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New Year's resolution: Move forward with focus and urgency

Make 2010 a prosperous year! Start moving forward now!

With the final hours of 2009 approaching, most of us have thought about creating a list of resolutions to put into practice in the New Year. If the last twelve months have taught us anything, they have taught us to be strong in the face of uncertainty and that hope alone will not improve our situation.

Knowing that we are preparing our business and personal resolutions for 2010, I thought it appropriate to republish an article I wrote this past spring. I hope that you find value in the message. Happy New Year!


In response to the continuing decline in the economy, far too many CEOs, presidents, sales managers and salespeople are hunkering down and hoping things get better. What they need to understand is that hope is killing them.

When our prisoners of war returned from Vietnam, it was discovered that those least likely to survive the horrific experience of Hanoi Hell were those who were hoping, hoping to be rescued that next week, that next month, that year. Why should hope be their death knell? The other side of the coin of hope is despair. When rescue didn't come that next week, that next month, that year, those who were hoping, were left with despair, and weren't able to do what was necessary to survive that day, then the next and the next, so they let go.

Today when hoping is our primary response to difficult times, we are letting go, letting go of taking proactive steps to forge new plans, new behaviors, new thinking to meet extraordinary circumstances. In doing that, we are waiting for external circumstances to change. But what happens if they don't or external circumstances get worse?

Of course we need to be optimistic about the long term. But in the short term, we have to let go of hope and accept that things may not get better immediately and act accordingly. This perspective will help give us the focus and urgency to move forward today. And moving forward this day is our best guarantor of surviving and succeeding tomorrow.

Have you got a question or comment? Please email me at

Wishing you a happy, healthy and most prosperous New Year!




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