Leadership and the New Year

Personal growth. Yeah, that.

I’ve always been someone who didn’t shy from “doing the work” and — at least I thought — I’d dug pretty deep. Coming out in 1998. Getting sober in 2010. Two pretty massive transitions that pretty much demand a full-frontal assault on self awareness.

In this work I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with some of the world’s most sought after leadership trainers. People like Michael Strasner, Judith Rich, Lynne Sheridan, and — the woman who inspired this post — Lisa Kalmin.

When I first encountered Lisa, she was leading the “breakthrough” training segment of my leadership program. Her energy was palpable from moment one — powerful, intense, and utterly riveting. Her impact on my experience was tectonic. Nothing like being seen, really seen, and called forward in a powerful way. When I saw this post of hers just before the year clicked over from 2021 to 2022, as with so many things from Lisa, it snared my attention. I’ve pondered it quite a bit over the last days and while it might have been nice to

I have done many “New Year’s Blogs” over the years…most of them repeating the same and what I consider a very important theme:

That the calendar turns over, but the next year will pretty much look like the last one because we keep bringing the same us forward. That the only way for the new year to be truly “new” is for you to transform your thinking, paradigm and mindset.

And then, 2020 became 2021. Well, that can’t happen again, right?

Well, shit, it is happening again.

And 2021 is about to become 2022. Covid and all. So, I am going back to the ONLY thing any of us can control and it is our relationship with what is happening. Exactly as it is.

Whether we are heading into another surge that limits some of whatever we think we have been missing, or we are about to hit an economic bump, or our very divided points of view come to a head, or you are just plain worn out…YOU ARE STILL BRINGING YOU INTO JANUARY 1ST.

The “you” you bring into 2022 has the potential to create the truly best year of your life or to “languish” in the malaise of the last year or to keep elevating the high you have been riding.

UP to YOU.

Before you flip the calendar, watch your smart phone turn over, toast some champagne or meditate into midnight…

Answer these questions for yourself:

  1. . What am I most proud of being/accomplishing this year (2021)?

Please stop and read/listen to your answers. You didn’t just make it through the last year or two, you reinvented and rerouted, loved and cried, triumphed and failed. Well done, human being!

I can’t promise you ANYTHING about 2022. But that was true long before Covid. I can wish that you remember your magic, your resilience, your strength, your creativity, and your vision and purpose. And I am wishing that for and with you!

What I can promise is that you have a blank canvas moment to moment to BE and to create. And the greatest freedom in the world is that you get to choose moment to moment. God really did get it right.

I’ll end this message with a passage from a brilliant book called “The Book of Qualities” by J. Ruth Gendler.


Faith lives in the same apartment building as Doubt. When Faith was out of town visiting her uncle in the hospital, Doubt fed the cat and watered the asparagus fern. Faith is comfortable with Doubt because she grew up with him. Their mothers are cousins. Faith is not dogmatic about her beliefs like some of her relatives. Her friends fear that Faith is a bit stupid. They whisper that she is naïve and she depends on Doubt to protect her from the meanness of life. In fact, it is the other way around. It is Faith who protects Doubt from Cynicism.”

Happy New Year loved ones!



Raconteur and Silicon Valley expat who’s gone to the dogs … literally. Read more here https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/in/cathybrooks

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store