As a manager and executive, I have a practice of taking time at the end of the year to reflect on all that has transpired during the year, such as goals that were accomplished and significant obstacles that were overcome.
Too often, we go from one year to the next without this reflection. I believe it is important to pause and reflect for four reasons.
First, pausing to reflect provides the opportunity to see just how much we accomplished.
I find that as we move quickly, striving to accomplish one goal after another, we often forget just how much we accomplished. It is like, “Ok, got that done, what’s next?” This is not to say that we want to rest on our laurels—of course not; the competition isn’t resting and the environment in which we operate isn’t standing still.
Second, it provides encouragement to our team when we pause to celebrate all that we have accomplished.
Change is hard. Striving to reach goals is hard. Pausing to celebrate allows our team to momentarily catch their breath and feel proud about what we have accomplished.
I love a quote in the book Enlightened Leadership:
The soft stuff is the hard stuff, but it’s the soft stuff that makes the difference.
What’s the soft stuff? Our people…and they need to know we recognize and value what they have accomplished.
Third, it provides an opportunity to say, “Thank you.”
If it wasn’t for our teams, we would not be successful. They need to know we appreciate their hard work and sacrifice. Sincere appreciation is important!
I’ve never wanted to be the leader whose followers say, “The only time I hear from him is when I screw up.” Unfortunately, this is true for too many leaders. Is this true for you? Meaningful feedback is one of the best practices of execution.
Fourth, this reflection helps us assess where we are and lays a foundation for moving forward.
Knowing where we’ve been always helps us to see the path forward. I’ve found that pausing to reflect and celebrate gives me more energy and inspiration to tackle the next challenge.
I am personally thankful that this has been a significant year of success. Success is where preparedness and opportunity meet. Our revenue is up. We have attracted new associates who are highly qualified. We have new clients and the feedback has been terrific!
How about you? Have you taken time to reflect? Why not do that now!
For the Faith-Based Reader:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”