely cause things to blow up.

The annual practice of making New Year’s resolutions can lead to a lot of empty promises that you make to yourself. However, if you add a potent dose of No-Compromise Leadership thinking and behavior into the mix, you could enter 2015 on a road free of behavior minefields … but only if you are committed to the process.

The following twelve No-Compromise Resolutions represent the thinking and behaviors that we at Strategies encounter most often when coaching leaders. No doubt you will see yourself in some, though hopefully not all. Your challenge is to take decisive action and break free from the nonsense that stands in the way of you achieving your full potential.

Here are my twelve No-Compromise Resolutions for 2015:

  1. I must finish what I start: Planning is tough work. Executing a plan is even tougher work. It takes time. It takes change. It takes unwavering commitment, discipline and accountability. Execution is the commitment to carrying out a plan – in this case, it means promoting consistency and always getting what you start across the finish line. Execution in business requires a certain degree of suffering and discomfort, but it’s that suffering and discomfort that creates wins, breakthroughs and extraordinary success.
  2. I must pay attention to long-term employees: The great thing about long-term employees is that they know their work and require less supervision than the newbies. They earn your trust and you can count on their consistency and experience. For leaders, it’s easy to hone your focus in on the rookies and think that your long-term employees will just keep cranking away. In reality, long-term employees can feel unappreciated, neglected and resentful. That’s when they withdraw, becoming indifferent and inflexible. Remember, no employee is maintenance free – especially your long-term employees.
  3. I must have one set of rules for everyone: The moment you allow a select few employees to play by a different set of rules than the rest of the team, you create a toxic double standard that compromises your company’s culture. Long-term and top performing employees are role models, mentors and protectors of the company culture. Leaders that give in to entitlement behavior open the door to hostage management. Once you allow certain employees to play by different rules, your ability to lead based on trust, integrity and fairness is compromised – and difficult to regain.
  4. I must read and understand my financial reports: Can you read and understand every line item on your financial reports? This includes your Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Statement of Cash Flows. If not, what’s your plan to learn how? Financial reports are readouts of your company’s vital signs. They tell you if your company is healthy or sick. Understanding your financial reports is non-negotiable.
  5. I must live my cash-flow plan: If it’s not in the cash-flow plan, don’t spend it. Buy the “gotta haves” before the “nice to haves.” Does your company require purchase orders to control spending? Your cash-flow plan should be your boss.
  6. I must seek my own version of success: You are the only one who can define what success means to you. Chasing someone else’s dream will never fuel the fire in your gut or inspire you to give it your all. Passion, desire and a vision of what you want to achieve are the purest and most personal motivators for success. Some kids actually do grow up to be cowboys, firemen, doctors, artists, astronauts, leaders or entrepreneurs. If you want to change the world, you can and you will. If it truly and deeply matters to you, you will find your vision of success.
  7. I must stop obsessing over everything: Leaders are notorious for obsessing, and in the process, they spread their obsessive funk all over everyone. They disrupt workflow and productivity rather than improve it. Obsessing is worrying on steroids and the leadership voice that emerges from this all-consuming fog is often one of panic, fear and indecision. The cure comes from understanding the facts, establishing a time-based and realistic outcome, and taking action. Obsessive leaders stress everyone out and ultimately do more damage than the very thing they were obsessing over.
  8. I must stop tolerating the intolerable: When lackluster performance or “I don’t care … It’s not my job” indifference surfaces … when waste, inefficiency, and mediocrity become the norms … you truly see what “intolerable toleration” is all about. Luckily, recognizing “intolerable toleration” leads you to a moment of truth about your leadership and where your company is going. Do you want to endure another year or two of what you don’t like – or are you ready to take action? Fact: Intolerable tolerations become more embedded in the collective thinking and behavior of your company each day that you allow them to continue.
  9. I must seize the moment: Your employees are waiting for you to lead and point the way to a better tomorrow. Your customers – past, current and future – are waiting to once again experience the extraordinary delight of doing business with a winner. But while they’re waiting, the gradual defection to the competition has already begun. It’s time to hit the Reset button and seize the moment. 2015 is a fresh new year of opportunity. The clock is ticking.
  10. I must stop meddling: Delegation and empowerment mean trusting the process. If you assign a project or responsibility, and then butt in and take it over, rest assured you will drive your employees crazy. Employees process such nonsense as disrespectful and demeaning. Their brains ask, “Why did you assign me this task and then take all my hard work and redo it? Why didn’t you take the time to clarify exactly what you wanted in the first place?” Taking over projects you’ve asked others to complete is not leadership, it’s demotivating and demoralizing. No-Compromise leaders delegate and empower … and then get out of the way.
  11. I must push forward when others do not: In business, fear is like cement. It’s heavy and the only way to get out of it is to blow it up. As business leaders, we are surrounded by situations and circumstances that feed fear. Only you can decide how to react and maintain your perspective. You can hunker down and hope for the best, or you can confront fear with action. The best question to ask is, “What’s the worst that can happen if I push forward?” It’s interesting how quickly a shift in thinking can blow fear away.
  12. I must believe in myself: You may question your abilities, but you can strengthen them. You may doubt yourself, but you can break through those doubts and emerge confident and determined. You may think that you are not worthy of achieving extraordinary success, but that’s just you being humble … and that’s OK.

Thank you for reading another year’s worth of my Monday Morning Wake Ups. It’s hard to believe, but this MMWU wraps up year number seven!

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and most prosperous New Year.

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Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click above to comment.

Pass this e-mail on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They will appreciate it.


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