Breathe Fire in 2017

Accountability Personal leadership Purpose


Key Point: You are probably already sick and tired of New Years resolution advice. I was going to skip even writing about it this year and then thought just a little different angle from a “fire” leadership perspective might inspire us differently. So here is my premise:

The biggest leadership impact to you in 2017 will come from… YOU! You’ve read my motto that people deserve great leaders and leaders have a responsibility to be great (not perfect). Well, you deserve to reflect on being a great and not perfect leader for yourself too. I like Umair Haque’s thoughts on leadership:

“The job of a leader is indeed to inspire people — but in the truer sense of the word: from the Latin inspirare, inspire, to breathe or blow into. Leaders breathe life into the organizations they lead, into the people they’re responsible for. They breathe life into possibilities. They make it more possible for the rest of us to dare, imagine, create, and build. They do not merely encourage us to do so; theirs is the hard work of crafting all the incentives, processes, systems, and roles that actually empower us to do so.” 

What if we took some very thoughtful time, real “white space,” before 2017 roars off into hyper busyness? Pause for a meaningful moment (quiet time just for you) and ask yourself how you might BREATHE MORE LIFE INTO POSSIBILITIES just for YOU!

  1. What really inspires you? What breathes life and the excitement of possibilities into you? Who around helps you feel like that?
  1. What do you care about deeply? What dares you to imagine? What puts you into a sense of timeless flow when you daydream or work on it? Makes you want to “create and build?”
  1. What are the biggest, most bold opportunities in front of you right now? What are your biggest fears and how real are they?
  1. If you had NO limitations what would you be creating right now? How real are those limitations?
  1. Who around you can you co-create with? Who do you hang with that will encourage you? Nudge you? Give you authentic feedback? 

Haque goes onto say: “Leadership is in an uncertain place. We long desperately for better leaders. But perhaps it is precisely our longing that’s the problem. We’re waiting for a rescue at the cost of our own redemption. Because it’s easier to complain about the leaders we have than to try to do better. After all, it’s a pretty hard job.” 

So when 2017 ends, will it just be another groundhog day for you? Will you be waiting desperately for someone to rescue you? Of course external events will have an impact and cause you to do something differently. However, how much forward movement will happen because YOU breathed more life into you? Do NOT let another year go by saying, “if only I ____. Why didn’t I?” Remember reading that real estate magazine x years ago when you could have bought? And you see the appreciation now and say, “if only I’d bought then?” Well that’s you and me right now. Invest in you – the best investment there is.

Character Moves:

Before you commit to the moves below, please invest in some serious thinking time. Pause! Thomas Friedman, the great author and investigative journalist points out that pausing makes machines stop while propelling humans forward. 

  1. Have the discipline to outline a vital few of the most important goals to you this year.
  2. Outline some meaningful steps that will put you on the path. Experiment. Start with a viable next step or two. Build from there.
  3. Establish some verifiable milestones along the way. Celebrate progress. Ask people to co-create and help you. We need to lead ourselves and yet most of us accelerate better with help from others.
  4. Adjust along the way. Do not blame yourself when you feel like you’ve stalled. Have the grit to amend, pick yourself up and keep going. 

What kind of leadership will you give yourself in 2017?

Breathe fire in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: As we all get ready to push the pedal down and start Q1 with a vengeance, I think this reminder to breathe and recollect is important. It seems popular to scoff at resolutions… But, here’s what I know: I certainly don’t want to be standing in the same place on Jan. 1, 2018, and that’s entirely up to me. 

– Garrett