5 Ways to Bring Your Leadership to Life in 2014

2014 is in full swing! What is on the horizon for you this year?

Complete this sentence: This is my year to ________________.

There are a number of important statements I am making to myself and for myself this year.

  • This is my year to focus on what matters most in my life.
  • This is my year to learn.
  • This is my year to grow.
  • This is my year to more fully bring my leadership to life.

What would it mean to bring your leadership to life this year? I have been spending time reflecting on how I am called to lead and what leadership roles are most important in my life. This year I will strive to more fully bring my leadership to life by remembering this simple statement, “Every time I say yes to something, I say no to something else.” I want this to be a year of saying YES to the right opportunities, people, and goals.

I’ve come up with 5 Ways to Bring Your Leadership to Life in 2014:

  1. Get to know yourself better. Explore what it means to Lead Like You. How do you define leadership, and how do you feel called to lead? Have you ever had someone tell you to “just be yourself”? This advice is dished out often, but when was the last time you took the time to think about what it really means to be yourself? I guarantee it will be time well spent.
  2. Clarify what matters most to you. If you had to define your priorities in 3-5 words, would would the words be? For many, this is not an easy task. The result of this exercise can be profound and often provides insight into your life’s purpose. I define my life’s purpose in 5 simple words: Faith, Family, Leadership, Learning, and Homelessness. This is what my life is about, and I believe I was born to make a difference in these five areas of focus. This clarity guides my decision-making and serves as a compass for my daily life.
  3. Evaluate your commitments and ask yourself if you are saying yes to anything that may be causing you to say no to something or someone that matters to you. For much of my life, I have been the Queen of Busy. I said YES far too often, usually at the expense of my own priorities, goals, and most cherished relationships. After reading this blog post, I am feeling inspired to stop glorifying busyness. The blog issues a challenge to stop using “busy” as your go-to answer when people ask you a question. I’m taking up that challenge for 2014, so call me on it if you hear me use the word! Think about how you can bring your leadership to life by recognizing the value and resulting commitment of saying YES, as well as the necessity of saying NO.
  4. Commit (or recommit) yourself to growth and learning. John F. Kennedy taught us that “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” How are you creating an atmosphere of growth in your life right now? Who do you spend time with that helps you to grow and become a better version of yourself? Do you have written goals that are focused on learning and personal development? Are you consciously seeking out mentors who can be part of your leadership journey? When you stop growing and learning, you stop leading. Period.
  5. Focus on gratitude. Carve out time each day to identify at least one thing you are grateful for. Or take it a step further and marvel at the miracle that is your life on a daily basis. From the simple pleasures like a cup of tea on a cold day to the big realities we often take for granted like having a roof over our heads and food in the fridge, we live in abundance. Yet, from time to time, we are all guilty of losing sight of the gifts in our lives. “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~ Thornton Wilder

What would you add to this list? How do you plan to more fully bring YOUR leadership to life in 2014?

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