It’s Not The What, It’s The How

There is something so exciting about the fresh start that a new year offers.  It is as if the changing dates on the calendar leave us unencumbered by those patterns that have inhibited us in the past.  I can recall the days leading up to my first “big job” as it held a similar sense of renewal as the start of a new year.

The CEO had asked me to put together a plan to “fundamentally affect the trajectory of sales and marketing for the company”.  I still vividly recall my excitement as I tackled the assignment with enthusiasm.  I created the most robust and detailed plan imaginable.  Before sending it off to the CEO I asked a mentor to review it.  I anxiously awaited the praise I was certain I was to receive.

His words echo in my head to this day,  “I think you have put together a robust and extensive plan, its fine. Elevator Buttons Your ability to actually get anything done on your list will be 100% predicated upon how you choose to show up as a leader.  So, how have you planned to show up?”  There was a long pause on the phone as I tried to digest what he said.  Truthfully, I had not even considered how I was going to show up.  I was certain about every “what” I was going to do, but not the “how” I was going to do it.  It was a huge lesson for me, one of many that year.

To this day I still ask myself that question every morning – Sunday through Saturday.  On some days its clear while on other days it is not.  What I’ve learned is that it’s an ongoing journey, a forever process and an every day choice aimed at being the most effective leader to anyone I am serving in any situation I encounter.

I invite you to ask yourself this question over the next few days as we enter 2014.  I am certain there will be resolutions that come and go, think of them as merely the “what” you are trying to do.  Breathe into the space of defining “how” you will enter the New Year.  Find discovery in choosing how you want to show up and be the leader you are meant to be for those you are here to serve.





About The Author

Betsy Leatherman joins Full Circle Group excited to deliver world class leadership development to the market.

Prior to joining Full Circle Group Betsy was the CEO of Peacelilly Consulting, Founder and VP of Marketing at RAZR Marketing and Practice Leader at Carlson Marketing Group. She started her career at Pecos River Aon Consulting after receiving a summa cum laude Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Betsy resides in chilly Minneapolis with her husband Mike and her sons Riley and Kieran. When she isn’t passionately pursuing deeper relationships with customers you can find her practicing yoga, running or carpooling to the local hockey rink.


Douglas Day

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  • Chad Gabriel says:

    Great article Betsy. It’s funny how a new year can spark re-calibration when the reality is we can choose to re-calibrate at any time, in any moment. One of my favorite quotes that your article reminded me of is that “the answer to how is ‘yes'”. Good luck in your new role at The Leadership Circle!

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