Leaders: Make a New Year’s Resolution to Take Stock of Your Assets!

Most New Years’ resolutions address weaknesses: what you want to change, what you want or need to do differently. This applies to both personal and professional resolutions.

I propose coming at it from another perspective.

Consider starting from a position of strength, not weakness. What assets/strengths do you already have that can assist you, guide you, lead you to help you achieve your goals in 2018?

New goals always feel more attainable when you start from a position of power and leverage that power to achieve those goals rather than focusing only on what you need to improve.

I encourage you to start by making a list of your assets. Your list might include:

  • The top talent you can count on
  • Your key allies in the broader organization
  • Best practices from your high-performing teams
  • Loyal clients you can pilot new ideas with
  • Your goodwill in the marketplace
  • Your market knowledge and competitive knowledge
  • Your courage to lead the organization in a new direction
  • Your financial track record/market position
  • Proprietary technology
  • Your culture, the team’s pride in the company and the values that you stand for (customer focus, integrity, passion, entrepreneurial spirit to name a few)
  • The discipline and expertise your teams exhibit delivering your current core competency/core business
  • Your experience in launching other new business lines, overcoming difficult situations, surviving tough economic markets etc.

If you struggle with the list, refer to your latest employee satisfaction survey and review the highest scoring themes. These offer good clues as to your assets. Next, review your customer and other stakeholder satisfaction surveys. All surveys offer nuggets of gold as to what makes your workplace great and what assets you can count on.

Hidden strengths. Don’t forget to consider the strengths that you make take for granted. Indulge me for a moment (and don’t judge me), but during the cult classic movie, The Princess Bride, at a critical point Westley the hero asks: “What are our liabilities? What are our assets?”

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If you haven’t seen the movie, I will fill you in. At this point, Westley and his cohorts are planning to storm the castle with very few advantages up against a powerful evil king and many guards. They are outmanned and unarmed.

The hero, “aka the team leader,” wants to evaluate their assets before they go to battle.

I’ve always loved this part. They are up against all odds and the leader is calmly planning a strategy using what he has available to him to give them an advantage. And believe it or not, he finds a way to use a wheelbarrow to achieve their objective. A simple wheelbarrow that the other team members overlooked and did not list among their assets.

As leaders, it’s easy to overlook key assets or strengths because we either take them for granted, think they are not sophisticated enough, not new enough or important enough to help us achieve our current objectives. You may be surprised that these basic strengths may just give you the critical advantage you have been looking for.

So as the new year begins, I encourage you to write down your assets, your strengths — and think about how you can leverage them to achieve your goals in 2018.

Better yet, do this exercise with your team; you will be amazed at how much more powerful you will feel starting from a position of strength together.

And when you’re listing your assets, don’t overlook the ones that may be hidden in plain sight — the ones that aren’t high tech or fancy, i.e., the wheelbarrow. You’ll be amazed how important these simple assets can be when you’re working to outsmart the competition and achieve new heights in 2018.

For other thoughts on leadership, visit my LinkedIn article on the topic.

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Sandra Hokansson

Sandra Hokansson
Sandi Hokansson is a certified executive-level coach and principal of Sound Leadership. Reach her at sandi (at) soundleadership (dot) ca.

Sandra Hokansson

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