by Marcia Zidle, Columnist & Featured Contributor
I[su_dropcap style=”flat”]I[/su_dropcap]T’S THE END OF 2015. Let’s do a reality check. Here are seven questions to review your productivity and priorities for the past year. Based on your answers, what will be the goals you want to achieve for yourself as well as your business or organization in 2016?
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- What were some victories?
Hopefully you had a few: They need not be grand slams; rather small successes that are moving you forward. Let your team savor and enjoy them. Also reflect on what enabled those victories and how can they be applied to other areas of your business.
- What were some disappointments?
I’m not suggesting you obsess on them – everyone makes mistakes. At the same time don’t ignore them – learn from them. There is an advantage in doing post mortems to find the causes, the lessons learned and what you will do differently.
- What do you need to let go?
Don’t stubbornly cling to practices, relationships and projects that have never reached critical mass. We persist in the wrong things out of habit and fear of admitting failure. Now is a good time to free up needed resources by letting go of the unproductive, vexing or wasteful. You’ll find the practice freeing.
- Who shines and delivers?
Are you taking care of your best performers? Do you even know who they are? You can ensure their engagement and retention by giving them the appropriate appreciation and recognition. Sometimes we take those who deliver for granted and inadvertently damage the relationship.
- Whose performance isn’t up to par?
In reality, not all employees perform equally, and we often waste time with those who disappoint us. Evaluate whom you need to improve or replace to make your business more efficient and profitable.
- Are there danger signs ahead?
It is human nature to play by the belief, “it won’t happen to me.” I’m not suggesting paranoia, but if you know it will eventually rain, what are you doing today to prepare? Look around you and ask: What are some threats that could derail your business. Take steps to avoid what you can and develop a contingency plan for what you can’t.
- What are the greatest opportunities?
Just as we may ignore threats, so can we miss the opportunities around us. We are sometimes so busy trying to create opportunities that we don’t see that ones that already exist. Again look around you and ask: What are the biggest opportunities for you and your team going forward? How can we take advantage of them?[/message]
Smart Moves Tip:
A reality check of your past year should lead to celebration of your successes; assessment of your challenges; and then decisions about goals for the coming year? Once you’ve identified your key priorities, then consider the who, when, where and how to accomplish them.
What’s your experience with goals setting? Are you a Task type – who is systematic and organized setting very specific goals with milestones and numbers or the Leader type – who is visionary and doesn’t enjoy getting into the “weeds” but rather focus on the big picture? Also see Is Your Big Goal Just a Dream or a Reality? and Forget New Year’s Resolutions!