Resolve (Choose) to Lead.

Meeting Room

In just a few short days we’ll be closer to the year 2030 than we are to the year 2000.

Yes, it’s almost 2015. Depending on your perspective, this is either terrifying or wildly exciting.

Having just come back from the holidays with family up North, I was inevitably asked, “What are your resolutions for 2015?” – Raise your hand if you were asked something similar. Yes, by now I’m sure nearly all of your hands are raised.

Seth Godin wrote a “New Year” post on January 1, 2009 that I bookmarked then and have continued to look back to since. He says:

“I don’t like New Year’s. Faux merriment, excessive drinking, ridiculous resolutions and general malaise. Not to mention Dick Clark. There’s one great opportunity, though… Brand new expectations are set, expectations just waiting to be shattered. Like an empty Moleskine notebook, the possibilities are exciting. Why not exceed them? The place where expectations are lowest: leadership. Everyone expects you to get in line and follow, not lead. The opportunity this year is bigger than ever: to lead change, to create a movement in a direction you want to go. While the rest of your world huddles and holds back, here’s a golden chance to use cheap media, available attention and great talent to make something that matters.”

Leadership is so damn important. For everyone. Yes, even you, the person who’s thinking, “I can’t possibly be a leader.”

I wrote about it a little over a year ago and found myself nodding at every word I’d written back then and how much it resonates now (it’s a pretty cool thing when your past past inspires your present.

What stuck out most to me was this:

“Great leaders ask questions, review the past, evaluate the present, plan for the future, and navigate toward specific solutions.”

Resolutions are synonymous with solutions. To resolve is to solve. So instead of thinking about something you’re going to “try to do better” in 2015 – think about what you’ll solve. How can you lead change? While the rest of your world huddles and hold back, how can you – how will you – stand out? How will you lead?

“The world, as it is, is not a permanent reality, but is a temporary product of our choices as creators.” — Bryant McGill

Without getting into a whole esoteric “fate vs. free will” discussion, I’ll go ahead and choose to tell you that I am an adamant believer in “free will”.

If there’s one thing we’re allotted as living, breathing, decision-making humans, it’s the power to choose. Choosing how to act. How to respond to adversity. What to pursue. What not to pursue. How to follow through.

As we round out another year and look at the blank pages of our notebook for 2015, my point, the moral of this story, is: make the choices you want to – should – and must make to solve the equations in your own life. Be them personal, like, “How to be more present in my relationship” or professional, “How to earn $1,000,000 in revenue”.

There are plenty of choices that I’ll make in 2015. Some of them will probably (read: definitely) suck and some of them won’t. All of them will play a big role in these things we call “resolutions”.

Whether you’re choosing to work out for 31 days in a row to kick-start your fitness resolution or kicking your old job to the curb to start your own company, be incredibly conscious of the choices in front of you.

Like a blank Moleskine notebook, the possibilities in the year ahead are endless. Why not exceed them? Why not choose to lead?