It’s January 2004 and I’m sitting in my Toronto office at the Rogers Communications Regional Headquarters. My head is in my hands and I’m staring down at my desk. My office door is closed. With a big sigh, I try to move on from the cost-cutting inquisition I’ve just left. It’s a new year, with new possibilities; shouldn’t I be infused with energy and excitement?
But somehow our workplace New Year’s resolution is mostly about how to improve the numbers, which even for a general manager with an accounting background like me, can be pretty boring. It’s the same as my personal resolution to lose 15 pounds – again.
Generally, resolutions are about breaking bad habits:
- This year I will spend less by finding more efficient ways to get the work done
- This year I will improve our customer satisfaction numbers by having the technicians show up at the customer’s home on time more often
- This year I’ll eat less of the fried cafeteria food and bring my own salads to work.
But according to the University of Scranton only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions.
What leadership resolutions are you making this year? Are you doomed for failure? How can you change things up and make a difference this time around?
According to Wayne Lee, Peak Performance expert, people have over 60,000 thoughts a day – most of them negative thoughts. And because people’s thoughts have been greatly influenced by their past experiences, in order to change this, we need to replace these negative thoughts with powerful, positive, productive thoughts that move us in the right direction. Positive thoughts make us feel good and they attract more good.
The best way to create these positive thoughts is through effective affirmations or intentions. The definition of an affirmation is to testify to the truth of a thing, to assert a fact. The best affirmations evoke a strong emotion and create a feeling of power. In order to create an affirmation, identify a negative belief to replace. Then write a passionate, positive, personal and in-the-present statement. You can make them fun and easy to remember by using alliterations (words that start with the same letter).
I invite you to replace your 2015 resolutions to improve your workplace culture with a positive affirmation such as:
- I passionately, positively and personally impact our culture everyday
- I am an excellent, energetic, and enthusiastic example of teamwork and accountability in my organization
- I inspire my team to do their best work everyday
- I provide sincere, regular, rewarding recognition to every employee I see during my day
Even the advertising industry is turning to this positive reinforcement of intention. In early January, while I was visiting family in Atlanta I came across Nicoderm’s latest campaign. It wasn’t about the perils of smoking. Its campaign speaks to the benefits of stopping: “I will age beautifully” and “I will take more fresh air breaks”.
Start your day by taking a moment to reflect on your 2015 affirmations, repeat them at least three times. This will help program your subconscious mind. Saying them with authority will also allow you to take greater control.
Back at my workplace, at Rogers Communications, the great Ted Rogers had a sign on his desk: “If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem. That’s how his leadership team managed the rest of us. Imagine how much more we would have been inspired by those leaders if they had an intention to motivate, encourage and listen for innovative solutions instead.
I invite you to start 2015 not by making resolutions, but rather by setting positive intentions and affirmations. Send me your intention around your workplace culture for this year and I’ll send you a very special gift to help you fulfill that effort.