If you ask the attendant at your health club what the busiest day of the year is, he’ll tell you it’s the day after New Year’s. That’s when all the New Year’s—resolution types pour in. By February only a handful are left. Now that New Year’s Day is well over, tell me, how many of those resolutions have you kept? How many can you even remember?
Maybe you could use a new set. This time, you won’t have to fight the crowds.
1. I will improve my listening skills.
I will remind myself that I can’t learn anything when I’m doing the talking. I will abandon my phony “open door” policy and establish specific meetings and set aside specific times so that others can have real access to me. I will break down barriers. I will try to end the “not invented here” syndrome and encourage the free flow of information across departmental and hierarchical lines. I will answer my own phone… well, I will answer it more often.
2. I will improve my professional skills.
I will cease to be a pothole on the information highway. I will not allow myself to become one of these old fuddy-duddies who brag about their inability to operate modern business equipment. I will get up to speed in computers and communications equipment. Nobody should come into the twenty-first century without being computer literate.
3. I will improve my reading skills.
Unfortunately, my reading ability has slowed down over the years and it is taking me longer to absorb less. I will take a speed-reading course. Instead of reading what merely confirms my existing prejudices, I will search out material that introduces me to new ideas and new ways of thinking.
4. I will waste less time.
I will use my computer time to read more or to listen to audio tapes that can help me improve my skills and broaden my understanding.
5. I will exercise regularly.
I will do so to the point where I become “positively addicted.” I know exercise not only improves my health but helps me maintain a high level of performance on the job.
6. I will encourage risk taking.
I know that many businesses fail from lack of boldness rather than from trying something new. I will not punish or ridicule honest mistakes. I love my work. I want others to feel the same about theirs, so I will try to make my workplace fun and exciting, not just a paycheck.
7. I will put into practice a plan to become the sole source of supply to my largest customers.
The most important element of my plan is to treat my customers as though I were their most dedicated employee and consultant, ready to serve them in every way, so they feel my company is practically a division of their company.
8. I will be committed to growing and improving every facet of our business.
I want every employee in my company to know we are open for hire eight days a week, 13 months a year. I want them constantly to be on the lookout for good people to become part of our team.
9. I will contribute to my community.
I will be a giver. I will give money. I will give time. I will try to make a difference. I want to help make the place I live become a better place for everyone.
10. I will not neglect my family in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
I will never forget that they do more to keep me on an even keel and bring more genuine happiness into my life than any business success I can ever achieve. So Carol Ann, David and Virginia, Mimi and Larry, Jojo and Michael, make room for me. I’m on my way home.
Start your new year today. And remember, anyone can make a resolution. Very few people can keep one.
Excerpted from Pushing The Envelope All The Way To The Top
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
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