Leadership Resolutions

Dr. Matthew Arau • January 2024Leadership Tips • January 8, 2024

2024 is here and with the arrival of January, many of us have taken the time to write out New Year’s Resolutions. This is the perfect opportunity to reset and re-chart our course for the remainder of the school year. When we resolve to do something, we commit with all our will and sincerity. A resolution guides our decisions and actions and helps to steer our ship toward its intended destination. 

This month’s leadership tips provides five resolutions that you can adopt for yourself and share with your student leaders. 

1. Connect before you correct. – President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care,” reminding us how important it is to get to know someone and to build a connection and friendship with them before critiquing them. When someone knows you care about them, they will be much more motivated and open to collaboration and constructive feedback.

2. Elevate team-members – Booker T. Washington shared, “There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” The more you support, encourage, and empower those you lead to contribute, the higher your team-members will reach, benefiting the entire group. Take time to share appreciation and gratitude for others.

3. Believe in those you lead – John C. Maxwell wrote, “It is one thing to communicate to people because you believe you have something of value to say. It’s another to communicate with people because you believe they have value. People’s opinion of us has less to do with what they see in us than it does with what we can help them see in themselves.” Your belief in those you teach and lead influences what your students will believe about their own potential to achieve. 

4. Choose a positive attitude. Henry Ford famously taught, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” Choose a “can do” and a “get to do” attitude and your attitude will be contagious, reflected by those you teach and lead. Even though there are many challenges to face daily, rather than focusing on what is wrong, focus on what you want to create. When you shift your focus, you change your perspective.

5. Achieve big goals with consistent, small steps. I love this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Achieving anything worthwhile begins with taking the first step. Don’t feel you need to accomplish everything right away. Consistent, daily actions, habits, and routines are how you will reach your ultimate destination. Be fully present and cherish the journey.


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