Here we are about to enter our final month of the year. It has been a busy 11 months for many leaders, experiencing both highs and lows in their workplaces and careers . To think about what has gone well and what hasn’t worked out for us is a process and like any process requires time and reflection. To enable a leader a successful analysis we have to put time aside to do a deep honest dive of our work. The final month of the year is the perfect amount of time needed to embark on this effort.A helpful strategy in beginning this journey of dissecting our past year is asking critical and empowering questions. Questions get us thinking and open our minds to different possibilities in the coming year.
So here are four “get-ready” questions for leaders to close the year:
1. HOW DID I BEGIN THE YEAR?
The first question we need to ask ourselves is what it looked like for each of us going into the beginning of the year. We need to make sure we commenced our yearly journey in a clear and strategic way. Let’s go back over our: Goals – Regular and Stretch. Timeframes. Commitments to team members and bosses. Growth areas we wanted to pursue. Going back to the goals we made at the beginning of the year helps leaders successfully close the year.
2. HOW DID I END THE YEAR?
As each leader prepares an annual intake of what they accomplished during their past year
it is empowering to start with the “wins”. Make a list of every project that went well and why it did. Really explore what skills and knowledge helped you exceed expectations and meet challenging deadlines. Be specific as possible so that you can incorporate your successful strategies in the new year ahead. Think about what you can do differently if the past processes didn’t exist and you could move forward in any direction.
3. WHAT PROPELLED ME FORWARD?
This third question will give leaders great insights into the factors that help push your leadership in the best direction
. This step includes the actions and moves that enabled your leadership to grow. Look back on one of your most difficult projects and try to figure out the turning point that pushed you from drowning to sweet survival. Identify people who may have been mentors to keep you laser focused. Recognize what new experiences were gained during your times of challenge. To learn from our mistakes this past year leaders must identify what pushed them from drowning to survival. 4. WHAT HELD ME BACK?
According to leadership guru Peter Drucker, “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”. In this final question leaders must take stock in understanding what kept them doing the same unsuccessful strategies over and over again rather than trying a new approach. This is a common pitfall for many leaders. We get stuck
in tackling projects a certain way and miss trying new methods. Yet if we don’t see our responsibilities through a new lens we will never grow or develop stronger capabilities. We can’t let our fears prevent us from moving in new directions
. What other “get-ready” questions do you use to close the year?
Let me know if I can help you close the year the best way ever!