Beginning of a New Year: Reflecting Back & Planning Forward
Now that the champagne and party favors have served their purpose in helping us ring in a new year, there’s no better time to acknowledge ourselves and the people we work with for the accomplishments achieved last year. Reflecting back on where you and your team have made progress and experienced breakthroughs energizes and provides you with a solid foundation from which to move forward in the upcoming year and beyond.
Another important aspect of “reflecting back” is getting in touch with your organization’s mission. I read an opinion article in the WSJ written by Peggy Noonan, bestselling author, syndicated columnist, and assistant to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush (Sr.), in which she discusses how so many of our American institutions have “forgotten their mission; forgotten what they were about, what their role and purpose was, what they existed to do.” Leaders of our federal government, Congress, Wall Street, and our public schools forgot that they exist to serve their constituents and not themselves.
Along with getting reconnected to your mission consider having a “crucial conversation” with your team and colleagues about your organization’s vision – a powerful statement of what you look like when you achieve success, or what you strive to become in the future. Simply put, an organization’s vision statement should energize and motivate people to do and be their best.
Having learned the lessons from the previous year and uniting your team around your mission and vision, it’s time to plan your goals for this year and chart your course for the future. Again, having a “crucial conversation” with your team about the three (3) most significant goals you want to achieve in the upcoming year, what needs to happen and what is required from each of you to achieve these goals is a must. Be bold, set ambitious goals that have the sincere commitment of both you and your team.
As you begin this New Year, re-commit yourself to being a leader that keeps yourself and your team focused on executing your mission, and tirelessly work towards your goals with hearts and minds always on a future that is brighter than the past.
Have a prosperous New Year!