Hello Brew Nation!!! 2021 is rapidly coming to an end . This year has been unique, to say the least(It seems like I said that about 2020 as well!). The hustle of the end of the year crunch, whether it be at home or work, will make it challenging for leaders to finish strong AND prepare for a fabulous 2022. As leaders we must have a continuous learning mindset. To do this, we need to invest time in assessing, reflecting, adjusting, and creating new habits that will allow us to continuously grow ourselves and others.
Each year, I like to take the time to reflect over the past 12 months and to do that effectively, I use a 5-step process that provides a good structure. Give yourself an hour or two in your calendar and go through these steps:
- Review Your “Why”
Do you have a personal mission statement? Regardless of whether you have formalized this ‘Why’ into a personal development plan or you simply know that you want to be ‘better each year’, it makes it easier to complete this process if you know your ‘why’. This also allows you to assess whethere the things you are working on are directly aligned with your why. And, as you grow, you may want to make some additions or modifications to your why based on where you are on your journey.
2. Assess performance of your goals
Did you set goals for the year? Have you achieved those goals or are you, at a minimum, making progress toward those goals? As leaders, we are wired to win. Having a scoreboard telling you whether you are ‘winning’ is essential. In the book, The 4 Disciplines of Exection, one of the disciplines is to “Keep a Compelling Scorecard”. The principle says that to drive execution you need a scoreboard that has a few simple graphs that tell us where we are right now
3. Identify the barriers that got in your way (What went well? What could have gone better?)
This step can be one of the most challenging to complete. For a simple exercise, take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle with a ‘+’ on the left side and a ‘-‘on the right side. Take some time to review your calendar, your journal, your scorecard, and list the things in the ‘+’ column that went well and list things in the ‘–‘ column that didn’t go as well as you wanted, or could have gone better. Be careful not to jump to solutions here! I am talking about behaviors or disciplines that may not have been up to your expectations. For example, you may be inclined to write “I need to lose weight” in the need to improve column. While that may be true, it may not be the behavior that drove you to list it there. Rather, you may write something like, “I went three months without journaling my nutrition” as a behavior that did not go well. This way, you can act on it in the next step. This step is crucial to making the necessary adjustments for success in the coming months.
4. Course Correct
The fourth step in the annual review process is to course correct. What are the behavioral changes or habits you need to solidify or improve upon in the next year to be successful? The system I like to use for this step is relatively simple, but effective… Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- What things do I need to KEEP doing to be more successful next year? This helps you to understand what went well in the previous year that you need to continue.
- What things do I need to START doing to be more successful next year? For example, to improve your performance, you may want to start tracking your goals in a spreadsheet so that you can see when you are winning
- What do I need to STOP doing to be more successful next year? This is an especially important step. In this step, the bad habits are the easiest to identify, but can be the most difficult to stop. You may have to give up good, to get to UNCOMMON.
The final step is to share the process with someone who can help to hold you accountable. After completing this 5-stepprocess, you do not want to tuck the results of it away so that nobody will see it! John Maxwell is a mentor of mine and encourages others who want to change their world to do the following three things:
- Say ‘Yes’ – First, you must commit to the change
- Tell the World – In this case, the ‘World’ may be your co-worker, spouse, brother, friend or coach. Find someone who will hold you accountable and call you out when you are NOT changing
- Figure It Out – Once you commit and you have an accountability partner, you are ‘All in’ – There is no turning back. Now, you have to take the steps necessary to reach your goals!!
Quote: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” – James Clear
What you need to do:
Call to Action: Do you want to become an Uncommon leader? Do you want to go from mediocre results to exceptional outcomes that have an impact? Then, you must take some time in this season to reflect on your journey over the past year by:
- Reviewing your ‘why’
- Assessing your performance with a scorecard
- Reflecting humbly on what you are doing well and what you need to improve upon.
- Replacing old habits and start new ones that move you closer to the leader you want to be.
- Identifying someone to hold you accountable
I hope this edition was helpful for you on your journey to an Uncommon Leader, one dedicated to a lifetime of growth of yourself and others. I would love to connect with you to see how we could work together to help you go from where you are to where you want to be.
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Also, the Uncommon Leader podcast is growing! Click HERE for a list of the episodes of interviews I have done with Uncommon leaders. It has been enjoyable for me, and I know the guests will add value to you as well!
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Until next time, Go and Grow Champions!!