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A Powerful Exercise to Set Yourself Up for a Successful 2019

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How will you prepare for a successful 2019?

It’s tricky, right?

Because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.

Or do you?

I’ve got some predictions…

The truth is, you can’t always choose what you show up to, but you can always choose how you show up.

A Powerful Exercise to Set Yourself Up for a Successful 2019

One of the very best ways to set yourself up for a successful 2019 is to take a minute. Stop and really think about what your team needs from you at a deeper level. Of course, if you haven’t done so in a while, ask. A Do It Yourself 360 is always a powerful choice.

You can also try this.

Close your eyes.

Take a minute to imagine each member of your team, one at a time. If they were totally honest with you, what would they say they need?

I did this exercise back in 2012 when I was still in my executive role at Verizon (and during the first year of my blog). Here’s what I said in that letter to myself*.

Dear Karin,

Here are the things we need most from you as a leader.

  • Establish a trusted place at the table–the more credibility you have at the senior levels, the more you can advocate for what we need to accomplish.
  • Say the tough things that need to be said. Nudge us to do that too.
  • Be transparent about what is going on. Trust us with the real story.
  • Help us understand how you think and process. Let us in your head.
  • Build a strong and diverse team. Let us hash out our differences without getting involved.
  • Care deeply about our careers and help us to grow. Continue to support us after you have moved to the next role.
  • Encourage us to take risks. Be gentle when we fail.
  • Tell us when you screw up. Maybe we can avoid the same landmines.
  • Give us direct and candid feedback—but sugarcoat it a bit more than you sometimes do).
  • Come to the field with us, roll up your sleeves and get involved. That’s how you will learn.
  • But, don’t get too involved. We’ve got this.
  • Let us use your energy strategically, in recognition and in large events.
  • Role model work-life balance. Be interested in, and support us in our outside lives

*excerpt from my 2012 post: I’m going to sit right down and write myself a letter.

Related: The Cost of Ignoring Your Emerging Leader’s Ideas

Your turn

As you set yourself up for a successful 2019, I encourage you to sit right down and write yourself a letter too.

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