Happy new year! I’ve been on a blogging break, and while it was refreshing, I’m excited to dive back in. Since we just celebrated New Year’s, I decided to start by to discussing our areas of focus for 2013. Many of us have spent time over the holidays evaluating our lives and our work, and coming up with goals, resolutions, thoughts or words to guide us through the new year. Have you done this?
In all this thinking and envisioning what I’d like to accomplish this year, I had an epiphany and I wanted to share it with you (in hopes that maybe you’ll share your epiphanies too). I frequently read books and blogs about business and leadership, but I’ve always read the leadership material from a rather distant standpoint, thinking of it as hypothetical because I don’t see myself as a leader. I knew there was plenty I could learn from reading about leadership, but since I’m not a CEO of a large corporation, I assumed “other people” are the real leaders, while I’m just trying to learn from them.
But I finally realized that I am a leader — in fact, most of us are leaders in some area of our lives — and that my focus for 2013 will be to embrace my identity as a leader. This means focusing more intently on cultivating necessary skills and actively practicing the behaviors of a good leader on a daily basis.
I had to recognize that whether or not I wanted to face it, I already have leadership roles in my family, my literary agency, and in the publishing community. The only way to do something well is to welcome it, explore it, learn about it, and intentionally practice it. So my focus word for this year is “leader.”
I debated whether to write about this publicly. It feels vulnerable to step up and say, “Hey, I finally realized that I’m a leader!” But then I realized that most of you would probably benefit from thinking about the ways in which you are a leader, and asking yourselves if you, too, might find some direction in embracing your leadership role.
Even if you don’t resonate with the idea of leadership, is there something else about yourself you’ve been denying or keeping at a distance that you may want to embrace this year? Is there an identity you’ve been afraid to claim (for example: “writer”) that you are finally ready to inhabit?
What would you do differently this year if you were actively embracing that identity? How would it change your overall perspective and your approach if you allowed yourself to claim it?
I would love to hear your thoughts, including whatever it is you’ve decided to focus on in 2013. Share your resolutions, goals, or words. Let’s not be afraid to put it out there, and to encourage each other.
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