10 Tips To Start 2015 With Impact

Want impact? Are you ready to start the year strong? To create more great work? To own your career?

Engaging, exciting, enriching careers are a possibility for everyone. Yes, everyone. Really.
According to Erica Dhawan, author of newly released book: Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, here are the best ways to bring impact to any job.

1. Harness your relationships.

What holds any project together? Relationships. So often, we jump straight into ‘action’ and our
relationships become transactional, when they should really be the backbone of our capacity to create. Relationships need shared purpose, commitment, continued growth. And fun! Instead of rushing to action, take time to really get to know your people and understand why they’re doing this work with you. Ground your work in relational value – then dig in and get it done.

2. Celebrate more.

Organizations should be doing three things: meeting, acting, and celebrating. But, we tend to spend 60% of our time meeting (frequently in useless, counterproductive meetings where everyone doodles and avoids eye contact), 35% acting, and only 5% celebrating. What a pity! How can we keep others (and ourselves!) motivated if we don’t celebrate all those great things we do? Take time for team dinners, mid-week donut runs or after-work happy hours. You’ve worked hard – take pride in what you do!

3. Make a plan to grow and learn over time.

What is the biggest reason people leave organizations? They aren’t learning, they aren’t challenged and therefore are less likely to commit to work. How do you change this? Create apprenticeship teams at work. Find an accountability buddy to learn from. Mentor younger, newer employees who need a helping hand or a leg up. Learning new things and engaging with new employees makes work life feel new and fresh again!

4. Know yourself and your values.

It’s easy to get caught up in what others offer us and forget to check in with our own motivation. What makes you come alive? What makes your heart beat fast? Focus on your energizers – what you
enjoy. Once you know what lights your fire, freedom will follow.

5. New technology has changed the rules, but you don’t need to be connected every.single. minute.

Create set times to unplug. Maybe it’s after 6pm, in the morning, on the weekend, or just a two-hour break. We all need the freedom to disconnect so we can truly open up the mental and emotional space to stay creative.

6. Design work that keeps you motivated.

When work is well-designed, it creates more motivation and higher quality work, because the people
doing it care about it.

7. Think of time as an arrow, not a cycle.

Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote that time is sometimes a “cycle” and sometimes an “arrow.” Thinking of time as a cycle helps us to maintain our routines, our normal procedures, annual budget, etc. Thinking of time as an arrow, helps us focus on making change. We begin our work at a specific moment, we end at a specific moment, and in between there is change. See? Doesn’t that feel better?

8. Remember what your resources are.

We often think of money as the only resource: the typical cost-benefit analysis approach. But really? Our greatest resources are people and time. How will you work with people and use your time effectively? Don’t just think in terms of “How much will I get paid?” Think “What are my
resources?” and the money will follow.

9. When you’re demotivated, MOVE!

Our bodies provide as much information as our heads, but we usually ignore them in our work lives. You know that simply taking a walk while talking about important things makes the conversation more meaningful. So why do we sit in conference rooms instead of walking and talking? To think
creatively, keep moving. What do I do? Dance breaks! Seriously.

Here’s my impact soundtrack, in case you like to listen to freedom, too:
1. Just Dance, Lady Gaga
2. The Element of Freedom, Alicia Keys
3. Where Them Girls At, David Guetta
4. You Gotta Be, Des’ree
5. Beautiful Surprise, India Arie

10. Create your space.

One of the most zen-i-fying things you can do for your creative mind is creating a clean workspace.
And if you know you’re more productive at a library or coffee shop – go there! Test spaces around the office that enhance your workday. Remember, a clean, clutter-free space creates the conditions for better work and more fun!


Great business leaders like social activists build movements and mobilize a tribe of followers. In today’s hyperconnected world, it’s not just for the elite – virtually anyone and everyone can get big things done in the era of connectional intelligence.

Want to learn more? Join social movement builders Shiza Shahid, co-founder of Malala Fund and others in an interview with Erica Dhawan, author of newly released book: Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, taking place on Tuesday February 24 at Social Media Week New York. Check out all the details here, and come join us in February!