Team of corporate professionals in office corridorAre you familiar with mantras? Within the practice of meditation and yoga, a mantra is a word or a sound repeated to help with concentration and to help create a sense of calm.

In the leadership realm, a mantra is a statement or slogan repeated frequently to remind yourself of what’s most important. Mantras are a bit like big-picture New Year’s Resolutions. As we enter a new year, consider creating a mantra or two to define your overarching goals for the coming year, from which all other goals follow. Here are some examples:

I will be a force for good

Business could be the most powerful force for good in the world if leaders would embrace the awesome responsibility of leadership.” Bob Chapman, CEO, Barry-Wehmiller. Business leaders have the tools to make their companies, their communities and even the world a better place. Is this the year you use your gifts and resources to help others?

I will be kind

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” The 14th Dalai Lama. Being kind to yourself, your loved ones, your friends and even people you don’t know can have a profoundly positive impact on your life and community. In the workplace, kindness can pay huge dividends and have far-reaching effects. Research shows that when people receive an act of kindness, they pay it back — and not just to the same person, but often to someone else as well. Being kind to your employees and colleagues can help you be a more effective leader.

I will forgive

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” Maya Angelou. Almost everyone has been wronged by someone. Yet holding on to negative feelings about other people and/or certain events in the past is definitely not good for your health and well-being. Forgiving other people in the business world doesn’t mean that you have to forget or excuse what you experienced; it just means that you’ve acknowledged it and have decided to move on to better things.

I won’t give up

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Confucius. We live in a society that is obsessed with immediate results. Instead of beating yourself up for not achieving things as quickly as you would like, take heart in the progress you are making toward your goals. The best leaders are those who have the critical quality of perseverance.

I will be positive

“Wherever you go, no matter the weather, bring your own sunshine.” Anthony J. D’Angelo. A positive attitude will take you further in life than any manner of success. Learn to be happy, grateful and joyful, and you will be more successful than you could have ever dreamed. Are you practicing positive leadership?

I will never stop learning

“The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss. Life is about learning and growing. Make an effort to always acquire knowledge in whatever form it may take, and you will find your life will be rich.

Wherever you go during this year, remember these wise words. Life is about the journey and our struggles along the way. Find your own mantras and use those words as your guiding principles every day, all year long.


  • Scott Harrison says:

    Rich, thanks for these comments. Grouped together as you have done, they provide the framework for a life well-lived. I am going to print out what you have here and tack it to my shop wall to remind me when needed. Great writing and an excellent way to list the reminders we need daily.

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