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The New Year’s Resolutions of Silicon Valley Tech Titans

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The New Year’s Resolutions of Silicon Valley Tech Titans

Abbie Riley
By Abbie Riley
January 5, 2017

A new year brings the opportunity to take yourself and your company to soaring new heights. As the champagne bubbles settle and the new year rolls out, we take a look at the resolutions of some of Silicon Valley’s most successful leaders.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

New Year's Resolutions

Zuckerberg wrote about his new year’s resolution this week on (where else?) his Facebook page, saying that he has a very specific challenge in mind. “Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside of my work. In recent years, I’ve run 365 miles, built a simple AI for my home, read 25 books and learned Mandarin,” he wrote. “My personal challenge for 2017 is to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year… After a tumultuous last year, my hope for this challenge is to get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future.” Zuckerberg wrote that he has spent reasonable time in 20 of the states, and has 30 left to visit.

A resolution to consider: You might already be nearly halfway through a goal like Mark is, and you need a push to finish it. Think about what you would be proud of saying you’ve completed in its entirety this year. It might be visiting each of the National Parks or finishing all of the books written by a certain author. You could be closer to reaching a huge milestone than you realize.

Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla

New Year's Resolutions

Going into the second half of 2016, Elon Musk committed to boosting Tesla’s weekly output more than 50% by the end of this year compared with the first half of 2016. “I have never set a goal which I know is unrealistic, unless I have specifically said I know it’s unrealistic,” said Musk in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. However in the past five years, it has been reported that Tesla has fallen short of more than 20 projections made by Mr. Musk, ranging from car-production output to financial targets. This most recent one was also missed.

Even with these unreached markers, Elon Musk has still led Tesla as its chairman and largest shareholder to grow faster than GM and Ford. Tesla is worth $34 billion in stock-market value which is about one third of the value of GM and Ford combined, proving success isn’t necessarily measured by a set of figures reached.

A resolution to consider: Setting a goal that seems nearly impossible, and going for it anyway. Even if you miss, you’ll probably be pleased with where you end up.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook

New Year's Resolutions

Sandberg lost her husband unexpectedly in a tragic accident in 2015. At the end of that year she wrote on her Facebook page:

“And my resolution this year? When I first lost Dave, I felt overwhelmed with just getting through each day. My friend Adam Grant suggested that every night before bed I write down three things I did well that day. I tried to do this, although some days I had such a hard time thinking of anything I did well that I’d end up listing ‘Made a cup of tea.’ But over time, focusing on things I’d done well helped me rebuild my confidence. Even if it was small, I could record something positive each day. I want to continue this practice, so my New Year’s resolution is to write down three joyful moments each day. To quote my favorite singer, Bono, joy is the ultimate act of defiance.”

A resolution to consider: A reachable and positive one focused on what you’re already doing well. We tend to create our resolutions by identifying our shortcomings. Consider being inspired by what you are doing well and let joy and confidence spring from there.

Karen Quintos, CMO of Dell

New Year's Resolutions

Quintos told Business Insider, “This year I want to be a vocal champion of women in business. It’s both professional and personal for me. As a leader in the technology field, I have a front-row seat to the huge opportunity that exists for women today. And as a mom of two wonderful girls, I’m motivated every day by their dreams and limitless potential.” She went on to say, “Dell has given me a platform to inspire change, and I’m using it — for my colleagues, my daughters, and the generations of women leaders to come.”

A resolution to consider: One with your passion at the center. Inspiring future leaders stirs Quintos heart. What stirs yours? Resolutions sparked by passion and desire will be the easiest ones to see to their successful completion and beyond.

Photos: DanielChuttersnap, Nina Lindgren, Aidan Meyer, Richard Tilney-Bassett
Abbie Riley

About Abbie

Abbie Riley works and lives in Philadelphia. She loves to explore the ever-changing intersection of food and tech, and has worked for HeyLets, Zomato/Urbanspoon, and Foodee. For a list of Philly restaurants, ask her for her credit card bill.

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