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5 Leadership Lessons I’m Trying On For 2012

I read this article in Forbes today on the 5 Leadership Tips for 2012.  Here are my own, that I thought I’d share with you. That way you can hold me accountable, and better yet, create your own lessons that you would like to learn over the course of the next calendar year.

1. Extrication – I like the definition of this word: it means to free or release from entanglement.  I’m really going to try and focus on this for 2012 – to free myself from a lot of things I’ve done in the past in order to give me space to explore new options in 2012 and beyond–particularly post-law school.  Of all the words as overarching themes for the new year, I like this word and this idea the best.  I’m allowing the universe to free me a bit so I can start my own post-law-school metamorphosis.

2. True Friends – people who appreciate me and to whom I appreciate I vow to spend more time with and on in 2012.  In the past, I’ve tended to hold on a little too long to relationships with others who maybe didn’t appreciate me or I was trying to better understand why they treated me negatively.  No more.  I’m done.  I instead want to focus my time and efforts on those who show me the love, and get back to richer, truer and healthier relationships so I can authentically reciprocate the love rather than making it plastic.  This is also true in business–I want to work with people and brands I believe in.  I’ve also had to blow off a lot of my friends over the past 4 years because of law school at night.  For that, I’m truly sorry.  But, I promise that this year, I’m committed to getting back to making my friendships stronger–personally and professionally.

3. Spend time thinking about who I want to be when I grow up – heading into my last semester of law school, I’m feeling the ever-increasing pressure of providing a respectable answer to the #1 question I receive when chatting with others, “So…what are you going to do after law school?”  Frankly, I’m going in 2012 to 1. enjoy each moment as it comes and 2. listen more closely to the messages the universe is sending me when it comes to what I should ultimately do or be when I grow up.  (That, and of course attempt to pass the bar.)  I’ll let the universe do the heavy lifting, but it is my job to continue to explore and be curious about people, careers, and passion.  This is my super-sleuthing leadership lesson for the year.

4. Do the best job in the moment – I’m totally future-focused, so this one is a big one for me to work on – gotta get more in the moment and stop obsessing about some time point that isn’t even here yet.  This will probably be the hardest of the 5 lessons for me to try on and break in over the year.

5. More scary conversations – I need to get around more people who scare me.  I’ve talked about this here before, but I need to be around people who are going to test my skills, challenge me, and help me grow into a more successful professional.  I want to be scared after a mentor/mentee conversation (where I’m the mentee, or the mentor, for that matter…). This is going to take the most work of all 5 challenges listed above, but it is time for me to take myself to the next level, and that will require me to get around people who scare the crap out of me.  This includes personal, business, professional, and spiritual.

Now, these 5 themes will be woven into my tactical and strategic one-pager for my 2012 goals, but I think the tone of the overarching themes for the year are very important.  Why, just today I had to make a decision about something, and I used the framework of the 5 themes above to come out from under the hood of indecisiveness (yes, I literally had a hooded sweatshirt up on top of my head this morning).  But it is down now, thanks in part to these 5 Leadership Lessons I’m already trying on for 2012.

May you find your own leadership lessons, and good luck getting them on in 2012!

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