The Smart Leaders' Guide: 5 Steps to a Successful New Year


Now is the time to position yourself for an extraordinary year ahead!

This time of year is the ideal time to carefully consider the circumstances, challenges and achievements of the past year. It's also a perfect opportunity to look ahead and position yourself for a truly successful 2015. The following five steps will help you do just that:


1. Review your successes and reflect upon your strengths.
What are your greatest accomplishments of the past 12 months? Where did you manage to move the needle in more modest yet significant ways? And just how did you arrive at these points of success? Consider: Which of your personal and professional strengths did you leverage? Whose help and guidance helped propel your ideas and agenda? Be sure to amply note your successes, to feel proud and accomplished, and to sincerely (perhaps publicly) thank the people who helped you achieve your vision.


2. Reflect upon your mistakes, failures and missed opportunities.
Note, the operative word here is reflect. This is not a call to self-beration or unwarranted self-doubt. It is, instead, an opportunity to objectively examine where and why things went wrong. The fact is, you can learn a great deal from the challenges and errors of the past year. Review them openly and honestly. Reflect, learn, and then position yourself for greater success in the coming year - and beyond.


3. Establish your priorities.
Think it through. What must absolutely be achieved in Q1, Q2, and the rest of the year? Where must you be most intently focused right out of the gate? What must you set aside, at least for the time being? Once you clearly delineate the most immediate priorities, you can position yourself to start the year with a laser focus and a solid plan for getting things done. Speaking of which...


4. Devise an action plan for the coming year.
Be sure to commit it to writing. Delineate meaningful categories, such as: business objectives, leadership development, team enhancement, professional growth, personal and social goals. For each of the above (and any other categories you select), you'll want to identify and commit to high-impact action steps and timelines, measures of progress, resources required, and sources of motivation. The fact is, achieving meaningful goals won't be easy. Motivation helps. Ask yourself: Why do all of this? What's in it for me? How will it benefit my team? How will it help the company grow?


5. Get started now!
If you really want to hit the ground running in 2015, now's the time to get your ducks in a row. Dedicate yourself to tackling the above 4 activities - think them through, create a working plan that will help guide you and keep you honest - and remember to line up all the support you'll need. Do it now. Then, when the time comes, you can proudly and confidently raise your glass to a prosperous and successful year ahead!


We can help.
At Bywater Consulting Group, we are experts in helping leaders and their teams take giant leaps in performance and impact. We pride ourselves in partnering with our clients - all highly successful senior executives - as they elevate leadership effectiveness and influence across their organizations.


Call on us to help you:
  • Rise to a new challenge
  • elevate the performance of your team
  • navigate the transition into a new role
  • exert greater influence
  • establish or hone your leadership brand
  • craft and convey a remarkable vision
  • communicate with impact
  • build relationships and trust
  • engage and align with key stakeholders
  • embrace creative conflict (and neutralize the destructive stuff)
  • solidify your reputation as an extraordinary leader
  • position yourself for the next big opportunity


Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We are incredibly grateful for your many recommendations, introductions and referrals! Your trust in us comes through loud and clear.

As we approach the New Year, we are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and we are ready to take on even more! You can be a key partner in helping us provide our coaching and leadership expertise to more leaders, in more organizations, across a wide array of functions. So please keep those introductions and referrals coming! We love being able to help savvy leaders in their pursuit of greater success, fulfillment, and impact.

Not sure who to refer? Here are a few of the "ideal" introductions we've received over the years:

  • Peers
  • business partners
  • customers/clients
  • boss
  • boss's boss
  • the Board
  • direct reports
  • colleagues in professional associations
  • friends
  • family
Rest assured, we will take exceptional care of them. You know us. We are all about building and sustaining long-term, trust-based, value-added relationships. It's the foundation of our work, and it's why we do what we do.

We are thrilled to continue the good work and we can't wait to partner with you and other extraordinary leaders in 2015!

Happy Holidays and enjoy the season! We wish you a tremendously fulfilling, successful, rewarding year ahead!!

All the best,  


Liz Bywater, PhD 
President, Bywater Consulting Group 
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Copyright 2014. Liz Bywater, PhD. Bywater Consulting Group, LLC. All rights reserved.