As you consider 2016, commit to what makes you better, not what makes you a liar.
Resolutions will make a liar out of you every time! Instead, focus on the things you can control and achieve. It is all about your principles.
Here are 11 principles I am committed to in 2016.
- SET WRITTEN GOALS – Have WRITTEN goals that are achievable, but stretch you personally and professionally. However, make sure you have some that are easy wins. The easy wins motivate me to attack the more difficult one’s.
- BECOME A BETTER COMMUNICATOR – Learn to listen more and ask great questions. I had this on my list last year. Biggest issue I have. I love to hear my own voice. However, I found I can help more people by listening more than talking and engaging that person with relevant smart questions. As a better listener, I can serve those I lead and company employees better and more effectively.
- BECOME MORE ENGAGED – I continue to believe that every professional must be engaged in the work of those they lead, or as a safety professional, we must truly understand what people do, how they do it and what barriers exist. You can’t influence if you don’t know how to add value!! I put over 35,000 miles on my vehicle visiting locations and employees!
- BE MORE PATIENT – Learn to be more patient with people and be more patient for the desired results. Another challenge for me. Realize that it takes time to see results. Leaders are leading to change a culture. It takes time to change the way people think. Know what you want the end result to be and work steadily and patiently towards that.
- BREAK DOWN BARRIERS – Identify what is creating friction. Is it a person? a process?, lack of communication? Departments or individuals with competing agendas can slow or stall goals and affect company and individual performance. Realize we are not in competition with each other, but rather we are in competition with the competition. Be transparent, share information and help others succeed. Zig Ziglar said;
You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
- BECOME RESILIENT TO FAILURE – Along the same thought process as patience, you must become resilient to failure. Learn to fail forward. Your approach to failure will have an impact on the outcome. Embrace the failure and use it to gain success.
- BE PROACTIVE – Become more aware of trends within the organization. By listening to the talk and becoming aware of people’s actions, the words they choose and the trends within the industry, you can create or make changes to programs, goals and training that allows you to stay ahead of the “game”. For Safety Professionals like myself, that means a reduction of risk resulting in less incidents.
- TAKE MORE CHANCES -Ready, Fire, Aim!!! Doesn’t everyone in my group and company hear that a lot. Just ask them. I learned this term 25 years ago at another company. I believe if you don’t take chances, you won’t be successful. John Maxwell says, “first always wins”. Be creative. Think differently to solve problems or make things better. Identify what needs to be done, DO IT and we will improve it. If you never do it, you will never know the result.
- NETWORK MORE – Networking is the single greatest activity you can do to increase your net worth. My connection to an individual, put me in the position I hold now. I now make more money and have the best job I’ve ever had! It is frequently said that “it is not what you know but who you know”. It amazes my how many professionals do not make an effort to network. I lost my job in November 2008. It was through a former associate that I received my next job. Networking is crucial for career advancement and recognition as a true professional or expert. BE ACTIVE ON LINKED and keep your profile up to date. I am consistently surprised (shouldn’t be) at how many professionals (especially sales) do not even have a LinkedIn profile. You never know when you will need help and who can help!
- VOLUNTEER/SERVE MORE – Become active in your community, professional organizations, church , etc. JUST VOLUNTEER!! I volunteer on a couple of boards, I am President Elect (President in second half of year) for my local professional organization, AVP for the Regional Professional Organization, speak for free at multiple organizations and conferences, and volunteer my time with the local high schools in the OKC area. I believe this builds character and humility while making others better.
- INVEST IN YOURSELF – How can you lead others, if you don’t grow your yourself? You can’t!! READ,READ, READ…………….fiction and non-fiction. Reading stimulates the brain and expands your creativity. I use to hate to read, now I love it. My goal is to read at least 1 new book per month. Reading gives me a lot of my ideas and creates a sense of knowledge for solving most problems. If I don’t know the answer, I read. Commit to attending meetings, conferences and training that stretches you and provides a greater expansion of your personal and professional knowledge.
I quit making New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago. Ok, Ok, Ok, I will eat less fatty foods, cut down on the sweets (maybe) and exercise more. I never succeeded or followed through with many of my new year’s resolutions. Instead, I’ve learned to identify things I would do daily, monthly or throughout the year to make me an overall better person.
That’s how I came up with these 11 things. This isn’t the first time I wrote these. This has been my life for the last few years. These 11 principles continue to mold and shape me and will make me a better husband, father, GRANDFATHER (in April), professional, leader and overall a better person.