As a manager, what will you do differently in 2017? How will you apply what you learned in 2016 to manage smarter in the New Year?

Undoubtedly, each manager will have a different list of resolutions that is unique to their experiences, values, and goals.  Your list should be personal, written, visible, and obtainable, with the goal of inspiring personal improvement.   Here is mine:

Keep things in perspective.  Do things routinely seem to get out of hand?  Try a rating scale to maintain perspective.  I apply a 1-5 (low to high) rating to the significance of business decisions, problems, etc.    The rating helps me to assess the importance of a situation and its outcome.  A rating of 1-2 keeps me from “sweating the small stuff, ” and a rating of 4-5 justifies dedicating the time needed to handle what is truly important.

Be willing to make mistakes.  Only by taking risks and making mistakes will you be able to move beyond the status quo and experience a sense of achievement.  The proverb “Behold the turtle.  He only makes progress when he sicks his neck out,” talks to moving outside of one’s comfort zone to reach a new goal or destination.  Risk taking includes a willingness to make mistakes, learn from them, and stick your neck out again.  If you have never failed, you are not trying hard enough.

Don’t take work too personally.  The workplace comprises a complex mix of personalities, attitudes, norms, and behaviors.  With such diversity, there is certain to be misperceptions and misunderstandings.   A manager can minimize these feelings by keeping them in context to a specific situation and not internalizing them as a personal attack.  Also, by making an effort to “stand in another’s shoes,” you can broaden your perspective and avoid hastily jumping to judgment.

Say “Thank You” more often.  It is easy to get wrapped up in your affairs and neglect the contributions or sacrifices being made by others.  As a manager, the “team” is your greatest responsibility . . . and your greatest source of satisfaction.  Be sure to tell the team—regularly, specifically, and sincerely–how important they are (both individually and as a group) and how much you care.  By being attentive to your team, you increase the joy of teamwork for all.

Take the time to reflect on 2016, and prepare a list of resolutions, even a short one.  Then, use it to improve your management style and guide you to managerial excellence in the New Year!