President’s Corner January 2024

Embrace 2024: A Year of Purposeful Action and Leadership 

Dear Urban Leadership Foundation Alumni and Community, 

Happy New Year! As we step into 2024, I am filled with a sense of anticipation and enthusiasm for the opportunities that lie ahead. It is my pleasure to welcome each of you to this new chapter in our collective journey. 

Rather than succumbing to the traditional New Year resolutions that often fade away within the first few months, let us choose a different path for 2024. This year, let our focus be on daily actions – a commitment to be better than we were the day before in all facets of our lives, be it in business, family, community, relationships, or service. 

Setting goals that we can actively work towards each day allows us to reflect on our progress nightly. It’s a pragmatic approach that fosters continuous growth and development. In the face of challenges, we must remember that life is imperfect, but it is within those imperfections that we often discover our true purpose. 

To help guide you on this goal setting journey, here are some useful strategies that I use for creating and accomplishing goals.  

 1. Make SMART Goals: Ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This approach provides clarity and a structured framework to track your progress. 

 2. Reflect Daily: Take a few moments each night to reflect on your day. What went well? What could be improved? This practice helps in staying accountable and making necessary adjustments. 

 3. Create Accountability Partnerships: Share your goals with a trusted friend, mentor, or family member. Having someone to encourage you and hold you accountable can significantly increase your chances of success. 

 4. Break Down Goals: Boil the ocean one small pot at a time.  Divide larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. This not only makes the process less overwhelming but also allows for a sense of accomplishment as you complete each step. 

 5. Embrace Adaptability and Resilience: Understand that plans may change, unexpected challenges may arise, and that’s okay. Cultivate adaptability and resilience to navigate through uncertainties while staying focused on your ultimate objectives. 

As we navigate the twists and turns of 2024, let us not be disheartened by the chaos or messes that may arise. Instead, let’s focus on finding the messages within those challenges. Embrace the tests that come our way, for it is through overcoming adversity that testimonies are born. 

In this new year, leadership is about actions, not just headlines. To thrive, we cannot shy away from hard work, uncomfortable conversations, or standing up against clear wrongs. It is a call to double down on integrity, sacrifice, vulnerability, and love. 

Remember, leadership is not always about having power by title. It is about making a difference through your actions, irrespective of your position. So, let us abandon mere resolutions and embrace the transformative power of hard work, unity, and a commitment to justice. 

Wishing you all a year filled with purposeful actions, growth, and success. 

Best Regards, 

Dr. Ryan Ross

ryan ross signature

President and CEO
Urban Leadership Foundation

Dr. Ryan Ross
Dr. Ryan Ross

Dr. Ryan E. Ross is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Equity, and Inclusion for the Colorado Community College System and President & CEO of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado.