As we get ready to ring in a new year, it’s a safe bet that change and uncertainty will continue to be major themes — along with the ongoing need for equitable, diverse and inclusive organizations. It’s also safe to assume that leadership will be critical for success. With that in mind, here are 10 leadership resolutions the Center for Creative Leadership recommends recommend for the coming year.


Resolutions for leading yourself

  1. Lead with your whole self.

Achieving balance doesn’t mean devoting equal attention to all parts of your life at all times. Rather, it’s about understanding the importance of each facet and being intentional about how you prioritize your time and energy.

You can be a more effective leader by understanding how four elements of your life – self, family, career and community – influence and work with each other. When you bring your whole self to your role, you can more easily integrate your values into your everyday actions, and help your team do the same.

  1. Don’t shy away from talking about difficult topics.

Talking about difficult topics, including conversations about race, can make us feel vulnerable, nervous or even fearful about having these important discussions. But having them is essential for creating a truly inclusive work culture.

Start by understanding the concepts of trust, identity and power to lay the groundwork for any conversation about race, both in the workplace and beyond.


Resolutions if you’re leading others

  1. Support your employees in their development efforts.

Professional development is important for everyone on your team. Research has found that the primary predictor of the success of leadership development programs is the degree to which participants’ bosses support them. So, how can you support your people?

  • Set the stage for an effective program by discussing with your direct reports their goals – areas they should focus on and how they can get the most out of each opportunity.
  • Give them permission to focus their attention on the training by allowing them to fully disengage from normal responsibilities.
  • Find out what support they’ll need when their program is done.
  • Follow up after the training by meeting with your team members to discuss what they learned, how they’ll apply it, and what you can do to continue supporting them.
  1. Lead your team through change.

Change is the one thing we can be certain of. Not only do leaders have to navigate change for themselves, but they also have to lead their teams through change.

Even when leaders and organizations know what the change is, they may still hesitate, fail to act, or act slowly. Here’s how to overcome the inertia:

  • Know what you want to achieve.
  • Observe the current state of your team or organization.
  • Accept that this is where things are and that change won’t happen unless you take action.
  • Communicate your intent and why again, again and again.
  • Demonstrate your personal commitment to the change.
  • Offer a better vision based upon your intent.
  • Reward those who move forward.


Resolutions if you’re leading an organization

  1. Create a psychologically safe workplace.

How do you foster trust, creativity, collaboration and innovation in an organization and get people to leverage their full potential? By creating safe spaces to take risks at work – the foundation of psychological safety.

You can empower your people to challenge the status quo by using three leadership strategies:

  • Clarifying boundaries.
  • Establishing trust.
  • Fostering interpersonal risk-taking.
  1. Build a more resilient organization.

When organizations are resilient, their people are mindfully aware of the environment, able to respond productively in the face of disruption, and willing to learn from experience.

While organizational resilience is built over time, some of the best development occurs during adversity and unplanned change. As a leader, you can help your organization to become more resilient by embedding these three steps in daily work life:

  • Anticipate what’s happening in the environment.
  • Empower your people to collaborate in new ways.
  • Assess your progress so that you can continuously build capability and capacity.
  1. Invest in equity, diversity and inclusion.

Fostering equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is imperative for building thriving organizations and attracting and retaining talent for the opportunities of the future.

Your people need new ways to think about and talk about diversity. Your leaders need new skills to enable equity and inclusion in the workplace. And your organization needs scalable ways to ensure that your EDI initiatives avoid common mistakes and are both solid and sustainable.

Use this framework from the Center for Creative Leadership to help your people understand the dynamics of EDI within your particular organization — and identify specific actions they can take to drive progress.

  • Reveal relevant opportunities. Using a curious and open mindset, start investigating the context in which EDI plays out for individuals, teams and your entire organization.
  • Elevate equity. Make it a priority for every individual and group to have access to the resources and opportunities they require to reach their full potential.
  • Activate diversity. Acknowledge and celebrate differences within your organization.
  • Lead inclusively. Envision and enact new ways of leading that allow everyone in your organization to participate authentically.