Monthly Archives: December 2010

Envision Success in 2011

 |  Leadership

As one year ends and a new one begins, the time is ripe to consider what you want to make real in the new year. Success in the new year begins with a vision. Next New Year’s Eve, what do you want to celebrate? For what would you be extremely grateful 12 months from now? Having some awareness of what you would celebrate and be grateful for will provide you focus to plan, execute, and “make it real.” Take the time now to imagine your vision for 2011. Here are some questions to spark your imagining what you will celebrate next New Year’s Eve.

• What business results to you want to celebrate?
• What leadership experience do you want to celebrate?
• What career position or advancement do you want to celebrate?
• What personal finance accomplishment do you want to celebrate?
• What health and fitness accomplishment do you want to celebrate?
• What spiritual experience or commitment do you want to celebrate?
• What travel and leisure experience do you want to celebrate?
• What family experience do you want to celebrate?
• What personal relationship experience do you want to celebrate?
• What successes of others (family members or close friends) do you want to celebrate?

Rework your answers into a list with the heading,”On December 31, 2011, I will celebrate…”

Happy New Year!


For Your Year End Reflection

 |  Leadership

As another calendar year comes to a close, it is appropriate to take a look back to ‘attend’ and reflect upon your experience and accomplishments in the year gone by. What you learn through this process will empower you to ‘imagine’ your way forward and ‘move’ to have the experience and achieve the results you want in the new year.

Reflection is always the first step on the path of leadership. From there, our self-awareness grows and with it our capacity to engage and lead others. Find a quiet, distraction-free place to reflect upon each question. Give yourself ample time to consider each question carefully. It may be helpful to write your answers in a journal or on a piece of paper.

• What were the 10 most important challenges you faced this year?
• What were your 10 biggest accomplishments of the year? (Things you did well, ways you’ve developed as a leader / person, goals you achieved, etc.)
• What about your attitude and behavior were instrumental in achieving your biggest accomplishment this year?
• What was your biggest disappointment this year and what was your role in the situation?
• What were your top 10 sources of frustration / energy drains?
• What were your top 10 sources of happiness / energy producers?
• Who were the most important people in your life this year and how have you let them know of the impact they had?
• Of the top three goals you were aiming for, how satisfied are you with the results you achieved?
• Of the top three goals you were aiming for, how satisfied are you with how you achieved them?
• What is the biggest lesson you have learned this year?

Give Me a Break!

 |  Leadership

A few weeks ago I wrote about the pace I see people keeping as they try to get more and more done in the same amount of time. I remain concerned that the pace is not sustainable. While some may be experiencing short term gains and wins, the manner in which they are getting those wins and the negative impact on their personal and professional relationships adds a hefty price tag.

I went on a great run this morning. I’m trying to work up both my time and distance in preparation for some trail races in early 2011. In the middle of my run I intentionally slowed and walked for a bit to give myself a break so I could recharge just enough to get in some more time and mileage. I thought about the pace we are moving at. More than that, I thought about the importance of breaks.

It’s funny. When we work with teams in a meeting or workshop, we go at it all morning or afternoon and then announce a break so people can (in theory) take a break and recharge so we can come back to our work with some energy. What I notice is that most people don’t actually take a break. They simply move to another task. They’ll answer email or voice mail. They’ll call someone to continue another business conversation. They’ll huddle over a laptop with someone working on a presentation for the next day or next week. They don’t actually break. How could they expect to sustain such a pace without intentionally stopping and resting for even a few minutes?

Our brains and our bodies, if we want to operate at optimal level, need opportunities to recharge and renew. I’m not so naive to think that people will change the pace at which they work overnight. I do however believe that it is perfectly appropriate to expect that we become more intentional about giving our brains and our bodies a few minutes of rest a couple times a day. I tried it today. Once in the morning and again in the afternoon. I ended up being able to get in more time and get lots more done by giving my brain and body a few minutes to recharge. So, come on. Try it. Give me a break!