With less than ten days until Christmas and only two weeks until the end of the year, many of us review what we’ve accomplished and what we haven’t. Thankfully 2015 gives us a chance to turn the page and start fresh.
As I reviewed my hoped for outcomes for 2014, I could see progress in a number of areas, but frankly, I was disappointed in how far I still was from some of the outcomes I had written down this time last year! Just like you, I was busy all year. Some weeks I felt like I could hardly draw a breath. So how could this have happened? How could I have not accomplished what I set out to? More weeks than not, I had written to do lists for the week and blocked time on my calendar just like all the experts advise if we want to “make our dreams come true”.
What had gone wrong?
Considering the strategic planning retreats I had just facilitated gave me a clue. In the retreats, the leadership teams plan for 2015. They articulate big financial targets and priorities that will help them achieve longer term goals. Then we get very specific about the priorities for Q1. As part of these sessions, I remind the team this is not about making a “to do” list. It’s about discerning the key actions or initiatives that will create leverage (give them more bang for the buck). This means asking what will be catalytic. (A catalyst is an ingredient that will speed up a reaction) in other words, get results.
I realized that I hadn’t been doing that. I had been listing the “to do’s” not noodling on the handful of actions that would get an outsized response.
In a blinding flash, Richard Bach’s words came back: We teach what we most need to learn.
What are you teaching others – your employees, your children, your community? What part of that applies to you?
It’s an interesting if frequently uncomfortable question, but ask it anyway, then let me know what you discover.
Until next Tuesday. YIPPEE!