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Carroll Business Path: Resolve to live courageously

So 2012 is thankfully almost over and 2013 is ready to be launched.

This is the time of year when we are expected to have our resolutions in order for the New Year. Let's see, "Lose weight and eat right," that's always on my list. "Exercise more." Maybe that one can wait a while; perhaps I'll pick it up in 2014. We all have our regular resolutions that challenge us. Some of us, and I speak from experience, make a resolution to abstain from resolutions. I'm thinking of a new resolution for 2013, however, that all of us can benefit from making: Resolve to be a more courageous leader at work and home.

The recent movie about President Lincoln's tireless quest to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery, is an amazing testimony of what can be accomplished by a courageous leader. Too often we just cave in to popular opinion and deny our own convictions. The ability to stand for something we feel passionately about in the teeth of tremendous peer pressure is the type of perseverance and courage we should all strive to have. Lincoln had this courage and he is still recognized as perhaps the greatest president in our history.

Steve Jobs also had this type of courage in the business world. An American entrepreneur best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple, Jobs had the courage to stand alone when others said he wouldn't succeed. Jobs believed, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." Nothing meaningful comes without risk; and risk involves overcoming fear with courage.

Fear can paralyze us to the point of doing nothing and taking no action. Dale Carnegie, famous writer and developer of training courses about self-improvement and sales skills, said, "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." What does this mean for us? Don't be afraid to step out in courage at work or home and take a chance at something we feel strongly about. Almost all great things that have ever happened have followed many failures.

What if we fail? Success is never guaranteed, but it is never going to happen if we simply do nothing and settle for the status quo. Courage is best displayed by those who fail and don't give up trying. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stated, "Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."

Let's resolve to make 2013 a year of courageous living at home and in the workplace. I imagine this even means I'll need to consider putting the "Exercise Resolution" back on the table. That's too bad. Have a wonderful 2013.

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