The summer days in the northern hemisphere are slowly coming to a close. The daylight hours are beginning their downward slope and the cooler breezes are making their return. It has often been said that September is the new year for many leaders. It is the time when many children go back to school and we begin a new season of hope. It feels like a new beginning- the time of year that everything starts afresh. Although we may be uncertain how this September will progress, we can choose to see it as a gift.
September is often the new year for leaders to begin to plan and dream.
So what can leaders do to prepare for a meaningful September kick-off?
Jump into September with these five leadership mindsets:
1. Let Out Your New School Year Child
A great way to begin your September exploration is by jumping back into your childhood mindset. Reflect back on a September where you began a new school year and think of what that felt like. Maybe you were beginning kindergarten or Middle School or High School. Imagine the clothes you were wearing. What were you most excited about for the coming school year? What kids were you looking forward to seeing the most after the long summer break? Allow yourself to be submerged into the childhood brain power.
2. Dream About Possibilities
Now that you have rekindled that feeling of seeing a new beginning through the eyes of a child, allow your mind to roam. Giving ourselves the opportunity to be curious and less inhibited helps leaders do some important dreaming. Don’t put any limitations on your choices at this point. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- What three big goals do I have for this coming year?
- How do these goals fit into my overall career trajectory?
- In what ways will my goals help me grow and feel fulfilled?
- What goal might I be afraid of pursuing and why?
Do not let fear prevent you from creating bigger goals for your September planning.
3. Develop A New Year Plan
As leaders we know that a well thought out action plan will move dreams into execution. Since September is three-quarters of the way through the year, it may be helpful to decide how to successfully complete the goals from this current year first. Then, design a plan for your three new big goals for the forthcoming year. Written plans are best, listing actions and timeframes to complete the goals. Remember to keep the action plan visible to keep checking back with.
4. Reconnect With Colleagues and Trusted Advisers
As kids September was a time to meet-up with old school mates and as adults it is when we should reach out to colleagues to check-in. We need to have a people connection mindset. Some leaders might be feeling that with working from home they have lost contact with some team members. It’s always important to touch base with colleagues and trusted advisers to:
- Discuss finalizing projects and each person’s responsibilities.
- Work through challenges and ask for help.
- Ask for input about future assignments that may help grow your leadership.
- Help set up people to network with.
5. Keep Away Negative Chatter
Throughout September leaders must remind themselves to stay focused and confident. This is no time to let our inner critic take control and lead us down a less productive path. In fact, if negative thoughts start to weave their way into your mind, recognize them quickly and “shoo” them away. Our mindsets need to remain open and positive for the new year.
What additional leadership mindsets will help you in September?