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10 business leaders on the New Year’s resolutions that will supercharge your career

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Blow the January grey away and get ready for your best year yet. We’ve gathered ten powerful New Year’s resolutions from inspirational business leaders to help you supercharge your career and fulfil your potential in 2020…

 

PRACTISE YOUR ASKS

'I have found throughout my career that every woman thinks it’s just her who cannot a) feel confident and deserving in asking for a pay rise or promotion, b) live up to some ridiculous, unattainable image of working mother/non-working mother, and c) compete effectively without being seen as “too ambitious”. You are not alone. Practice your asks, set your own standards and remember, everyone else is too busy thinking about themselves to be focused on you. And if they are, it’s because you are good.'  Kathryn Jacob, CEO Pearl & Dean

 

MAKE AN IMPACT, EVEN IF IT’S A SMALL ONE

'Most women and, certainly, women of colour, often don’t dream as big as men. If you’re thinking of a particular problem that you want to solve, or business you want to launch, be thinking of how that can be done at its biggest possible scale. If there’s a cause you care about, or an issue that you want to resolve, do something. Maybe your project will turn into a hobby and not a business venture, but you get into the habit of making a start. You will learn along the way and impact, no matter how small, is still impact.’   Claudine Adeyemi, creator of Career Ear

 

WORK FOR A BOSS WHO LIKES YOU

‘You need to work for a boss who likes you. If you work for a boss who doesn't like you - quit and get another job. You need to be in an environment that actually supports your strengths; avoid the boss that tells you to fix your weaknesses. Great things are done when individuals work to their strengths.’  Anne Boden, founder of Starling Bank

 

CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE TO MISTAKES

 ‘Every day we make mistakes. Every day we are rejected. I think being rejected, being refused by people, is very natural. Why should people help you? You have to prove yourself… The thing I feel most thankful for is all of the mistakes, all the refusal I got. Because without that, there would never be Alibaba. Most success stories succeed because of their mistakes. (And) learning from mistakes does not mean you avoid mistakes. You learn the attitude towards these mistakes, and never give up fighting.’  Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba

 

DECIDE HOW NOT TO SPEND YOUR TIME

 ‘I’m absolutely ruthless about scheduling my time to maximise productivity. I spend Sundays planning the week ahead and I begin each morning reviewing my schedule and priorities (both business and personal) for the day. I even plan backup exercise classes just in case my first choice falls through. Just as important, though, is deciding how not to spend my time. I’ve learned not to feel guilty from saying no, it’s critical that if I commit myself to something I’m able to do it well.’  Payal Kadakia, founder of ClassPass

 

MEET PEOPLE YOU CAN LEARN FROM

‘I have never been bashful when it comes to establishing contact with people who are more intelligent than me, people who have more experience. I had to learn everything very rapidly, and I understood tha, if I wanted to reach the core of the matter, I had to go directly to the source, which meant investing energy to meet the best in those fields and to learn from them.’   Brian Chesky, CEO Air BnB

 

LEARN TO PRIORITISE QUICKLY

 ‘The biggest challenge is not having enough hours in the day to do everything. Prioritising – quickly – is essential and you have to be agile. I also believe you have to stick to your word and do what you say you’re going to, even if you’re tired and want to put it off to the next day. I am constantly working on this and most definitely don't get it right all the time. Obviously, lots of people help me. Life is ultimately always about team work.’  Judith Clegg, CEO Takeout

 

DISCONNECT REGULARLY

 ‘”Restore connection” is not just for devices, it is for people too. If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead. Creating the culture of burnout is opposite to creating a culture of sustainable creativity. This is something that needs to be taught in business schools. This mentality needs to be introduced as a leadership and performance-enhancing tool.’  Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post

 

SHOUT ABOUT YOUR WINS

‘Nobody else has time to do your PR and marketing for you. We live in an age where everybody has their own news outlet on social media, and it’s important that you insert yourself into that and celebrate your achievements. There is so much noise online that you have to put yourself out there and be consistent about shouting about the small wins to help build your brand and your audience.’  Hermione Way, former Head of Communications, Tinder

 

LOOK CLOSER FOR MENTORS

‘There are mentors in the workspace all around you. People often reach out [to me] saying, “Will you be my mentor?” And I say, “Let’s talk about that, because the better person to be your mentor in the organisation is someone who sees you every day, someone who knows you at your best and someone who can give you opportunities to improve.” So I always redirect them: find mentors in the people around you, who you respect.’   Mary Barra, CEO General Motors Company