The Nine New Year’s Hippo-lutions for 2024
For years I’ve resisted this exercise, and now based on some things I’ve experienced and encountered in the last year, I’m encouraging my authentic “me” to share what I’ve seen and heard to encourage change for the better. Could any of these be “a better way” for you in 2024? I’ve listed them from things that could make your work different to things that could make your life and the world better…
Stop saying “you guys,” “awesome,” “gotcha” and the ubiquitous “like.. Our conversations are becoming lazy and unprofessional. You’re not an influencer (which btw have been around since 1964, as referenced in the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” nothing new there). You are a business person. Be yourself, yes! Be stylish about it, yes! Be serious about it – hell yes!
Commit to one self-funded professional development event or course that’s not foisted on you by your company. This one is on you. Spend your own money and make the investment in you.
3. Sales pros
Deals are out. Don’t even say the word! It’s an agreement. Too many transactions are built around horrible behavior and outcomes, where one or both parties end up in a rigged finale. Agreement is mutual. Co-creation of outcomes is always more powerful.
4. Client-facing professionals
Don’t forget those who were your clients. They’re still your clients. Even a brief email or text is a great place to start. People want to be noticed on their journey. When you were on that journey, was it all about you? Take the chance and reestablish connections in 2024.
5. Sales leaders
Stop running sales opportunities as if you’re a super sales rep. There is no reason to take over a sales cycle unless you don’t trust them or they aren’t doing a good job. Just do your job!
6. Senior leaders
Let’s stop segregating leaders, let’s reintegrate leaders (and end the woman centric, minority centric, sexual-orientation centric, experience centric, etc. group-think). I think we’ve had enough segregated behavior (and unfortunately seem to be relishing even more of it). Let’s stop this segmented, divisive congregating right now. There is too much to consider; there’s too much volatility and uncertainty out there. Complex problems require all hands on deck and siloing discussions to certain groups is not productive. Compassion and cruelty are not limited to a particular group. We all have a good handle on both and need to come together. There are storms out there and everyone must focus on the horizon.
Intention + Action + Reflection = Onward Movement. This formula is something I’ve been working on and with for several years. This is the latest version and I think the most appropriate if you’re stuck and want to move. When you miss any one of these components you will have at best, a disjointed, jerky journey to wherever you’re trying to go. And, onward is far more stylish than forward.
Read the Bible (I suggest Bible in a Year Podcast from Ascension w/ Fr. Mike Schmitz). I managed to navigate through an entire life as a cradle Catholic – attending catechism class through high school and graduating from a Catholic university (which included four years of philosophy and religious education requirements) – and never read this amazing book. It’s time we stop trying to solve the world’s problems with man’s ideas. You want real change for ’24? For you and others? Start here…
9. Life (this one and the next)
Stand closer to God. Just before the pandemic, I chose to return to a more spiritual and religious life. Things were going well and I wanted to acknowledge that this journey was not all about earning promotions, gaining followers and accumulating luxury goods. God’s plan is not easy, and it is simple. I highly recommend exploring a better way to walk through this life – on this world. The world needs more of you, not less, and God’s plan, while mysterious at times, works. Perhaps it’s time for a new program in your life and world?
Objects in the mirror can appear closer than they are and these particular observations are my views on experiences most affecting me during the last year or so. Some could be considered bold or pedestrian, useful or useless, maybe even wise or “get off my lawn kid!” Perhaps Boomerism. The cool part is they’re mine. And now, some of them might just be yours. One thing I’ve always admired is a lesson I learned early in my coaching journey: “Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong. Nobody’s right and nobody’s wrong.” So long for now and have a great start to it all; I’ve got to go wrangle a hippo or two.
Be big. Be cool. Be hippo.
Ready to get started?