2011 year resolutionIf you’re one to make resolutions at the start of the New Year, the number one resolution you need to make is to take control of your destiny and stop waiting for outside help to come in. This advice is especially true for business owners and leaders.

Realize that we all have amazing opportunity in front of us right now. Thanks to today’s technological transformations taking place, we’re transforming how we sell, market, communicate, collaborate, innovate, train, and educate—and all this is leveling the playing field globally. Why? Because no one has an advantage when there’s a major game change taking place, and right now we have multiple game changes taking place on a global level. That means the big, established players no longer have the competitive advantage they’ve had in the past. So not only are the technological tools for success changing, but the rules that govern how you apply those tools are changing as well.

But the key question is, “Are you noticing it?” And if you are, are you making your move, or are you waiting for the economy to pick up or some law to be passed before taking action?

Unfortunately, too many people fail to take control of their future and instead let others dictate their next move. They create a list of can’t do’s rather than a list of can do’s. They create a list of things they disagree on rather than a list of thing they do agree on that will allow them to move forward with their team.

Taking control of your future is vital, because too often change comes to us from the outside-in, which forces us to crisis manage and put out fires. But this is a time to be an opportunity manager and create some change from the inside-out.

On a business level, deciding to take control of your company’s destiny and shape the future means seizing the opportunities at hand. For example, the revolution of mobility and cloud technologies are two things that offer tremendous opportunities to create new products, services, and markets…and to do that from the inside-out of your organization rather than expecting external changes and government regulations to affect you from the outside-in.

Two important things to ask yourself at this time of year are, “Are you changing as fast as your customers are changing?” (Hint: You’re not.) And, “Are you learning as fast as your customers are learning?” (Again, you’re not.) You need to be in front of the consumers you’d like to convert into customers, but most organizations tend to be behind them—again, forcing reaction rather than action.

So let’s not just be crisis managers in 2012, waiting for the next shoe to drop and hoping that something positive happens. Hope is not a strategy. Instead, let’s all make a resolution to create a strategy—a personal one, a professional one, and an organizational one—that allows us to direct our future, create positive changes, and drive them from the inside-out.