This time of the year is often governed by two gears — Reverse and Drive.
It’s a time to take account for what was done, celebrated or suffered; it’s also a time we quickly transition our energy toward the year ahead. We shift gears this time of year.
Most often, for a business leader, this exercise is in an organizational context — business goals, operational plans, income statements, balance sheets, capital plans, client lists, brand or culture goals.
But what about you? Do you take time for some reflection and foresight for yourself in how you are leading your organization? Are there conditions or experiences from the year that may not have shown up on a strategy document but yet had a big impact on the business or your leadership?
Here are some questions that in my experience are worth asking yourself at this gear-shifting time of year:
- Did I balance the year well? Were there things that turned out better than I thought, or problems I missed? How did I handle that in the moment? Does it look different now than it did at the time?
- What did I learn about myself this year that is worth applying or building on in the year ahead?
- What difficult issue in the last year did I put off or discount that, if I honestly addressed now, would really give me a fresh start in the coming year?
- What held me back personally in the last year — not external factors, but in my own head, habits or behaviors? Am I motivated enough to change that?
- What new dimension of leadership — not business skill, but character or quality — that, if I took the time to develop it, could really up my game in the next year?
- What’s one adventurous, even slightly crazy, thing I could do this year that would open me up personally to new thinking or put me on a new trajectory?
Make your own list, if you like, but make it different than ever before.
It just might make a different like never before.