At the turn of the new year, there is always reflection.

Did you accomplish what you set out to? What were the major life changing experiences that occurred? How did they impact the trajectory of your life?

The outlook toward the future is just as significant. The universally accepted framework of a year allows us to step outside ourselves and evaluate our long-term dreams.

The addition of another number to the year teases us that as it grows, we too should be evolving and getting one step closer to our dreams… To our future…

But what about getting one step closer to the present?

In response to the launch of Art of a Manager, my friend and legendary manager David Schiff wrote –

“There is, of course, great value in searching for and discovering the tools and systems to achieve a more focused, organized and productive day. Goals seem to come into greater focus at the turn of a new year and any and all good suggestions are welcome and timely.

Candidly, I have always struggled to find a lasting, systematic approach to managing and growing my business and have always lamented to my all too improvisational style… for better or worse. My own rationalization for this default position has been that since the ‘goal post’ always seems to move, my goals and organizational strategies should shift or at least provide the malleability to do so.   

The one note I wanted to sound, however, is a bit more ephemeral and possibly elusive. That is that while goals and resolutions are important and useful for motivation and direction, of equal importance is the ability to be in the moment; to savor and value the very day we are living.

Ironically, this too serves the greater good, the ability to be of service, to be creative, to accomplish great things for our business, our clients, and our lives. The more present we are, the more likely we are listening and effectively communicating and landing our message.

This is the great challenge; my great challenge. The goals and the never-ending search for efficacy in achieving them cannot be at the expense of living the moment, nor can being in the moment be subservient to our ambition. There has to be some balance, fluidity and flexibility to manage that delicate relationship between the two.  

This is my ultimate, ongoing goal. I continue to work toward a more streamlined and focused approach to managing clients and growing my business, while carving out the time for my entrepreneurial pursuits as well. Alongside these daily and long term goals is the hope that I can dedicate equal measure of psychic and physical energy to the grace of each and every day. Weirdly, my fear has never been about losing a job or career, but that I would lose sight of everything else!”

Our targets and dreams, and those of our clients do change. It is important for us as leaders to be present, responsive and flexible in order to evolve with these changes to create greatness.

The malleability David speaks of is best demonstrated in the contents of water by mother nature herself. If we can always move in a pure and flowing state as water does, we can ensure we are consistently displaying the attention we need to the moment.

“Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.”

The Tao Te Ching: Chapter 78 – 6th Century B.C.E.

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