Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! I hope you managed to get some mental downtime over the holiday, spend some time with family, recharge. A new chapter lies ahead with 365 chances to write another part to it and I’m excited to begin!
No doubt, 2019 has much in store, so before we get busy with it and it gets busy with us, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the choices we have and ground ourselves in those choices.
Regardless of what this year brings, the bottom line is that there is only one thing that we will remain in full control of, and that’s ourselves. Every moment, we have a choice as to how we respond to the world and who we show up as; and every morning we have a new chance to present that, regardless of how it went yesterday.
Some of us are great at planning, at goal setting, at resolutions. Others take it as it comes. And when we’re being tossed about by whatever this year brings, there will be two ways to handle it. We can be the cork on the ocean, rooted to nothing and swayed on every new wave; or we can more like a buoy, anchored in place and riding the waves whilst we shine a guiding light for others who are trying to navigate the year too. For it to be the latter, we need to decide what we’re anchored TO.
I’ve expressed my opinion before that each of us leads in some capacity in almost every arena of our lives. We certainly have the option to. Who we are influences and impacts many people on a daily basis and who we show up as sends out ripples into the world, the strength and reach of which we can’t predict.
If we decide what kind of leader we want to be, who we’re going to show up as, and we anchor ourselves to that ideal and practice it every day, we currently have 369 more chances left to hone that leader this year and to send our ripples accordingly. 359 opportunities to rise to whatever challenges are set for us and to guide those we lead towards their most expanded selves too.
Decide first who you’re going to be – which part of yourself you’re going to practice and anchor yourself to. Which ideals will be your reset point when 2019 proves challenging? What will you send out on those ripples you create – because THAT you have control over. The fabulous thing is that it’s all in the future – so set an ideal that speaks to who you’d like to become, even if you’re not sure you’re there yet.
Secondly, you can decide how much greatness you will allow the people that you lead to have. How much will you allow them to expand and grow? How much will you challenge them? 2018 seems to have been a challenging year worldwide. It definitely was in Zimbabwe, but I’ve seen messages bidding farewell to the year from the other side of the globe and asking “What….the hell….was that?!”. When we lose control in one area, it’s human nature to try and regain it in another. As leaders, that often means that we try and control the people we lead. When we try and control the people we lead, we destroy some of the most fundamental advantages of having a team. Advantages like multiple lines of thinking, the ability to collaborate and to share responsibility, to say nothing of the joy of being part of a happy team. We shut down other’s ability to grow towards their own potential when we try and control them. You can control processes. You can sometimes control outcomes. You cannot control people. You can, however, decide to ensure they stay small or give them the tools and guidance to blossom.
When I ask how much greatness you will allow the people you lead to have, I mean how much will you allow them to stretch, to grow, to develop and to lead in their own capacity. How much will you allow them to feel what it’s like to be electrified by the energy of collective engagement and team excitement and to know that you, as a leader, have a hand in generating and guiding that? How much of themselves will you guide them to realise? How much will you allow THEM to lead?
You have a moment now to decide who you’re going to be this year before 2019 decides for you, and then to anchor yourself to that so that you can reset to that point when you get thrown off.
Write it down. Declare it. Stick it up on your bathroom mirror where it looks you in the face at the start of each of your 359 opportunities.
by Christen Killick
January 7th, 2019