Happy New Year to all the subscribers of this weekly newsletter. I greatly appreciate your support, your ideas and your feedback. I hope you enjoy a purposeful, meaningful and rewarding year ahead as we transition from 2023 to 2024.

As we complete this calendar year, we have a wonderful opportunity to pause and think. Given how busy most leaders are each day, there is a strong temptation to acknowledge the conclusion of the year and then quickly move on to the next project, the next priority, the next task.
Please do not fall prey to that common temptation.

Take some time to engage in a one-person retreat with yourself.

Find a comfortable, supportive and quiet place.

Bring out a pen and paper, a journal or your cell phone. Give yourself permission to ask yourself some challenging and meaningful questions which address the past and the future:

-What were your most significant accomplishments this past year?

-What were your major mistakes or failures this past year?

-What lessons did you learn from those successes and from those failures?

-How can you best apply those lessons moving forward in 2024?

-What key relationships did you build or strengthen this past year?

-What can you do to continue strengthening those relationships in the new year?

-Who among your colleagues do you want to target for strengthening relationships in the year ahead?

-What goals were you able to achieve in the past 12 months?

-What goals do you choose to set for yourself in 2024?

If you have trouble answering some of these questions, find help from trusted confidantes: a friend, a longtime colleague or your significant other. Allow them to help you articulate your best responses. Save those responses in a safe place. Then review them periodically throughout the coming year. Twelve months from now, you can revisit all your answers and create new responses that look back at 2024 and ahead to 2025.

Another way to pause and reflect on our leadership is to focus on those people who have assisted in our leadership journey. I came across this valuable blog post last week, courtesy of my friend Aimee Segal and the author, Adam Danyal from “Leadership Right.” I wanted to share this wisdom with you:

“Who’s in the Car with You into 2024?”

“As leaders, we often feel like we’re driving solo – navigating twisting roads filled with obstacles, making split-second decisions, forging our own path. It can feel lonely and daunting at times.

But take a look around. Who’s actually riding with you on this leadership journey?

Your team, of course. The people who support you and help propel collective success. But also mentors, coaches, trusted advisors. They’re your copilots and backseat drivers, offering guidance so you stay the course.

And let’s not forget about the “ghosts” in the back – history’s great leaders riding along, their teachings echoing through time. Imagine Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. side-by-side, reminding you that progress takes perseverance.

Surround yourself with team members who bring skills you lack. Mentors who share hard-won wisdom. Friends who speak truth, not just reassurance. Voices that enlighten, not just validate. People who lift you higher.

Tune out the detractors trying to hitch an unwanted ride. And glance in the rearview mirror less – dwelling on the past distracts from the road ahead.

Instead, look to those riding with you now. Let them guide and push you. Plan mutual detours for growth.

This shared journey requires trust on winding roads, patience over rough terrain. But progress depends on the company you keep. And arriving safely requires holding each other accountable.

If yes, floor it. Together, you’ll all cross the finish line.”

Happy New Year. Focus on those things within your control to make your 2024 as rewarding and effective as possible.

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