It’s that time of year again – goal setting, promises to self, resolutions, dreams and wishes. I’m not knocking the process. Done well, one can create a solid path forward with accountability and celebration.
If we are to be serious with ourselves, it can sometimes be an exercise in futility. The well quoted statistic tells us that most give up or forget their resolutions by January 19th. The promises we made, the rigid resolutions, the wishful-thinking goals don’t stand up. They are so well-intentioned, but something is missing. Could that something be the real you?
I’ve written in the past about promises instead of resolutions. Current articles talk about setting intentions instead of goals or resolutions. This year I am focusing on something a little different. This year I am focusing on knowing myself well and being, well…. HUMAN.
“The most important foundational skill that one can master is the skill of accurate self-appraisal.” This quote from my soon to be released book, The Humanized Leader, resonates with me as we move into a new year.
We make commitments from a desired future state, failing to take into account current state. We are jumping the gate.
The first of three commands inscribed at the Temple of the Apollo at Delphi is “Know Thyself”. Followed by “Nothing in Excess” and “Surety Brings Ruin”, these ancient maxims tell us to appraise self without all or nothing thinking and know that things shift and change. As we appraise, let’s not get caught up in “that’s the way I’ve always done it”. The self-appraisal opens a door for consciously expanding and growing.
I think the New Year is the best time to take a good hard look in the leadership mirror and do an accurate assessment of our own humanity.
- What’s the state of our compassion?
- Where are we care-taking?
- How are we brushing issues under the rug that are bound to trip us up soon?
- What do our relationships feel like?
- Who do we need to appreciate?
- When do we complain most often?
- What’s the hardest emotion to admit?
I commit to knowing myself better. I want to know why I get triggered. I want to know what makes me sing. I want to know why I prefer some personality traits over others. I want to know why I keep promises to myself and why I don’t. I want to know my own secret motivation sauce that has me working out or eating well (or not!).
Accurate self-appraisal is a wholly human act of understanding (without judgment, by the way) of where I am strong and weak; what I prefer or don’t; what I reach for and what I repel.
We humans spend a lot of time appraising others. It’s time to turn the tables.
When I know myself better, I am more willing to know YOU better. Doesn’t that sound like a great foundational formula for leadership?
Mary Pat Knight is CEO of Leaders Inspired – an executive coaching and consulting agency devoted to the development of emotionally intelligent leaders. She is also the author of the Amazon #1 International Best Selling book, The Humanized Leader.
The ground-breaking new book, The Humanized Leader: The Transformative Power of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership to Impact Culture, Team and Business Results, is now available in Kindle or paperback format. To get your copy – or extras for your team, click the button below.