The New Year is well on its way! Are left wondering why your life didn’t take on a magical metamorphosis when the clock stuck midnight on January 1st? You aren’t alone. We live in hope that the New Year means exciting changes in our life. But, in reality the New Year is just a new year… nothing else. So, do you want to light up your 2017? Take control of your life NOW with these simple suggestions:

Take care of yourself first.

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to get back to the gym, but have yet to even step near one? If you don't 100% commit to your well-being and actually be in action around what you say you want, the status quo is all you can ever expect to have.

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My goals list concepts of target and objective2016 is well on its way! Are you already feeling behind and wondering what happened to all the free time you thought you'd have around the holidays to accomplish certain tasks? If this is where you are, you are not alone. Time has a way of ticking away, and before we know it, life has once again gotten in the way of our getting what we want. Or shall I say, we have allowed life to once again get in the way. Now don't start beating yourself up. It is not too late to have an outrageous 2016! Take control of your life NOW with these simple suggestions:

Take care of yourself first: Truth time. How many of you made a New Year's resolution to get back to the gym, yet you have yet to even step a toe near one? Without really committing to your well being and being in action, how do you expect to ever feel anything but "behind"?

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Letter from the Editor

Getting New Year’s Resolution Back on TrackWe’ve only reached the mid-point of the first month of the year, and many people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. How about you – have you gotten off track? If so, get back on track and stop making yourself wrong for what you haven’t done. Beating yourself up has no value in getting you mentally, and even physically, back online with your goals. Standing there, you can get present to what it is you say you want to achieve and be unstoppable in getting there!

If your plan is already buried under days of paperwork, get it out! Keep your plan visible and review it regularly too, taking particular note of who is on your team. If you don’t have a team of people around you that you allow to hold you accountable and support you in your request to make whatever changes you desire, keeping your resolutions and reaching your goals is going to be much, much harder than it needs to be.

To get what you say you want in 2015 you must be unstoppable no matter what comes your way! Those who are most successful and happy in life are unstoppable in their own behalf. They get things done when others say they can’t; they move people when others say they can’t be moved; they see what other people don’t see; they do what others can’t or won’t do!

In the end, getting any New Year’s resolution back on track is about forgiveness (of yourself and your team too), staying present to what you want and the plan you have for getting there, and being unstoppably committed! Don’t allow yourself to be stopped and question: “Why me?” CHOOSE to get back on track, be determined, and never ever give up on getting what you say you want in 2015.

Remember: You are the only person who has a say in how your life turns out!

Clay S. Nelson

Clay S. Nelson

10 Must-Do Tips for Reaching Your “Replacing You” Goal in 2015

Reaching your 2015 goal of “Replacing You”Editor's Note: Please see the first entry in this series in the December 2014 issue of More Than Just a Thought.

Reaching your 2015 goal of “Replacing You” is all about creating room for you to grow and follow your vision for what’s next, and to do that, you must have a team of leaders capable of standing beside you. It is an ongoing process. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes commitment. Yes, it takes an unstoppable mind-set in order to keep the old feeling of, “I can get this done faster if I do it myself just this one time,” out of the way. However, if you will stick with it—not ever giving up—you will create a team of phenomenal leaders capable of seeing your vision through!

Here are 10 musts for reach your “Replacing You” goal in 2015:

#1: Teach What You Know - Teach your team/your replacement(s) all of the things you do to keep your business moving forward and the best way to get clear about what those things are is to write your job description. Write down everything you do for two solid weeks... except for eating, sleeping, and personal time. This will give you a clear picture of what you need to include in your written job description and what you need to teach to your replacement(s).

#2: Be an Effective Teacher - When a team member comes to you with a question, you need to be the question instead of the answer! Ask your team member what they think; ask what they would do if you weren’t there. This provides your team—and replacement(s)—with the benefit of thinking through issues and developing their problem solving skills, and it provides you with the opportunity to see what your team knows and what they don’t know, who has natural abilities in what domain, and who’s choosing to grow and who isn’t.

#3: Have a plan - Without a written plan you don’t know where you are going and you have nothing to teach your team from. Have a clear written plan for who is responsible for what, which will provide your team and your replacement(s) clarity around where they are going and what they are responsible for accomplishing and by when they are to accomplish it.

#4: Be in Full and Complete Communication - Leaving your team out of the proverbial “loop” or expecting them to do things under the guise of “... because I told you so!” is no way to build a team of leaders around you. If you want your replacement(s) to stand tall beside you and take on more responsibility, always communicate fully and completely. Start with communicating the plan for putting your vision into action! Your team needs to know what is expected of them, by-when, and what part they play in fulfilling your vision for the company.

#5: Delegate - Replacing you requires you to not only teach your replacement(s) how to do what you do, but you also have to let them do it. Be clear about what you are giving up and delegate those responsibilities/tasks to your replacement(s).

#6: Create an Accountability System - You are responsible for doing what you say you are going to do and by-when you say you will do it, and your team members have to be clear that they also are accountable for producing the results you agree will be produced. When you have a clear system of accountability in place, there is no room for “I could have...” or “I should have...” or “I just plain don’t want to...” With accountability, we either are our word or we aren’t.

#7: Stay out of the way - Give up being a control monster, and allow your team to put your vision/plan into action. Your team members learn the most when you allow them to stand on their own two feet and learn, not only from the their successes, but also from their mistakes.

#8: Allow your team to contribute to the team and to you - Trust the training and instincts that you are building in your team by allowing your team members to contribute to not only the company, but to you directly. By doing so you empower your team to be 100% engaged in accomplishing the goals and vision you create.

#9: Be open to learning and doing things a new (and possibly even better) way - Listen to what your team members have to say about what they see and what they believe could or should be done in any given circumstance.

#10: Do not make your team members wrong when they make a mistake - We all learn the most when we make a mistake. So, turn mistakes into teachable moments asking, “What is a better way to do it next time?”

When you put those 10 must-dos into action, replacing you becomes infinitely easier. Will it be a perfect, trouble-free process? No, but even with a few bumps in the road, the following benefits make it all worthwhile!

Replacing you means:

  • Having a team empowered to accomplish your vision.
  • Your team thinking not just in terms of checking off tasks from a list, but in terms of asking, “How can we do this better and more efficiently? How can I contribute to the success of the company?” Your business becomes more efficient and profitable!
  • Your business working without you having to be there 24/7.
  • Having time for yourself and your family!
  • You create room to BE the visionary, the creator of new ideas and goals, rather than doing all of the work.

Tell me: Does the end goal justify the things you have to take on and do differently? I think so, but I want to hear from you! Chime in the comment section below. Let’s get the conversation started... share your own thoughts on “Replacing You”... let’s make a difference together!

Make Replacing YOU your #1 goal for 2015 and as both you and your team grow and move forward to what’s next... you will see that anything is possible!

Leadership Essential: Forgiveness

Leadership Essential: Forgiveness[Forgiveness is] a deliberate act on our part. Revenge evens the score; forgiveness wins the game."
—Family Walk

One of the secrets of effective leadership is the ability to forgive on your feet—forgive someone in the moment when that person does or says something that offends or hurts you; forgive when someone fails to be their word or messes up on the job. Forgiving on your feet means not wasting precious time or energy being resentful or resisting the urge to not trust and do it all yourself, again.

Forgiveness is about regaining your power. That’s right! As long as you are resentful, the person or circumstance that you are resentful of has power over you. When you forgive, you reestablish control over your life and reclaim your personal power. You give up the stress that carrying resentment or hurt creates, and you give yourself an immediate benefit of stress relief.

Leadership is a choice not to let your important life decisions be run by your feelings. Forgiveness is a choice we can make, even in the face of our feelings, including our fears. Forgiveness means we are willing to be vulnerable again... to take the risk. Forgiveness means choosing to give up being a victim and give up being right.

Forgiving on your feet takes practice. It may seem difficult at first, but the way to improve your ability to forgive is to practice, practice, and practice some more! You’ve probably noticed that life gives you several opportunities every day to forgive on your feet—the banker cutting off your line of credit, being cut off on the freeway, the restaurant server taking too long to bring your check to the table, your son spilling a gallon of juice on the carpet, a member of your executive team loosing a major account... you get the idea! So, every time you recognize a new hurt or anger, practice choosing in that moment to let go of it quickly. You simply have to practice choosing a forgiving attitude. Leaders forgive quickly. Leaders know that giving over their energy to resentment or a grudge robs them of their ability to lead effectively. They have to forgive and move on in order to stay the course and get what they say they want, by-when they say they want it.

Leaders know forgiveness is 100% their responsibility. The power of forgiveness lies in the fact that it has NOTHING to do with the other person. Forgiveness is for, and all about, YOU! It's about you giving up hurt and your judgments about others. It's a precious gift you give to yourself, your self-esteem, and to your relationships with everyone. Forgiveness is 100% your responsibility because you are 100% in control of your behavior and choices. So, how about choosing to be a forgive-on-your-feet leader right now?

The holidays are upon you, and on top of the that, you are also racing toward the end of your year… racing to accomplish all that you want to both professionally and personally… racing to create your plans for next year. Given everything on your plate, how do you still get what YOU want? How do you keep mental stress and negativity from getting you down? How do you powerfully complete this year and launch your new year with renewed purpose?

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