Happy 2019 to you. May this New Year be your best yet.

Now, let’s get to it.

There are steps you can take that will change your life and leadership in this new season. I want to talk to you about some of these, though my list will certainly differ from those you commonly see at this time of year.

Spend More Time In Your Control Room

There is a control room from which you run your life. It is usually a reflective state from which you view the world and make decisions. My control room is the time I spend in prayer and scripture reading, quietly presenting myself before God, and pondering what is and what ought to be in my life. In league with my wife, I make the decisions that determine all that I can control in my world. You have a control room like this, though it may differ a bit from mine. I urge you this year to spend more time there. Great things come from this. Decline comes from letting the distractions of life keep us from the all-essential time in the control room.

Address Offense and Wounds

I’m not your counselor but I am trying to help you be a better leader. I can tell you from years of advising leaders and being one myself that nothing knocks a leader off balance like bitterness from past offenses and damage from past wounds. As you start this New Year, take stock of what relationships have gone sour and what wounds you have sustained. Do what you can to reconcile and heal. You won’t be able to fix everything in your soul or every problem with others, but at least you will know the forces working on you as you lead. There will also likely be more healing possible than you might think. Only good in every area of your life will come from this.

Read More, Watch Less

I love movies and I love the time my wife and I spend invested in masterful TV series or documentaries. Still, time passively watching television is increasing dramatically for all of us. Be wise about this, and read more than you watch. Read books about our world. Read about your field. Also read novels, poetry, and biographies that take you into other worlds, other lives and realities. You will be a better mind and deeper soul for it. You will understand the world more fully. You will lead better. Frankly, your whole life will be richer for it.

Don’t Freak Out!

This next year is going to be tumultuous. There is likely to be a global economic downturn. Terrorism will continue to force horrors upon us. Governments will often disappoint and discourage. The human beings you know will exhibit both the better angels of their natures and the darker demons that lurk in all of us. Don’t let any of this surprise or unsettle you. There is always good news. During the American Great Depression, more than 10,000 people became millionaires. During dark times, some of the greatest advances in literature, medicine, faith, and social care have occurred. During the hard times of your life, you’ve learned transforming lessons, sealed the deepest of friendships, understood yourself more clearly, and set a trajectory for future victory and prosperity. It can be the same in this year. Don’t freak out.

I want to thank you for being part of the Leading Thoughts band of brothers and sisters. You are doing important things and it is a privilege to walk alongside you and offer help from time to time. If we can help you or your firm more specifically with a speech, some training, or some consulting, let us know.

Here’s to a glorious 2019 for us all!