7 Unique New Year’s Resolutions of CEOs and What You Can Learn from Them


John C Norcross, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton, has spent decades studying New Year’s resolutions. According to him, 40% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions on January 1st every year, but only a handful of them manage to succeed in achieving their yearly target.

On the other hand, CEOs set both personal and professional new year’s resolutions that make them a better version of themselves and help them grow their companies in 2020. You don’t have to be a CEO to successfully achieve your New Year’s resolution. Whether you are a project manager or an employee, you can set and achieve your New Year’s resolution if you mimic what the top CEOs do.

In this article, you will learn about seven new year’s resolutions of top CEOs that would enable you to become a better version of yourself in 2020.

1. Innovate, Innovate, Innovate

Adam Contos, CEO of Re/Max, a real estate company, believes in continuous innovation. When asked about his New Year’s resolution, he said, “What motivates me and my team each and every day is how we can constantly innovate and offer new tools, trainings and technology that prepares our network for today and tomorrow.”

Reflecting on his journey and sharing the lessons he learned the hard way, he said, “Growing this new brand from the ground up has … allowed me to experience firsthand the highs and lows of introducing a business to a marketplace, finding our footing and shifting focus based on needs, feedback and experience — much like that of a franchisee.”

2. Speak Less and Listen More

Jonathan Anderson, CEO and co-founder of Candu, a customer onboarding software company, said, “Fundraising was all about learning how to talk—but building has been an exercise in learning to listen.” This is a big departure from traditional CEOs who focus more on speaking and less on listening.

Furthermore, the CEO has also made the employees commit to active listening, which has drastically changed the organizational culture and workplace environment. He further adds, “You will only get real benefit if you stop talking and start listening because listening will help you convert smart customer ideas and map it to your product roadmap.”

3. Put People First

Neta Meidav, CEO of Vault Platform has set an example by giving her employees an opportunity to learn new skills and polish existing ones on the job. She gives an open offer to her employees, “Anyone in the company can choose to shadow a co-worker and learn a completely different discipline. The idea is to share observations and skills between people who might not typically work together.”

Jeff Calvins, CEO of Outdoorsy took things to a whole new level by encouraging their employees to hit the road in line with their company mission. The mission of the company is persuading people to take more road trips to explore nature. He said, “We invested in an employee trip program, so that our most important stakeholders—each of our employees—receive four Outdoorsy-paid road trips per year.

Shedding light on the new year’s resolution, he adds, “One of our big resolutions is to see 75% of our employees take at least three trips within the year. This way, they can truly experience the magic of the outdoors and the mental health benefits of disconnecting and getting back to what matters most: connections with one another.

4. Obsess Over Customers

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and the richest man in the world, has built a fortune by using this formula. He advises other entrepreneurs to obsess over your customers, not your competitors. According to him, “The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.

Rob Nelson, CEO of Grow, business intelligence solution provider, thinks differently. According to him, there is no place for self-promoting ads, emails and content in the customer conversation. His primary focus is on adding value for current and future customers. According to him, “This will instill trust and last long after the ink is dry on the contract.”

5. Challenge The Status Quo

Xiao Wang, CEO and co-founder of Boundless, a company that simplifies the process of applying for a visa, has decided to take a stand and challenge the status quo in 2020. “In 2020, we will stand on political issues, even if it may hurt our business.” Wang is also calling out other CEOs to take a stand for what they truly believe in. He thinks that businesses will have to look beyond the scope of shareholder value and should try to positively impact the communities they are a part of.

6. Never Assume Anything

Ophir Gaathon, CEO and founder of DUST Identity, has learned this lesson the hard way. While sharing his experience, he said, “In my analysis, I consistently find that there is always an assumption behind most wrong decisions.” Now, he vows never to assume anything and set it as his new year resolution. He said, “In 2020, I resolve to identify our customer’s implicit assumptions and reveal the blind spots that are generating hidden liabilities and risk factors.”

7. Team Building and Work-Life Balance

Betty Liu, who is the CEO of Radiate Inc and a Bloomberg TV anchor, thinks that 2020 is the year where you should focus on team-building efforts. Therefore, her new year’s resolution is also to grow a great team at Radiate. Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla said, “I’m resolving to continue to strive for and stay focused on the best work-life balance. Life is a marathon, not a sprint! Finding that balance also means nurturing the support network I have that helps me navigate the challenges we will all face in our increasingly complex lives.

What is your new year’s resolution for 2020? Let us know in the comments section below.