A Leader’s List for 2017

These dozen commitments will guide the way I make decisions, engage with others, and keep my focus on the things that matter most.

In the spirit of the resolution season, here is an incomplete list of my commitments to my organization, the people who compose it, and to you, our audience, without whom we do not exist.

On these things, I shall be resolute.

  1. I will engage a broad set of stakeholders in considering important decisions. Once those decisions have been made, I will own them personally.
  2. I will listen intently.
  3. I will never make a choice out of fear.
  4. I will not let the past be my guide or my weight, only my conscience.
  5. I will remember who pays my salary and what they expect from me. If I am not sure, I will ask.
  6. I will hold those who report to me to the same level of accountability to which I hold myself.
  7. I will take “no” for an answer the second time. Then I will reframe the question. Then I will move on.
  8. I will give “no” as an answer as infrequently as I humanly can. But I will mean it when I say it.
  9. I will ask, even insist, that others take risks that move them out of their comfort zones. And I will give them enthusiastic support as they do so.
  10. I will get out of the office at least two days per month and travel at least one week each quarter. I will make it possible for others to do the same.
  11. I will be an active participant in supporting the health of my organization, my community, my country, and my world.
  12. And in all matters, I will act in the best interests of my customers: you kind and brilliant souls who read, watch, and listen to MIT Sloan Management Review.
  13. (13. I will make more lists. They can be highly clarifying.)