It’s that time of year – time to reflect on the year past and look ahead with anticipation. We’re on a journey. Whether 2014 was awesome, so-so, or awful, we have an opportunity to look at it and learn from it in order to ensure we are undertaking our journey with intention.
What will 2015 bring? It will bring whatever we design it to bring, that’s what. Every system (the organization, your team, you) produces what it is designed to produce. If we want a different experience and a different result in 2015, we’re going to have to engage in a system redesign (which should be seen as an iterative and ongoing process).
The “ready, fire, aim” pattern we fall into in our lives and our work is part of our design. As we end one year and begin another, can we find a few minutes to AIM before we “fire” and start another year on the hamster wheel? Meg Wheatley said it best, “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” Let’s resolve to AIM (Attend, Imagine, Move) before we “fire.”
Can we give a few minutes to ATTEND (be present and observant) to our 2014 so that we might learn some valuable lessons? Here are some questions to help us “attend” –
- What did I accomplish in 2014 (think results)?
- How satisfied am I with what I accomplished in 2014?
- What three words would capture the experience I had in 2104 (Examples: Easy? Harried? Exhausting? Exhilarating? )
- How did I push myself in 2014?
- Where have I become too settled or comfortable?
- What were my top sources of frustration and energy drains?
- Did I do enough to minimize my sources of frustration and energy drains?
- What were my top energy producers and sources of happiness?
- Did I do enough to maximize my energy producers and sources of happiness?
- Who were the most important people in my life this year and how have I let them know of the impact they had?
- What is the biggest lesson I have learned this year?With our answers to these questions in mind, can we begin to IMAGINE (be curious and creative) how 2015 might be different? Here are some questions to help us “imagine” –
- What do I want to accomplish in 2015 (think business results, career position, personal finance, health and fitness, spiritual experience, travel and leisure, family, personal relationships, professional relationships, community)?
- How will I push the limits (and grow myself) in 2015?
- What does pushing the limits look like?
- What three words will capture the experience I have in 2015?
- What three words will people use consistently to describe my work as a leader?
- How might we MOVE (be strategic and purposeful) to ensure we achieve what we have imagined? Here are a few tips to help us “move” –
- To accomplish what I have imagined,
- what will I need to start doing?
- what will I need to stop doing?
- what do I need to keep doing?
- what relationships will I have to nurture?
- what relationships will I have to change or end?
- What resources do I need to arrange?
- What are the first three steps I need to take to put me on the path to success in 2015?
This moment is the status quo. Leadership is responsible for challenging the status quo, enabling change (organizational and individual) and creating a shift from one state of being to another. To do this, leadership needs to push the limits. As you reflect on your journey so far and imagine the journey ahead, I wish you all good things. Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2105! Let’s go to the edge and push farther – over and over again.