By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me at home, just as they did since March 11. Throughout the week, I completed seven CEO reviews and as I write this, there are mere days left in 2020, a year that challenged us as much as it strengthened us while we led our teams through the unknown, into an entirely new world.

To inspire your ensuing fresh start, here are some of my favorite New Year’s quotes from some of my favorite people. Because for this post, I thought it was only right to pass the mic to others and let their wisdom guide us as we contemplate all the good this new year will bring:

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not just at the stroke of midnight but each day presents a chance to start over again. If you wake with an optimistic mindset, it’ll set you up for success throughout the day.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. – Oprah Winfrey

The mistakes of 2020 can now serve as growth opportunities we can learn from, take ownership of and commit to changing in the new year.

It’s the inspired student that continues to learn on their own. That’s what separates the real achievers in the world from those who pedal along, finishing assignments. – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Being a leader is about constantly trying and learning new things. Remember, smugness comes before arrogance and arrogance is the precursor to disaster. Once you think you know it all, your slide to mediocrity has already begun.

The best is yet to come. – Frank Sinatra

OK, so maybe this one was sung rather than spoken but it’s still fantastic advice. Keep gratitude in your heart and remember, great things are just up ahead!

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new. – Socrates

In the realm of execution, focus on your lead measures, the activities you must accomplish to achieve your Wildly Important Goals. Those are the steppingstones you set in front of you that will lead to your success.

Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. – Hellen Keller

Again, it’s about a positive mindset. Nobody likes to do business with someone who has a bad attitude. Positivity, however, is infectious and being positive or not is completely up to you.

Research shows that 80% of people give up on their New Years’ resolution by the second week of February! The reason? What most people call ‘resolutions’ are really just desires or fun things they wish would happen. The majority of people aren’t actually resolving anything within themselves. If you want to be a part of the few that do versus the many that talk, you need to be crystal clear — what specific result will you accomplish? What’s your WHY (reasons come first, answers come second)? How will you do it? What tools, strategies, or resources do you need to make it happen? – Anthony Robbins

Goals without a system of execution are meaningless. When you set your resolutions, just like when you commit to your Wildly Important Goals, you must plan to achieve them by creating a system of execution that will ensure you — and your team — will be held accountable to actually getting them done.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Belief is all-powerful. Program the non-conscious portion of your brain to think positively about your goals. The non-conscious part of your brain is servile. It sets no goals of its own and does not judge the merit or value of the goal. It only tries to carry out the given order. Train your brain to believe in the achievement of your goals and it will do everything in its power to carry out the order until it turns into reality.

What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean. – Isaac Newton

Remain humble, hungry and smart. Humble because there are others who know and can do more than you, hungry because success is a never-ending journey and smart because you can always find ways to be more productive, more efficient and more effective in the work you do as a leader.

So, what’s the message? In keeping with the theme of the post, I’ll let one of my favorite leaders end this one, John F. Kennedy: Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are sure to miss the future.

Our job as leaders, yours and mine, is to ensure that we recognize the dynamics … provide the tools and vision and then capitalize on the change.

Best wishes for a bright future and a happy, healthy New Year!


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