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Tips for Business Leaders to Start the Year off Right

­LEON GOREN, PEO Leadership

As a new year gets underway, many business leaders are pondering what lies ahead in the upcoming year. The pandemic has ushered in many changes in the business world, leaving some business leaders unsure of what their next move should be. One thing is certain, we won’t be returning to anything resembling 2019. Companies that experienced a revenue decline need to reshape their future and figure out how to help, engage and inspire their teams for a comeback year. Those companies that saw revenue accelerate with their people and supplies stretched, will also have to think about motivating their teams as potential stress and fatigue set-in. The great news under both scenarios is there are things that can be done to help ensure the year gets off to a good start.

“Stop speaking about how resilient others are and develop your own resilient mindset,” explains Leon Goren, president and chief executive officer of PEO Leadership. “There are a few glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel, and there are a number of obstacles that pave the path ahead. This is a marathon, and we’re at the 28 km marker.”

PEO Leadership focuses on helping business leaders achieve their personal, professional and organizational goals. The company offers an executive leadership community, so it knows what it takes to help those who lead be able to overcome challenges and thrive. Here are some of its tips to help business leaders start the year off right:

Define the year. Take a couple of minutes and identify the single word that will define you through 2021 and be prepared to explain why. Write that word and place it somewhere where you can see it every day, so that it reminds you of the promise you made to yourself.

Watch your attitude. Understand it is not what is happening in the world or in your business, but rather how you respond to what is happening. Carrying a positive attitude allows you to think through the distractions and clearly conceive strategies that allow you to move through those challenges and opportunities.

Take small steps. As you run into roadblocks, document the problem, and then focus on the things you can do now to improve your situation. Remember, you are looking for improvement, not perfection. So ask yourself, what is the one thing I could do differently that could make this better? Consider it a brainstorming exercise that becomes part of your toolbox so eventually you are capable of operating in this manner 90 percent of the time. Research confirms you will feel better and more confident, ultimately leading to greater happiness, health and success.

Get some sleep. Understand that as an adult, sleeping between 7 and 9 hours every night is critical to high performance. One hour before you retire for the night power down by avoiding any blue lights, computers, TV and stimulation; nix the naps during the day; and block the clock during the night, stuff it under the bed or in a drawer.

Exercise your body. Physical activity is absolutely imperative to manage not only your current frame of mind but also your long-term health in preventing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and possibly even dementia. Create a routine that enables you to set aside an hour a day for some physical activity.

Set goals. People say this every year, but they don’t always take the time to do it. There’s a good chance you will be far more successful when you set goals than if you don’t. Be sure to be deliberate with them, writing them down, so you can measure your level of success along the way.

Get some good info. Make a goal to find three information sources where you gain ideas, tips, and motivation. These can be in the form of books, shows, or whatever works for you. Gather the ongoing good info they put out so you can use it all year long. Another proven way to get some great insights is to get a mentor.

Experience nature. Make a point to spend time in nature each week, even if it’s only half an hour. There are numerous benefits of doing so, and you may find that you come up with your best ideas when enjoying the great outdoors.

Lead by example. Especially during these uncertain times, people will be looking to you to set the example of what to do and how to move forward. It’s important to learn to delegate responsibility on the job. People want to feel needed and it will free up your time for other projects. Make being honest one of the ways that you lead by example.

Have a crisis plan. If we have learned anything from 2020, it is the importance of having a crisis plan in place. Take the time to create one so that if anything happens again, you will be better prepared.

Focus on positive reinforcement. You will always get more out of people by providing them with positive reinforcement, rather than turning them off with negativity. Nobody likes criticism, so it’s better to focus on the positives.

“No business leader needs to face this year alone,” added Goren. “One of the great things about being a part of an executive leadership community is that you have access to bright minds who have lots of experience who can help you overcome any challenge.”

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