Business Resolutions for 2016

As the year draws to a close, allow me to suggest resolutions for the New Year that are appropriate for the leaders of every size and type of organization.

Many individuals create a list of resolutions. These thoughts are well meaning attempts to change ourselves or our environment to make the year just ahead less stressful, more productive and overall, better.

Only the top executive can create goals, strategies and plans for the organization they are responsible for leading. Unfortunately, these resolutions often don’t get past the wishful thinking stage and even if they do, the top executive rarely shares what they are thinking about how to make the company better.

So, for those of you who truly seek significant change, take the time to think through not just the “what to do” but the “why we are doing it” and the “how it will be done” of your resolutions.

Please use my list only as a starting point for your thinking and planning:

Have a written plan for your organization. It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t even have to consist of many words. It does need to be filled with realistic goals and actions that can actually be accomplished during the year.

As the top executive, make a decision to see more clients this year. If they cannot be met with in person, pick up the phone and call them. Calendar those to see and call, and stick with it.

Set up a 12 month rolling calendar for your organization. This one tool addresses many communication issues that once you create it you will wonder why you didn’t do it before.

Make a commitment to talk less and to listen more. Do this by asking questions and not sharing the answers.

Establish a goal to leave work at the same time each day. Once this self imposed deadline is in place, you will be amazed at how productivity soars.

Hold fewer meetings. Make sure that when a meeting is held, there is a printed agenda, someone facilitates, there is time allocated for each major subject under discussion and that at the end, and someone recaps who has ownership of the key action items and follow up required.

Schedule your vacation days and get them on the calendar. Actually take the time off.

Invite your management team out of the office for a day in January and create a plan for the year.

Provide verbal evaluations of your personnel this year using a four step program. First, tell the person what they are great at. Second, tell them what they need to focus on in terms of improvement. Third, ask them what you can do to help them in their areas of focus. Fourth, tell them how they can help you.

Start your day by having a to do list to keep focused. At lunch, update and reprioritize the list.

Resolve to understand that the role of a leader in any organization is that of a teacher. Regardless of where someone is placed on the org chart, everyone wants to know “why are we doing this?” and the leader is the one person who can answer the question best.

Set a goal to make 2016 your personal best year ever. Don’t let the daily hassles of life and business stand in your way of achieving your own goals for health, relationships and learning.