Have you checked the calendar lately? There is an old adage that once Halloween arrives, Thanksgiving, the holidays and New Years is just around the corner. No need to panic but just a good opportunity to reflect. It’s time to begin looking at how close we have come to achieving those amazing goals we set ten months ago. Hopefully this isn’t the first time you are taking a peek at what was a priority at the beginning of the year. Like many leaders during these uncertain times, our work goals may look very different from months ago. We might have made a few adjustments along the way or even totally revamped our direction. In either case, we need to begin the process of preparing how we want to end the year.
I’ve recently been working with leaders on figuring out how they may want to strategize some of the challenges they are up against. Also, some leaders are ready to see their team members focusing on new areas that just became important as more in-person connections are materializing. In particular, teams are delving into better ways to chat with each other and colleagues in face-to-face events.
Here are some steps to lead through year-end goals:
1. Update Your Organizational Vision/Goals
Leaders know that unless they have a direction they are headed, they will not know when they have arrived. That all comes down to revisiting an organization’s vision and mission. There are some basic measures that can help identify the best path forward, even if that means a bunch of pivots.
- Convene the senior leadership team to reevaluate a company’s purpose. Consider that their “why” may have changed in the past year.
- Develop strategic over-arching goals for the entire organization so individuals and teams will know the priorities.
- Be clear on the communication of the vision and goals and share with energy and conviction.
2. Have Each Team Member Review Their Goals
Ask each team member to revisit their goals made at the beginning of the year and honestly see what has been accomplished. Leaders know that we are working in very changeable times so this exercise is more about how they pivoted when priorities changed. Team members need to be agile leaders that are not overly tied to one particular goal.
3. Set-Up One on Ones With Each Person
Teams need to have clarity on the organization’s goals in order to establish their individual goals. We cannot expect team members to perform at their highest levels without knowing the expectations. The best way to do this is through one on one coaching sessions.
- Put time on the calendar to meet with all team members and ask them to prepare a discussion about the past year.
- Stay open to the ways that colleagues had to adjust in order to survive and meet their challenging goals.
- Show gratitude while also strategizing how things could have been different. Let team members offer their suggestions first.
- Collaborate on the new goals for each person based on the organization’s new direction.
4. Finalize The Direction and Actions
After meeting with team members, leaders need to put together a final plan to move forward. Keep in mind that oftentimes our colleagues have important ideas to contribute that may actually change some of the priorities. Include the new vision in all communication and remind each leader at every level of how they are contributing to the organization’s success.
5. Create Follow-Up Time
One thing leaders have learned at this constantly changing crossroad across the globe is that we must remain alert and ready to adjust in a nano second. However, to be ready means leaders need to be tuned-in to what is going on around them.
- Lead by keeping teams updated on any new priorities or shifts in goals.
- Remain as transparent as possible even if that means disappointing teams.
- Set up periodic check-ins with team members to share feedback on their direction and any concerns.
- Be a strategic listener so you can hear the truth.
How are you tracking your year-end leadership goals? Do you know where you are headed?