At the beginning of each year, I like to take some time to reflect on our “wins” from the previous year and set some strategic goals for the months ahead.
When I think back on 2016, highlights include The Ames Foundation joining our team as an affiliate, season 6 of the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market, Chamber membership growth, East Industrial Annexation, celebrating 30 years of Leadership Ames and 33 high school students in the Ames Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program.
The list could go on and on, but I always find our leadership programming – Leadership Ames, Youth Leadership Ames and our new series of Leadership events—among the most valuable things we do and the programs I am most proud of.
As we head into 2017, I’m focused on cultivating an environment that is fueled by positive energy. This applies to our office at 304 Main Street, to the Boards of The Ames Chamber of Commerce, Ames Economic Development Commission and our Affiliate organizations as well as our community as a whole.
Look for exciting panels and guest speakers as part of our 2017 Leadership Series. Our Annual Event will feature international best-selling author and speaker Jon Gordon and will be a great way to kick off the new year. This guy knows a lot about positive energy. If you haven’t read The Energy Bus, I can’t recommend it enough.
At our Annual Event on February 7th Jon will share insightful stories, best practices and powerful principles from his best-selling books. It’s open to everyone and I encourage you to bring your entire office as a fun and motivating event over the lunch hour. You can find more information at www.ameschamber.com or by calling our office at 515-232-2310.
Lastly, here’s Jon’s “20 tips for a positive New Year.” I sent this list out to each member of my staff and have it hanging near my desk as a reminder to focus on positive energy this year. Make 2017 a great one!
1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
2. Take a daily "Thank You Walk." It will create a fertile mind ready for success.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and less foods manufactured in plants.
4. Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with words of truth and encouragement.
5. Post a sign that says "No Energy Vampires Allowed." Gandhi said, "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet."
6. Be a great team member. When you help your team improve, you improve.
7. Don't chase success. Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships and success will find you.
8. Get more sleep. You can't replace sleep with a double latte.
9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
10. You don’t have to be great to serve but you have to serve to be great. Look for opportunities to Love, Serve and Care.
11. Live your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. We don't get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.
12. There's no such thing as an overnight success. Anything worthwhile takes time to build.
13. Trust that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.
14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. If you are complaining, you're not leading.
15. Read more books than you did in 2016.
16. Don't seek happiness. Instead live with love, passion and purpose and happiness will find you.
17. Focus on "Get to" vs "Have to." Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.
18. The next time you "fail" remember that it’s not meant to define you. It’s meant to refine you.
19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.
20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.
-Dan Culhane, President & CEO