Posted by: Christine Donovan | January 8, 2010

The Number 5 New Year’s Resolution for Leaders

Today we’re half way through the Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Leaders.  Here is No. 5:


5. When you stop thinking about yourself – your office politics, your future, your personal brand, your bonus, your career goals, and keep the spotlight on your team members, your competency and respect as a leader will soar.

As long as you are your first priority, you will lack empathy, compassion, and you will certainly never be called an inspirational leader.  Since I’m kind of a visual person, I literally conjure up a spotlight in my brain.  If the spotlight is turned on ME, then I lack the sensitivity to hear or perceive the (often) low volume messages coming from my team; I’m not tuned into their frequency, and so there is bound to be misunderstanding, conflict, lack of trust and lack of motivation.

But if my spotlight is turned on THEM, then that presents a wholly different picture.  If the light is shining on their achievements, their concerns, their suggestions, and their talents, then the odds are very good that my team will be a successful one.  Imagine that —  THEY succeed, and the credit will come back to me.  I may even get promoted and acknowledged myself.  What a concept!  One of those dichotomies of life I guess — you actually get more back by giving more away.

As Rick Warren says in his best seller, The Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about YOU.” Leadership is not about the leader, it’s about the follower. 

So shine a gigantic light on your team… and watch the transformation.

Join me tomorrow for Resolution #6:  Stand Your Ground.  See you then!


  1. This reminds me a lot of Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership concept. By serving your team and putting them into the limelight, you will ultimately succeed. Heck, we’re only as good as our team right?


  2. Yep! Exactly… unfortunately not enough leaders have gotten a hold of that concept. I think there is a fear of losing control, and again it’s a dichotomy. When we give up control, we actually gain it!

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