01 November 2014

Measuring Your Progress

With 2014 winding down and a new year rapidly approaching, this might be a good time to consider the past and begin to prepare for 2015. 

Here are questions to help you and others learn, grow and change:

Preface

Why does your organization exist?  What is its primary purpose?  Is that purpose clear to a majority of employees with whom you work?  If not, why? 

Looking back
  1. What are 2 or 3 of the more significant accomplishments and/or highlights in 2014?
  2. What's the most important thing you needed to get done but didn't, and why?
  3. What emerged as important (positive or negative) but was not planned?
  4. We develop and learn the most from the right kind of experiences.  What experience did you have this past year in which you took away an important lesson as a leader?
  5. What component of your business or nonprofit provided the most energy, positive influence, and distinctiveness overall?  And why?
Looking ahead
  1. What do you gauge to be the number one priority for the coming year in your area of responsibility?   What two additional priorities should be on that list?
  2. What assumptions are shaping your planning, hiring, and budgeting processes?
  3. What people issues need attention? 
  4. What do your direct reports need more from you--less from you?
  5. Where could you use help in order to better carry out your responsibilities?  Who will help you?
  6. Do you have any immediate concerns about your organization?  If so, what are they?
  7. What two areas of health and strength can you build on in the coming year?
Getting personal

The prerequisite for managing others is being able to manage oneself.  Life is a journey of endurance and perseverance. Therefore it's important that we take care of ourselves in addition to looking after those we supervise.

One characteristic of a healthy leader is that they develop an ability to maintain a non-anxious presence in the midst of a hyper-culture made up of goals, deadlines, competition, and technology.  That demeanor is achieved through practice and discipline--by going through hard times and living to tell about them. 

It's enriching to be around individuals who combine confidence with humility and inner strength.  They improve the quality of our lives and make us better people.  I think of them as teachers as much as supervisors, highly prized by employees--and executive recruiters.

Here's a book from Harvard Business Review Press that might be beneficial to your development.  It's entitled appropriately enough--"On Managing Yourself." 

This easy read is made up of eleven HBR articles including, "How Will You Measure Your Life," by best-selling author, Clayton Christensen, who teaches at Harvard Business School.  Dr. Christensen reminds us there's far more to life than the business or profession we've chosen. 

Consider adding this book to your leadership library in anticipation of a successful 2015. 


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