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Why your New Year’s leadership resolution is already failing — and how to get it back on track

Scott Eblin is an executive coach, a speaker, a blogger and the author of “The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.” You can learn more about him and read his blog at Eblin Group. Or follow him on Twitter: @scotteblin.

This is the first post in a series exploring how to improve your leadership presence in 2012. To assess the state of your leadership skills, check out Eblin’s free leadership self-assessment, based on his book “The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.”

A new year brings with it the promise of change, but desire quickly gets crowded out by reality. Lists of resolutions are made and then fade. Part of the problem is the length of the lists themselves. When it comes to making meaningful change in how you show up as a leader this year, less is more.

You can improve your odds of success by reducing the number of items on your leadership improvement list down to the one or two things that would make the biggest difference. For now, forget about the other eight or nine things on your list. Practice what the Japanese call kaizen — continuous improvement through small steps. Or as the great basketball coach John Wooden said, “When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur.”

How do you decide what you should focus on? In the following video coaching segment, I’ll tell you how to focus your improvement efforts on the vital things that are relatively easy to do and highly likely to make a big difference:


Over the next two months, I’ll share more ideas and video coaching segments about how to become a better leader in 2012 by taking little steps that make a big difference.

Want more information? Don’t forget to take Eblin’s free leadership self-assessment, which takes about five minutes and gives you a picture of how you stack up on three key components of leadership presence: personal, team and organizational.