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Don’t Make New year’s Resolutions! Make New Year’s Visions instead

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

At this time of the year I always remember a client of mine from way back who doesn’t believe in making New year’s resolutions. He says it is mostly a waste of time. I like listening to his ideas because he became a very successful leader whose career has taken him around the World in the pharmaceutical industry.

However, he does have a yearly routine every new year, he checks and sometimes changes his vision statement. Each January he reviews his written-out vision statement which consists of two parts:

  1. What is my personal vision for what I want to be as a husband, father and member of my family and community?

  2. What is my professional vision for where I want to be as a leader in my industry?

Sometimes the vision statement stays the same and in some years he makes changes and adjustments. For example, one year world events led him to decide to be a more active member in an NGO that was working with disease eradication in the Third World. And at several points in his career he has modified his vision of how he wants to be a leader as the pharmaceutical industry changes, as it did rapidly at the beginning of this century.

Once he’s checked his vision statement, only then does he decide on one or two actions to support the statement. For example, one year he decided to become a very active trustee of the board of his NGO, instead of being a simple member, somewhat on the sidelines of the real action. And another year, on a professional level, he decided to switch from the traditional pharmaceutical industry to the burgeoning, higher risk biotech sector. In each case he then set specific New year’s resolutions to do so.

This approach is the very effective one of putting objectives before action. We find our most successful participants in our leadership programs use it in their decision making and, what is more, they actively coach their teams to think first through the ‘Why’ of a decision before leaping to specific actions. Some of you may also recognize in this approach Stephen Covey’s second principle of highly effective people, ‘Envision the life you want’, before deciding on actions to achieve your vision.

When we are coaching leaders and potential leaders, we often find that focusing on setting a vision before deciding on specific actions is frequently a simple, but highly effective breakthrough development action for their growth from being average to becoming above-average in their leadership skills. Make a New Year’s resolution to try it!

Want to know more about our leadership programs and profiles?

· Individual Leadership (360° profiles, training, coaching)

· Team leadership (Survival simulations, case studies, etc.)

· Organizational leadership (culture surveys, engagement surveys, satisfaction surveys, etc.)

Tel : 514-485-4900

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