I spent some time over the New Year break thinking about 2015 – the good and the bad, the lessons I learned, and the things I wanted to do better and more often.
That helped me come up with a short list of top priorities to carry me – hope you as well – over into 2016.
Throw away the to-do list
Accomplishing a to-do list can feel good, like lifting a load off your back. But does that help you achieve anything significant? Ken Norton talks about 10X ideas not 10% incremental improvements. 10% is about following the obvious path but it might ultimately lead to failure. 10X is a moonshot but it’s actually easier to accomplish. The problem is that companies are organized to think 10%.
In 2015, I encouraged my team to throw away their to-do list because we need to stop focusing on small logistical concerns and start looking around and thinking about big ideas.
Let fear go
Micro thoughts are safe. Mega dreaming can be scary. Children aren’t scared of big ideas. Children think they’ll be astronauts or launch world peace. Adults think they know better – but I believe ideas keep you young, and feeling young helps you think of big.
In 2015, set an objective you know you can’t accomplish. Why? Because unattainable ideas force you to build bridges, form collaborations, and drive mashups that can create new solutions. You’re designing a new world from scratch – except this time you’re an adult and you have the power to make it happen.
Get the team right
If you’re going to try for big things, and you know collaboration is necessary to get there, then you need the right people around you.
You also need that team to perform at higher levels. I call it the seamless team. We had great success in 2015 building better teams by testing our group mentally and physically and creating alternative work spaces and work approaches together. It made us all closer, made everyone better, and we had more success and fun as a result.
Put purpose first
Is purpose just another buzz word? I don’t think so. Purpose is about meaning, and meaning is at the heart of why we do things.
We have a lot more energy, creativity and resilience in life when we do work that matters to us, and work for organizations that are aligned with that purpose. In my next piece of writing, I’m going to elaborate on my thoughts about why purpose is critical for leaders today.
New Year’s Resolutions
Bridges are a marvelous invention. They give you a solution; what starts when something stops. They are a necessity indeed; to jump on the other side. They are exciting as they connect something you know and done with the new and unknown. They can also be large, high tech, impressive, or even smaller, basic and low key. It’s up to you to define your bridge from where you come to where you go. Keep these few, humble words as a useful piece of material. Wishing you luck to accomplish big things in 2016.