Greetings. It’s the end of a very interesting year and time once again to make a bunch of resolutions that I’m not likely to keep. Resolutions that I know are really good for me but are likely to fall by the wayside in the press of a world filled with day-to-day responsibilities, pressing concerns, and new opportunities to learn, grow, and get over-extended. But at least I’ll begin the new year with a relatively clean slate and a renewed determination to eat less, go to the gym more often, get more rest, avoid unnecessary stress, spend less time in front of a computer screen, send fewer emails and have more real conversations, put my iPhone away when other people are around, be as nice as I can be 99.5% of the time, attend more social events, get involved in more causes I believe in, and make a conscious effort to connect with more strangers. I’m probably missing a bunch of things, but we’ll start with these.

I’m guessing that most of you are also likely to make your own resolutions. And I wish you good fortune as you work on the ones that really matter. And while I won’t ask what’s on your list, I’m hoping it includes a real commitment to connect with, learn from, and understand, people who are very different than you as a key to your business, civic, and personal success. After all, it’s the best way to stretch our own thinking and reach our full potential.

And if you’d like a bit more guidance on how to make this happen in the year ahead, I’d be honored if you found the time to read “The Necessity of Strangers.” I’d also be honored if you were willing to read it in an area of high visibility…where the likelihood of meeting an inspiring stranger is increased.

But most importantly, realize that there is real power in the act of making resolutions and beginning each year with a renewed commitment to do better, work smarter, care more deeply, and be more curious and open to the world around us.

Cheers and Happy New Year!