“10 New Year’s Resolutions for the Servant Leader “


While the New Year may have already begun, it is never too late to set some goals. As the year winds down, many leaders are preoccupied with the question of how to be more effective in the New Year, so take the time to evaluate now. According to a study at the University of Scranton, nearly 45 percent of Americans report setting New Year’s resolutions. Here are my 10 New Year’s resolutions for servant leaders in 2014:

(10) Fight the gravitational pull of today. My role, and yours, Is to create the future. I suggest leaders invest enough time and mental energy to see it, marshal the resources to fund the journey and help chart the courses to make it a reality. Be careful….without focused effort, today always pushes out tomorrow.

(9) Focus on individual team members – not just the team. Since each member of the team is unique, leaders must remember that what motivates and inspires one is not always the same for the next.

(8) Identify specific improvement targets. When leaders focus time, energy, and resources on problems or opportunities, progress is made. This applies to life, the team, and the organization. Generalities don’t drive improvement – specifics do.

(7) Value people and results. The best leaders value results and relationships. Since most people have a natural bias toward one or the other, I suggest that leaders value both the people and their production to obtain desired results. If you can get results without others, you’re not leading.

(6) Walk the talk. I’m not perfect, not by a long shot. However, the people we lead don’t really expect perfect. What followers expect, and deserve, is the integrity that comes with attempting, on a daily basis, to align our words and our actions. People always watch the leader.

(5) Learn something every day. Leaders are learners – period. If you stop learning, your leadership journey is over. While it may be a while before it actually ends, I liken it to cutting down a living tree. The tree will still have leaves on the branches for a while, but the tree is already dead- even if it doesn’t know it yet

(4) Fight pessimism in your life. Since each member of the team is unique, leaders must remember that what motivates and inspires one is not always the same for the next.

(3) Own mistakes and share praise. Since each member of the team is unique, leaders must remember that what motivates and inspires one is not always the same for the next.

(2) Be more courageous –daily. Since each member of the team is unique, leaders must remember that what motivates and inspires one is not always the same for the next.

(1) Think others first. This is the genesis of servant leadership. If we slip into the quicksand of self, we will not lead for long. People want to follow a leader who has their best interest at heart. Servant leaders don’t think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less often.

Striving to implement these ten resolutions in my own life, I invite leaders to share their New Year’s resolutions with me on the blog.

“10 Ways to Focus on Safety”, taken from www.ifma.org/FM, adapted from US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Culture Communicator, March 2012