Life Priorities

I Want My Life To Be About...

Sep 20

Our plates are overflowing: more demanding schedules, daunting to-do lists and having to do more with less. We wrestle daily with balancing life priorities and the ever-increasing load on our plates, and we’ve become accustomed to squeezing every last ounce of productivity out of each hour.

Time spirals away, and you feel like a slave to the schedule: overworked, out of touch, and disconnected from what you ultimately want your life to be about. The truth is that you’re probably too busy to be reading this post, and yet that is exactly why you need to.

Why? Because our lives and legacies are not based on the sum total of all the items, we check off an overloaded to-do list or how successful we are at squeezing every last ounce of productivity out of every day. Creating a lasting legacy lies in living your life with passion and committing your time, energy, and resources to something you believe in that will make a difference in your life and the lives of others. It isn’t easy—doing the right thing rarely is.

If you’re willing to reverse the trend of doing just what has to be done, you can start here and now by answering one question: What is it you, at the end of the day, want your life to be about?

When you can clearly and unequivocally state the approach that drives all your choices, actions, and decisions, you gain a level of clarity and focus that transcends what you want to get done today, this month, or even this year.

Finding the answer to the statement, I want my life to be about… starts with:

Exploration Is The Key To Figuring Things Out

You can start by each day, for the next 30 days or so, purposely leaving open spaces in your schedule or planning a few fewer tasks each day so that you can commit that time to explore, developing, and defining well what it is that you will strive to attain—no matter how long it takes, no matter how many obstacles must be overcome, and what ultimately, at the end of the day, your life is about.

At this point, your focus isn’t on creating milestones, accomplishing goals, or even the to-dos that you believe will take you there. It is about investing time in yourself, learning what you need to know, connecting with yourself in ways that help you see things through a different lens, being creative, and connecting with who you are at your core. Make sure you balance learning, thinking, and doing, and build connections with others who can help you hone in on what matters most.

Tweaking It Brings It To Reality

Now that you know roughly what your dream is—that thing that you want your life ultimately to be about. You need to begin the process of aligning and bringing together the daily tasks, goals, and milestones that, when taken in conjunction with each other, keep you on track. When you build your daily to-do list, it needs to be tweaked to make sure that the low-level tasks/goals and mid-level tasks/goals that make your list move you closer in some way toward that all-important ideal outcome for your life. Be ruthless, and ask yourself each time you think about adding a task, meeting etc., to your list—Does it distract you, take away time and energy from a goal that matters more? If yes, even if it is only a low-level goal, then it should be avoided and not added to the list.

Visualize Success

There is real power in seeing your future in the present moment. Seek out and save inspirational quotes, photos, images, or anything else that will help you link what you are doing in the present moment to where you ultimately see yourself ending up. These everyday reminders can help you refocus, reset, and stay present when outside forces try to pull you off task and off track.

Appoint A Wing Person

Choose someone you can share and discuss your dreams, plans, and challenges with. Make sure you share with them your biggest aspirations and your biggest concerns about getting to where you want to be. This person should be a trusted advisor who is willing to ask you where you are on your plan at various intervals, share with you when they notice you’re off track and offer you the kind of suggestion that will help you get focused on the future and reset yourself.

Whether you want to be the newest start-up CEO sensation or help others fulfill their potential clearly and unequivocally, knowing the approach that drives all your choices, actions, and decisions is what gives you clarity of purpose. This clarity gives you the energy, passion, and perseverance to live your life in the way that best creates what you want your life to be about. I’d like to hear what you want your lives to be about and how you plan on obtaining them.

3 Easy Ideas To Halt Meeting Monotony

Sep 13

It’s 8 AM, and one glance at your calendar tells you it’s another day crammed with an endless stream of mind-numbingly dull, antagonistic, and unproductive meetings. We’ve invested thousands of hours—which we will never get back—in contentious, monotonous, and frustrating meetings with nothing to show for it other than our being stressed, tired, and dreading the next one on the calendar.

If you’re anything like me, you’re continually on the quest for a few simple ideas to shake up and halt meeting monotony. Here are three simple ideas to make what seems like an impossible task possible.

1. Disruption Is Crucial

Even the most disciplined among us are inclined to approach familiar situations and people in routine ways. Disrupting well-known patterns is crucial to halting meeting monotony and shaking up the routine thinking that lulls everyone into a trance of just going through the motions.

There is no right or wrong way to disrupt the status quo. Simply changing the venue, length, format, players, and asking people to assume different roles (e.g. meeting manager, devil’s advocate, solicitor of other’s points of view) can create enough disruption to spark the various players to pause, reflect, think, and respond more intelligently.

Noticing when people seem to be coalescing around repetitive thinking is vital to halting the cascade toward monotony. Asking innovative questions designed to spur debate and challenge common thinking reinvigorates the discussion and disrupts the trend toward groupthink.

2. Don’t Dictate The Approach

Disruption is vital to invigorating your meetings, and yet it isn’t all that’s required. Dictating the way in which the players interact in the meeting isn’t a great strategy for spurring enthusiasm, creativity, robust debate, and trust. How everyone will interact is fundamental to creating the space needed for transparency, fruitful dialogue/debate, and learning to happen. The approach must reflect the collective values and principles of everyone involved, along with those of the organization. Here are a few essential ones that you can build upon:

  • Common focus—the success of everyone involved.
  • Respect for each other regardless of title or position.
  • Free expression of perspectives, views, and beliefs, especially when they highlight flaws and assumptions.
  • No one sits on the sidelines—active solicitation of participation.
  • Recognition and support of the role of the ultimate decision maker.
  • Agreement to support the final decision once it is made.

These principles must extend beyond the meeting and become part of the DNA of the team or organization. Everyone needs to embody these at all times.

3. Design With The End In Mind

We are all well-versed in the trail of breadcrumbs that Hansel and Gretel use to guide them back home to safety when the moon rises. There is a lesson there for us. It is critical to the success of the meeting that we know EXACTLY where we want the journey to end.

Starting with the end in mind stems tangents and unnecessary side discussions that quickly derail and catapult us toward decisions that don’t serve our needs and that we aren’t invested in. Designing meetings with the end in mind, simply stated, means delineating and clarifying what the ultimate goal being sought is and establishing the path that gives you the best chance of seeing it come to fruition. Agreeing in the short-term on where we are ultimately headed—even when we don’t all agree on the nitty-gritty of how this will be done—is what creates the shared enthusiasm and investment in striving for the same result. Here are two quick ideas for you to experiment with:

  • Start with the meeting invite. Include a request for people to get ready for the meeting by thinking about the ultimate outcome and what gives the team the best chance of attaining it and getting the creativity and focus going.
  • Use technology to gather the data and share the information with everyone so they become aware, informed, and prepared. A low-tech way is to collect people’s thoughts and ideas at the start of the meeting on a flip chart.

The information gathered becomes the genesis for the conversation that will build consensus, set the ultimate outcomes, create enthusiasm, and define the trajectory of the meeting.

Perhaps implementing these strategies will feel strange and uncomfortable at first—most change is. However, in the long run, changing the direction of your next meeting is critical to leveraging the differences, bonds, and insights of the brilliant minds in the room and, most of all, their impression of you as the meeting leader.

What tips have you used to take a break from meeting monotony and give your meetings a well-deserved shot in the arm? I’d like to hear them, so please feel free to share them below.

Concentrating On Your Best Intentions

Aug 23

“Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition. Yawn and stretch and try to come to life.” — Who among us doesn’t identify with the sentiment expressed in this Dolly Parton lyric? It resonates with us because we begin many of our days looking for the get-up-and-go approach to the upcoming day with a positive outlook and plan. We have way too many things on our plate, limited time and attention to devote to them, and too many other distractions vying for our attention that we never originally planned on.

Woefully, at day’s end, we realized that we were on autopilot addressing other people’s concerns, priorities, and unexpected situations. Our mood decayed throughout the day, and opportunities to influence others were overlooked. Ultimately, instead of taking the reins, we let the world around us dictate our daily priorities and direction.

But turning off the autopilot and flying under our own power means understanding how important our perceptions, assumptions, and intentions are in creating and shaping our experiences.

Intentionally determining what deserves, demands, and drives our focus means adopting some essential strategies that leverage the power of the brain’s automatic systems to our advantage. We don’t have unlimited attention to give the world. As such, our automatic systems are very adept at prioritizing what seems most relevant to our stated intentions and filtering out input that isn’t as important. Tapping into them is just what we need to regain control and accomplish what we want to achieve.

After you’ve poured yourself that cup of ambition, you can do these few essential things below to help set your intention for the day and tell your brain what you’d like it to focus on.

1.  Pave The Way And Prime The Pump

Determine what your intentions are for the upcoming day. Think about the task(s) for the day, what needs to be accomplished, and what really matters most. Consciously ask yourself what needs to happen for those goals to be achieved. This will help you define your real goal(s) for the day. The conscious focus on the task(s) helps you prime the pump and pave the way for your mind to recognize them as priorities and attune your brain to look for things related to achieving that outcome as relevant and not off-topic.

2.  Adopting The Right Attitude Is Everything

Once you’ve focused your brain’s energy on the tasks that are important, it’s time to ensure that your attitude supports your success. It should be no surprise that a happier, more positive attitude strongly influences our frame of mind and how we approach the day. Our brain looks for resonance between our intentions and our attitude about them as a way of confirming that they are indeed our priorities. If you have concerns about the upcoming task and they are really driving your mood in a less than positive direction, you have to determine if they help or impede your achieving the desired outcome. If they don’t have merit or a factual basis and come from a place of unfounded fear or emotion, set them aside and redirect your thinking to the positive aspects of what you are setting out to do.

3.  We Get What We Focus On, So Lock In Your Intentions

Now that you’ve primed the pump and synced your attitude, the only remaining task is to firmly set your sights and lock your attention on your priorities. Attuning your focus to your priorities helps you identify what you want to see more of—especially those things that support achieving your goal. You will become more aware of and vigilant for the things that will help you get there, traps that must be avoided, and yes, even potential opportunities to adjust and re-calibrate. Once you know what you’re looking for or what to avoid, you’ve engaged a level of awareness that will help you make sure that you focus on what you want to achieve. You might even want to capture them on an index card or memo on your phone so that you can look at it before you go into that big meeting or consider what comes next—especially when the day gets challenging.

Establishing a process that carves out some time for personal reflection and intentional thinking in our complex world doesn’t mean giving up vast amounts of time—it means taking a few minutes, perhaps as long as it takes to make and drink your coffee. However, the investment of a few minutes each morning returns vast rewards. The next time you tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen to pour yourself that cup of ambition, set your intentions for the day, and let me know how it goes.

Life Fulfillment

Are You On The Right Road?

Aug 16

There is a difference between being happy and being fulfilled. How many people do you know—and maybe you are one of them—who believe the road to fulfillment is by becoming famous, having more money, being super healthy, and being liked by others…? In other words: achieving what makes you happy. Being famous, having money, being liked, and even being in good health can all make you happy, but happiness is only part of being fulfilled.

Things that make us happy can be lost despite our best efforts and attention. Being fulfilled, however, comes from a well-lived life—one focused on making the world in which you live and the people you know better for your presence. Devoting your life to making a difference, no matter how minor it might seem, helps you become a better person and fills your heart and mind with a sense of gratitude and your life with an enduring purpose.

When we come to the end of the journey, we won’t measure the success of our lives by how many Twitter followers or Facebook likes we have, the prestigious connections or titles we’ve held, or the amount of fame and money we’ve accumulated. Our legacy lies in the smiles we shared, the polite gestures we’ve given and received, and our concern for others. It can be found in those moments where, despite our best efforts to help someone, we walk away without feeling like we accomplished anything—only to learn later that that person went on to do something significant with his or her life that impacted many others.

If you want to have life fulfillment and, in turn, find happiness along the way, ask yourself one simple question: If I were to come to the end of my life today, what would I regret not having done?

I’m sure the answer isn’t getting that next deal, having a viral post, or even having that corner office. If you’re not doing what the answer to the question is, I have only one question for you: What’s stopping you?

If you can’t come up with a great answer, then follow Nike’s advice and Just Do It. Start your journey on the road to fulfillment, and you’ll also find happiness along the way.


Maintaining Stress Resilience

four simple tips that can help you manage your life

Jul 19

At a recent barbeque, I couldn’t help but notice that despite the beautiful summer day and time spent with friends, everyone seemed to be talking about how overwhelmed they were trying to make all the pieces of their lives work together with some measure of sense and sanity.

Whether it was friends preparing to send children off to college, others starting a new business, or simply trying to manage to take a vacation and not fall behind at work, they all seemed to be struggling to keep balance in their hectic yet successful lives. The more successful we become, the more people need our time. However, the time we have remains static. What does it take to make it all work and continue to be successful without feeling burned out and overextended?

Finding the balance to make it all work without feeling overwhelmed and overextended doesn’t have to involve time-consuming strategies. Here are four simple tips that can help you manage your life and maintain stress resilience in the face of daily stress.

1. Reacquaint Yourself With The Power Of No

When others ask us for things, we often respond out of habit and impulse rather than intention and purpose. We often feel compelled to say “yes” to others’ demands on our time and meet others’ needs on their schedules, leaving us feeling overextended and disconnected from our short and long-term priorities. We somehow feel that responding with a simple “no” or simply suggesting that we respond later will unsettle the universe. Simply saying “no” or asking to respond later to a request is often met with the reply, “That’s OK, thanks.” Being comfortable responding intentionally and thoughtfully is what creates the fine line between being intentionally and purposefully busy and being overextended.

2. Carve Out Open Space In Your Day

Without even thinking, our calendars and schedules can easily become filled up with back-to-back meeting tasks, and we find ourselves scheduled at least 100% of the day—perhaps even more. We leave ourselves little time for breaks, connecting with others, moments to gather our thoughts, do heavy thinking, or even react to unexpected situations that arise. This intense pressure leads to frustration, energy drain, and burnout. By simply planning our schedules to include open space, we can better manage the pace and speed of our day and build in the time to sustain our energy. Try not to schedule more than 60% of your day with meetings, appointments, and structured tasks. Use the other 40% of the time throughout the day to create open blocks of time where you can connect with others, take a well-needed mental break, pursue a creative endeavor, or even deal with an emerging and unanticipated situation. Open space leaves you in control of your day and not the other way around.

3. Have A Do-Not-Discuss List

We often waste hours, days, and months discussing, rehashing, and revisiting situations and past events while either ignoring or not choosing to focus on implementing the strategies for taking action. Once you’ve gathered the right resources, fully vetted and discussed the root cause of the challenge, and identified and formulated a plan for moving forward, don’t talk about the situation in terms of the past again. Commit to creating a do-not-discuss list for those situations and only talk about new developments or forward movement. Focusing and rehashing the past, or ruminating over what actions one could take, doesn’t benefit anyone in your life—especially you.

4. Definitely Delegate When Needed

Even if you’re not a perfectionist, mastering the art of delegating requires some intentional effort to get it right. Be selective about what you delegate—choose things that are better accomplished by someone else, spending the time and energy on doing it, even if it is something you know you could do. Choose to delegate things that you know you can’t do, are not worth the time to learn, or you’re not interested in learning how to do. Beyond what types of things to delegate, mastering the art of delegation requires choosing well whom to delegate to a trusted resource while giving them clear direction, setting expectations and outcomes, and the full authority to take action to implement and achieve the outcome. Masterful delegation pays dividends in many surprising ways—you often learn that some tasks are done better than if you’d done them yourself.

Building your resilience doesn’t have to be complicated or time-intensive. Simply implementing any one of the tips starting today can improve your resilience in a measurable way. If you have others, please share them with me.


Work toward goals

Moving Beyond Just Passion

May 10

Romeo and Juliet were passionate about each other. However, their passion ultimately led to their demise. Being passionate doesn’t guarantee you’ll accomplish what you set out to do or be successful in life—it just means that you care deeply about that cause or idea.

As with Romeo and Juliet, passion alone can cloud your perspective, cause you to make hasty judgments, and take rash actions that lead you in the opposite direction of where you want to go. Making a meaningful contribution, and accomplishing what you set out to do, means moving beyond simply what you’re passionate about and giving consideration to the other elements that need to be present to be successful.

What are some of the other elements needed beyond passion that top the list and inspire us to work toward goals that support our vision for our lives?

Clarity of Purpose

A lack of ambiguity and clear understanding about what you believe in, the direction you want to head, what you ultimately want the outcome to be, and what you are willing to risk to achieve it.


The ability for introspection and the capacity to recognize your feelings, distinguish between them, and understand their impact on those around you.


Knowing your own strengths and limitations, respecting and accepting yourself as you are, and having a strong sense of your own identity and character that allows you to acknowledge when you don’t know something.


The ability to withstand adverse events, calmly face challenges, be resourceful, and choose a course of action that, over time, is focused and directed toward achieving a long-term pursuit. Over time, resist temptation and short-term gain in the pursuit of long-term outcomes.


The desire to achieve a goal and the effort, persistence, and motivation applied toward achieving a goal that stretches you beyond your comfort zone.


The ability to be confident in one’s own ability—even when others don’t believe in you—and hang tough in the pursuit of the desired outcome.

Moving beyond just being passionate helps you do more than just what you love—it helps you pull equally hard in the direction that you ultimately want to go. Passion, in concert with all these other elements, supports your vision, makes you more agile, and ultimately enables you to make a meaningful contribution.

Emotional Brilliance

Mar 14

What is emotional brilliance? Take a moment to reflect on people you know—famous and not—whom you consider to be highly successful and live happy success-filled lives. Were they the most intellectually gifted people you know? Was there something more than their brainpower that accounted for their high degree of success? What the majority of us know in our guts is that there is more to success than book smarts, and there is a difference between being book smart and being life savvy.

The question is: Does it really matter for your success in life whether you’re emotionally smart or dumb? The answer is unequivocal, yes!

Emotional brilliance isn’t about being adept at handling mushy emotions or feelings in others, and it isn’t a substitute for lack of baseline ability. Instead, it is about our having and expertly using a set of skills that influence how we see and express ourselves, tune into the world, read others, cope with challenges, build connections, and use emotional information in meaningful and effective ways.

Just like brilliant leadership is intentional, so is developing one’s emotional brilliance. So where do you start developing your emotional smartness? Try these things as a great jumping-off point:

Identify Where You Are and Commit to Where You Want to Be

Engaging our brain’s natural ability to reshape and rewire itself begins when we assess what our current capabilities are and how we are currently using are emotional smarts. Balance across a variety of emotional intelligence skills is critical in becoming emotionally brilliant. Begin with a self-assessment via a tool that measures one’s emotional competencies and/or invite others whose opinions you value and trust to give you feedback through assessments that let them rate you anonymously on key aspects of emotional intelligence. The information gleaned will help you identify where to direct your efforts and energy.

Be Discerning In What You Select and Give It Focused Attention

Be cautious about trying to hone too many skills at once. This recipe for success involves focused, practiced, and disciplined attention to one or two skills. Part of being emotionally smart is being an expert at self-management, so don’t bite off more than you can focus your attention on, and be disciplined about practicing. For example: If you choose to develop the skill of being assertive, your plan might contain the following: when the opportunity presents itself to share what I believe with another person, I will clearly state my belief, give consideration, and be receptive to the beliefs of the other person. Being precise and having clarity about what you will do in certain situations, focusing attention on implementing that skill, and doing it repeatedly over time, will embed the new skills in the hard-wiring of your brain, strengthening the connection so that the skill becomes automatic. You can create a simple log and check off when you use the skill throughout the week. Celebrate your successful use of the skill, and look for lessons in those times when you weren’t able to do so.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

Perhaps you’re familiar with the old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” and its famous answer: “Practice!” The same holds true for translating your new skills/smarts into automatic responses. The hard wiring of the change begins the first time you do what you planned to do and can take up to six months before the new skill comes more naturally to you than the old. Mental Rehearsal is a well-known tool that will further assist you with embedding the new skill and helps you be prepared at the moment. Running through what you’ll do in your mind from your brain’s point of view is no different than actually doing it at the moment.

I encourage you to jump in and learn more about developing your emotional brilliance so that you pursue your personal and professional goals with enthusiasm, build connected high-trust relationships, and achieve what you set out for yourself.


Accentuate the Positive in 2016

Jan 12

As 2015 draws to a close, it is a great time to celebrate our wins, accentuate the positive, and begin preparing ourselves for success in 2016. Although our specific goals and resolutions for 2016 might be different this time around, the desire, drive, and motivation to pursue them are the same. Each and every one of us hopes and wants the upcoming year to be better than the last. We want to be happy, fulfilled, and successful.

Before setting milestones, plans, and goals for the upcoming year, it is important to notice and acknowledge what you and those around you have done well. Starting your 2016 planning by identifying and acknowledging what you and others have done well helps all involved build and reinforce that as we enter the new year.

You can begin accentuating the positive in yourself by asking the following questions and then writing down your answers as you begin your year-end review.

  1. What were the highlights of the past year? What did you learn?
  2. What went well this year, and how can you do more of that in the upcoming year?
  3. What impact did what went well have on you and those connected to you?
  4. What did you learn about yourself based on what went well this year?

Once you’ve answered the questions above, it is key to acknowledge yourself for all the things done well, the successes you experienced, and the challenges you overcame before deciding what you wanted to accomplish in 2016. Choose a quiet moment either at the start or end of each day for a week, and choose one item to focus on at the moment. Acknowledge the accomplishment by replaying what you did and how you made a difference.

To amplify and share this powerful experience with others after your week of acknowledging yourself, begin acknowledging those around you. You could start off by choosing one person each day and acknowledge something specific that they have done well, and then tell them how it made a difference. Be as specific as you can with yourself and others. Acknowledgment is more than just saying you or they are great. Acknowledgment means noticing what a person does and how they make a difference.

There is no secret formula for living a happier and more fulfilled life. Accentuating the positive in others and ourselves helps us understand how and what motivates us to achieve our goals, leverage what works well and connect more deeply with who we are and how we make a difference in the world.

My wish for all of you in the New Year is to flourish and have the success and fulfillment that you desire.

3 Ways To Celebrate Wins

Dec 01

Why is it that we spend so little time celebrating the accomplishing of our goals? Is it because there is always too much more to be done, and we feel pressured to focus on what we need to accomplish next? When we have a successful mindset, we always feel the urge so greatly to get that next win that we can easily forget to stop and celebrate wins before moving on and shifting our focus to the next challenge.

But if we never stop to celebrate how far we’ve come, along with enjoying the victories in between, we can easily burn out. Celebrating the wins is more than just congratulating oneself for a job well done—it is about building the emotional capital and momentum to take on that next big thing. Celebrating your successes with others helps you build the bridges and connections needed for future success and gives you an opportunity to show gratitude for those who helped out along the way.

Here is a three-step strategy for celebrating your wins with others:

1. Share The Story Of Your Success With Those Around You.  Create a short, compelling story about how you succeeded—telling it in the form of a story makes it more tangible to those around you. Once it becomes tangible, social capital is created, and bridges and connections are built between you and others. Stories are an effective means of communicating how you got there, and they also give you a chance to highlight others’ contributions and express gratitude. In telling the story, it prolongs and amplifies your happiness and, therefore, can encourage others to do similar things with respect to their goals.

2. Include The Specifics About How You Got There.  By recounting the specifics of the challenges we faced, the strategies we implemented, and the adjustments we made along the way, we help others potentially see new ways of approaching their challenges and goals. Sharing the specifics also has an added benefit for us—it helps us solidify and reinforce the new patterns of behavior we have put in place. The positive reinforcement we receive from those we share the story with gives us the boost we need to take on new challenges and work through them in the future.

3. Talk About The Win As Part Of A Bigger Picture.  The impact of accomplishing a hard-won goal transcends the goal itself. Individual wins are not isolated events—instead, they become part of the larger picture of your life and the lives of those impacted by your success. Replaying the win in the context of the bigger picture helps you tap into the positive feeling and energy needed to take on that next big step, but it also helps those around you see and connect with what you’ve done and what you hope to accomplish moving forward. This will make it easier for them to support you and encourage you as you embark on the next journey.

Celebrating the wins in life through stories that are compelling, succinct, and can be shared with others will ensure that your successes have an impact and influence far beyond just accomplishing that one specific goal.

I’d love to hear and learn from your most recent success. Please feel free to share your story with me.

This Will Set You Apart As A Leader

One strategy is all it takes

Sep 23

What one strategy can you embrace today that will set you apart as a leader?

Recruiting others to help you implement long-term changes in your leadership behavior.

When said so plainly, it makes perfect sense and seems simple, but it certainly isn’t easy—changing one’s behavior never is. Here are four steps that I’ve learned from working with my clients that will help you engage others and learn from their insights about your behavior as you seek to enhance your effectiveness as a leader.

Gather the Information You Need to Gain a Deeper Perspective.  Choose people who you respect to give you feedback about your key strengths, key opportunities to improve, and what one behavior you should alter, start, or stop. Identify the two top themes—or the two most important things you want to work on—over the next 30 days.

Choose Key People You Want to Engage to Help You Make the Change.  There isn’t one right way to choose whom you choose. What is more important is that you decide who can give you constructive input, be fair and candid, and be willing to let go of the past and evaluate improvement in your behavior from today forward. Be sure to request their participation—not demand it.

Make Your Choice and Implement Their Suggestions.  Review all the suggestions with an open mind and in the spirit with which they were given to help you become a better leader. Choose several of the suggestions and create your action plan for the next 30 days. Share what you’re doing with that cadre of people you have selected, and let them know you will be checking in with them to ask for feedback.

Seek Their Feedback About How You Are Doing.  Over the course of the next 30 days, reach out informally to those in your cadre and ask if they have noticed an improvement in the areas that you set out to change. Listen to what they have to say. If there were improvements, keep doing what you said you would do, and if they report no change, ask yourself three questions: What did you set out to do? What actually happened? And what do I need to do differently in the next 30 days? Once you answer those questions, give it a try for another 30 days and seek their feedback at the end of that timeframe.

Remember that changing behavior isn’t easy—successful change comes over time and requires your commitment to changing the behavior and replacing it with new behaviors that become routine practice for you. Change isn’t instant, but you can certainly increase your odds of success by engaging others who have a vested interest in seeing you succeed.