‘Tis the season to make resolutions, a ritual in which many engage. Like all rituals, this one can be deeply meaningful or merely an activity. The ritual of making resolutions is
reliable, but follow-through is not even close to bankable. Why? In part, it is because making resolutions is an act unto itself. We have more resolutions than resolve.

Resolve is different than a resolution. A resolution is a thing, a statement and declaration. Resolve is active. We feel resolve in our guts, we may even experience a surge of energy. This is good stuff – fuel for action. Here’s the thing, this stuff has a short half-life. To benefit from resolve, we need to act – immediately.

Too often in our private lives as well as professionally, we allow energy and enthusiasm to dissipate. Share on X

Indeed, we unwittingly deplete it with fanfare. We’ve all seen a leader make grand announcements about “who we are and what we will do.” You may even envision the eye rolls that follow such announcements. We know why this happens. It’s the same reason our personal resolutions fall flat, usually before the end of January.

We’ve put the emphasis on declarations as though they will enact themselves. Imagine the founding fathers of the United States writing The Declaration of Independence and stopping there. They understood that issuing the declaration, beautifully crafted as this one is, was just the beginning.

Great results come from marrying well-crafted resolutions with the right actions.

In my practice, I help leaders identify the decisions they need to make and the actions they need to take to make their strategy, plans and declarations come to life.

Leaders who do this best do the following:

  1. Focus on outcomes, not methodology.
  2. Act with courage, knowing that there will always be critics.
  3. Remove barriers and baggage of all types.
  4. Ask for help.

If your resolution is to lose weight, and whose isn’t, get the junk food out of your house. If your resolve in your business is to increase revenue, profit and serve your clients with excellence, get your (individual and corporate) bad habits out of the way. This takes more than a statement, it takes resolve.

The leaders I highlight in my book High-Stakes Leadership: Leading Through Crisis with Courage, Judgment and Fortitude, are good examples. From them, I have learned that the valuable aspects of leadership can be learned. The best way to learn them is to hang around with great leaders because the lessons are derived from their behavior.

Have you ever achieved a meaningful result because of resolve? Please share your success below!

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