Twelve Resolutions for a Better 2017

Over two decades ago, chock-a-block full of optimism, my regional director and I crafted the following “Resolutions” for ourselves and our colleagues.

We were in the middle of a grand experiment to restore the culture – the “heart” – of our business, and frequently tried new ways to engage the spirit of the team and inspire them to “step up” (in the parlance of the day). We were not above such tried-and-true measures as wallet cards, clever posters, and pithy sayings (all direct ancestors of Binney’s Three Laws).

Naturally, we brow-beat everyone into signing up (taking a page from the United Way campaign, if you can’t build enthusiasm and buy-in, generate fear and compulsion). No doubt now, in hindsight, it’s impossible to parse authorship. So I’m laying claim to the entire thing.

These were written for hotel managers in a pre-internet era; the principles still hold up today. Pick and choose which ones will give you and your team a healthy, happy, productive, and effective 2017.


  • To treat my staff fairly.
    I understand that not holding all of my employees to the same standards is tacitly unfair.
  • To clearly communicate simple expectations.
  • To maintain a clear line of sight to my customers (internal or external).
  • To enable my staff to satisfy our customers, no matter what it takes.
  • To ensure that my employees project the professional image by which I myself might be judged.
    Because I am.
  • Not to hire anyone who doesn’t deserve to work here.
  • To improve my internal relationships.
    Specifically, I will improve upon the effectiveness of at least one process with one of my internal customers and with one of my internal suppliers.
  • To evaluate my employees on a timely basis.
    Further, I will ensure that I receive timely feedback and a fair annual review.
  • Not to use the word “they”.
    We are one team; all messages to my staff should come directly from me. I know that sometimes this will be good, and sometimes this will be bad. But it will always be honest.
  • To have a positive impact on achieving the goals in our Strategic Plan.
    This begins by understanding it.
  • To take full responsibility for my financial performance.

I resolve to do all of this so that my department will have an atmosphere of trust and understanding, rooted in fairness. I am only as successful as my employees; they will be rewarded for positive performance and improved productivity.

and, lastly,

I resolve that my actions will always follow my words.

Whether you silently pledge to follow these resolutions, or are lucky enough to coerce your co-workers, you’re well on your way to making 2017 a better year.

Happy New Year indeed!