As we all know, the arrival of the holidays typically prepares many of us for the equally reliable arrival of our desire to set a new goal for the coming year. And while most goals are developed and set in place for us to pursue with timelines and timeframes borne from opportunity, it’s the “New Year’s” variety that we place a very unique and amplified importance upon.
So much so, we call it a resolution.
A resolution is, by definition, a mindset—and an absolute mindset at that. Consider the definitions within most dictionaries:
- “The act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.”;
- “A decision or determination”;
- The mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
The idea of a resolution has a unique dual existence of sorts. It holds a sense of achievement when we arrive at our stated level of effort, and when we don’t, an immensely powerful sense of resignation, even disappointment. Think about the variety of personal resolutions many of us have pursued: weight loss, to quit smoking, to learn a musical instrument, to read more, to go back to school…While some of these have been achieved with greater success than others, it’s the resolutions we don’t achieve that quite often have a more lasting impact.
For some leaders, the existence of an objective we have ‘…resolved to achieving…’ can also cause some within the organization to resort to less-honorable methods to not let the rest of the team down—if we fail to emphasize the equally-important absolute of goals. And that is—
All goals, and the methods we choose to use to achieve them, must be ethical.
The mere pursuit of an organization pursuing an unprecedented level of performance in a given area is worth little if it comes at the cost of personal, group or organizational principles. While highly successful leaders continuously seek new standards of excellence, the concept of ethicalexcellence is always prevalent in the organization’s purpose, role and performance in each and every member. And the highly successful leader makes sure of it.
What are the organizational goals of 2015 we as leaders are preparing for our teams right now? Are we defining ethical methods, strategies and resource development programming that will support the work toward that goal, and the people doing those tasks? Have we taken the time to make sure our personal and organizational development includes the requisite balance between technical skills maintenance as well as growth in both personal and institutional values and ethical conduct? And perhaps most importantly, are we as leaders participating and in fact demonstrating that learning?
Or, more specifically, in what ways do you and your team members seek to universally change the image, presence, brand or standards of your company—and perhaps the industry it seeks to lead?
As these resolutions for our organizations are being developed and soon put into the vision of our co-workers, we may do well to take the time to thoughtfully, and candidly, examine the previous year or more to understand the appropriateness and relevance of the new overarching objective we aspire to.
And as we look back, it is imperative that we are candid about our own roles as leaders. Have we provided a consistent and ethical example? Have we grown from our assignments, job duties, responsibilities and opportunities—just as we have challenged our co-workers to do so? Have we demonstrated the type of example to our colleagues that shows a genuine desire to grow in our role and profession, including how we improve from the learning provided through our mistakes? Have we sought the perspective of others among the team to validate and verify our perceptions?
As each of us knows from having accomplished resolutions in the past—personal dedication and commitment, along with the active support of others—are among the most unrelenting and powerful recipes for success.
Therefore, if we have made these thoughtful considerations, we can be highly confident that we have accurately evaluated and incorporated these assessments into the organizational “New Year’s Resolution” we have begun to prepare our teams for, and to achieve.