“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.“
– Zig Ziglar
Ready or not, we’re officially into the countdown for yearend. Do you feel it too? We knew it would kick into gear after Labor Day and the kids were back in school but we’re seeing the physical proof all around us now.
The first indicator to us here on the west coast, came about a week before Labor Day when Costco started displaying Halloween costumes. Within a week, they were vying for space with festive Christmas ribbons, wrapping papers, artificial wreaths, garlands. Lights and ornaments. Adding to the confusion, just last week Thanksgiving roasters, kitchen appliances and servingware lined the path near the front door. Temperatures were in the 90’s yet small town main streets swapped out their colorful summer colorful summer décor for the gold, orange and brown hues of autumn and pumpkins abound.
We need to pick up the pace, reassess our yearend goals, take stock of where we are, and determine what we need to do to make this year a success.
At the beginning of the year, I asked where you wanted to be at the close of 2014, based on your takeaways from the previous year. I hope everyone’s had a chance to take stock, build goals based on their assets, and learn from their mistakes, so that by the time this yearend comes along, there will be no surprises.
Here’s a little cheat sheet that may help you better assess where you are and what you can do proactively to pick up the pace and approach this last quarter if not more confident, at least with a better plan:
- Are you still in tune with the goals you set at the beginning of the year? Have you stayed on course, made any adjustments along the way to better enable you to achieve them? Are your employees still on board? Do you have customer buy-in? Is your ‘why’ still valid and does everyone understand their personal whys in relation to that? If so, that’s wonderful. If not, what can you do to change the dynamic so you can get back on course?
- Will you meet those goals? Financial goals are just one aspect of the whole picture, as are business goals. What about your personal goals, and those of your employees and your customers? Remember, if you think solely about yourself and your business, you’ll never win. Success – and the ability to sustain it – is a product of a team coming together to work for a common goal that will enhance the common good.
- If you fear you’re behind the 8-ball, what can you do now to move ahead? Don’t get caught short. Backing out holidays and related vacation times, what must you do to meet your goals and how much time is really needed to accomplish them? Meet with your teams. Lay it out for them and see what suggestions they can make to work within the timeframe in order to close the year strong.
- Establish a count-down calendar and meet or have regular check ins with your team. Constantly assess and reassess where you are in relation to where you need to be. Keep meetings short and sweet and don’t waste precious time.
- Perk things up a bit. No one likes to work their tails off while others are involved in holiday preparations, shopping and family. That’s on their plates as well; but you can help relieve the dual stress. Show a little heart. Surprise your team by bringing in breakfast or lunch trays. And by the way, pizza works wonders – especially at small team meetings. Just ask Jeff Bezos (Amazon). It’s an ice-breaker when it comes to opening up communication and get those creative juices flowing.
- With your team, get involved in a community ‘giving’ project. It does the heart good.
- Everyone does have to work, but I guarantee people will work harder and smarter if you foster a more creative and expansive work environment. That doesn’t meaning having a ‘bonding’ session, creative game playing or a pot luck. That sort of thing meets with mixed reviews, except perhaps on the part of those who put them together. You get a lot of ‘no shows’ as well.
What are you going to do to end the year on a high note? I’ll give you a hint. Win or lose, it’s all in the process. Regardless of outcome, we can all win.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
– Les Brown