I’ll start by coming clean, except for the chance to slow down and take a big exhale near year-end, I’m not a big fan of the “holiday season.” The festive and spiritual traditions have been overtaken by modern forces.

I wonder if the current definition of holiday hasn’t become hol*i*day (noun) 1. Period of time that typically corresponds with increased stress, exaggerated interpersonal dysfunction (especially with family members) and a propensity to over-do and over-consume. 2. Period of time created by or exploited by the retail industry.

What I appreciate about this time of year is the slowing that comes with winter weather (okay, so that’s not really working as it’s 64° in Denver today) and the time to reflect back and look forward.

What’s the one thing you are most grateful for that occurred in 2015? In one word, or a short phrase, how do you want to experience your life in 2016? May your vision become reality.

Below are my three most popular blog posts of 2015 (each one takes about 2 minutes to read). The theme is the connection between effective leadership and relationships. The nuggets apply to both your professional and personal lives. The best and happiest leaders understand that change starts from within. See if you can find one thing in these words that you can do more of in 2016 to move you just 5% closer to your most important goals.

The 3 Most Important Leadership Characteristics

These are counter-intuitive and based on some solid research. Who would have thought about such things as positivity and safety? Most leaders spend way too much time on analytics and problem solving…

Engaged Leaders Create Engaged Employees

Ever wonder why your employees are not fully engaged? It may have something to do with you. Are you really engaged or are you too busy being determined to achieve your personal goals?

Why Women are Better Leaders

This piece is less about gender and more about what you can do to up your leadership game.

I hope these articles provide insight and value that will help you to achieve your goals now….and in the years to come.

May you find effectiveness and fulfillment in 2016.