What is Your Leadership Mantra for 2016?

success mantra“That word which brings a mind to a discipline to support you is called “Mantra.” 
– Yogi Bhajan

I have come to love the transition months of December and January.   The festive and holiday feel of the end of the year leading to the birth of the new year with a sense of freshness, renewal and re-commitment!

It’s like we are given another chance …. to let go of the old that wasn’t working, to take some risks, to make amends and to try on some new things!

 Mantra vs. Mission Statement

I was reminded of a post I had written some years ago prompted by an article my colleague had sent by Guy Kawasaki’s on mantra vs. mission statement.

Guy, a former Apple evangelist and now a chief evangelist for Canva, is an ardent supporter of individuals and organisations having mantras rather than mission statements.

His mantra message still remains relevant.

While exchanging good wishes with friends, family and colleagues, I  repeatedly heard the ‘mantra theme’ as people shared their vision for the new year.

One entrepreneurial friend and successful businessman talked about 2016 as the year of “consolidation” while another who had been very risk averse in their approach to life talked about “stepping out and taking a few more risks!” 

It was no surprise that my knowing colleague had sent Guy’s article to me.

The idea of having a mantra for the New Year appealed almost instantaneously! My Indian DNA relished this concept and could contemplate the many possibilities.

Previously when I had explored the  “Mantra for the year idea” with  my leadership development clients  in our coaching sessions, what had emerged had been interesting.

The clients already had an existing theme floating in their minds. And not too long after introducing the idea of having a personal mantra for the year, we would arrive at something they loved and owned.

Some examples of their mantras included: having effortless flow, possibility thinking, taking decisive action, a growth mindset, mindfulness, creating massive value, owning my power (not relinquishing), resonance and engagement!

But given the rate of change, a year can be a long time for a mantra!

Monthly mantras and benefits

Another approach is to have sub-mantras for the month. Gretchen Rubin, the author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Happiness Project” gave herself monthly focus including “attitude,” “mindfulness”, “marriage.”

Or perhaps a weekly or daily one?

Mantras are effective because they tap into what is important to us at our value base.

Compared to the more formal mission statements, mantras tend to be powerful because they hit the mark almost instantaneously.

It engages the right brain as well as the heart and spirit along with left-brain thinking – the best of our IQ, EQ and SQ (emotional and spiritual intelligence).

Mantras to navigate our choices

And like our core value base, we can resort to our mantras during the day, week,  month or year when we are challenged, stretched and or need to make a decision.

In such instances, some good questions to ask include “what truly matters here?” “What do I stand for in this situation?” “What is my bigger purpose?” and or “In light of my mantra, what might be the best decision here?”

Your mantra could help you navigate your way in a way you may not have done previously.

Or you could just use your mantra for more conscious mindful living at work and home and to spur you on.

Interestingly, according to the Vedas – ancient scriptures or revelation of the Hindu teachings –  Sanskrit mantras with their unique sounds backed by one’s mental intent – have immense power.

For me, the 2016 mantra is “doing things differently”  and January is about “revitalisation!”

How about you?

What might be your success mantra for this year or even next month or week?

Happy Mantra-ing!  🙂


Jasbindar Singh is a leadership coach who works with managers and leaders to enhance their self awareness, engagement and leadership effectiveness. 

Click here if you would like to connect on LinkedIn. For books and resources, check out the Amazon page.

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