Happy New Year and Welcome to 2024!
(If you’re done already with New Year’s greetings, Larry David agrees with you.)

Warning: If you’re looking for January’s Thought Partners to focus on:

  • New Year’s Resolutions
  • Annual Aspirations
  • Fresh Start Commitments
  • New Year’s Evolutions
  • Yearly Revolutions
  • Intentional Integrations

or any other traditional goal-setting metrics, measures, or milestones, you may be disappointed.

Instead, I’ve decided that in January we’re going to focus on owning who we are, the values that have shaped our ways of being and ways of working, and how much of those values we’re ready to share with others in a professional setting. If you’re not sure that works for you, I urge you to hang around this month anyway and give it a try. I promise I’ll be back to “hardcore leadership” news to use in February. 

What really inspired today’s TPF is of all people, the musical artist, P!nk. Last November P!nk played two shows in South Florida (full disclosure, I didn’t attend either). I wouldn’t have even known she was in town had it not been for a LinkedIn post by the Miami Heat (which many of you know, I DO know when they are in town). For the record, I happen to like P!nk, just not as much as the Miami Heat.

The Heat posted that P!nk had partnered with PEN America, a non-profit organization, to give away 1000 banned books inside their stadium to concert-goers before the show. (Between her two South Florida concerts, P!nk gave away 2000 banned books in two nights.) In many states here in the United States, the banning of books has become a politically charged topic. But for our purposes here, politics isn’t the point. 

When I saw the Heat’s LinkedIn post, I was proud of their activism and their willingness to partner with an artist who had a point of view and a point to make. I was proud to be a Heat fan when I saw the post. 

What I wasn’t proud of, was my hesitation to supportively comment on their post or my hesitation to reshare their post. I value freedom, language, the power of ideas, and people’s ability to determine how those ideas play a part or not in their OWN lives. I value truthfulness, honesty, and authenticity. I value standing up for things that you feel are right. And I value books and access to them.

Yet I was hesitant to support the post and “put my name” on something that I thought some people in my professional network might not agree with me on. That pause forced me to check in with my value system and I didn’t like what I saw. At that moment, I was measuring my “professional persona” against owning and living my values.

It is ill-advised to ignore your values and operate outside of them when you’re unsure or scared of the reception. I’m not advocating for discussing politics, religion, or even your value system at work. I am advocating that you make sure you periodically check in with yourself as this year unfolds and YOU operate within YOUR values. Stay true to the person you are this year and it will be a great one, regardless of your Resolutions, Aspirations, or Evolutions.

Ultimately, I did comment on the post because I am who I am. 
This year I’ll try to remember that. Will you join me?