“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” -Little Gidding II
As we approach the end of another year, there is a feeling of anticipation for what the upcoming year will bring. As a great leader, you want to do your best to prepare your organization for greater success in the New Year. Reflecting on the past 12 months and you should also be reviewing your business strategy for 2014.
In reviewing what needs to take place for the New Year, I believe leaders need to first review how this current year has been so far and predict how things will be for the remainder of the year until December 31st. Look at (1) having 12 specific visions and goals for each month that will culminate to the primary goal for what you actually want to accomplish for the New Year.
In using the last quarter to focus on developing plans for what you want to achieve, make sure your employees are happy and ready to move forward to the next level. Next, have you thought about how you want to move forward in 2014?
How would you define your business and leadership performance results for this year? If the answer is “YES”, are you prepared to deliver the same performance next year or go to the next level? If the answer is “NO”, are you prepared to deal with the struggles that have prevented you from achieving your goals this year?
With this in mind, here are a few ways you can take the following to help you prepare your organization for greater success in the New Year.
Start with Your People
Communicate clearly to your employees what your specific vision is for the New Year. This not only keeps them in-the-loop, it also gives them a sense of knowing what direction the company is going in.
“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”– Vince Lombardi
At the same time, build your team for the New Year with what you plan to do. The buy-in you get from your employees helps you get their cooperation in what you want and expect from them. “Team-building is a quality that I find isn’t really prevalent in most large companies. If you don’t build a team and you don’t have the team buy in, you won’t win.” says Susan Tose Spencer.
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” Babe Ruth
Review and evaluate your organization. Ask yourself, “What works, what does not work, and what works well?” What should you be measuring in your business to know how it’s doing?
When you are at the beginning of preparing your organization for succeeding in the New Year, use a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to help you move forward. This helps you see where you have been and where you can improve for the New Year.
Don’t put off until tomorrow that which you can do today. And that includes preparing your entire organization for the New Year.
Getting great results now demonstrates that, in most cases, your employees are ready and wanting to go to the next level for higher results. Communicate your vision and get the buy-in you need to the next level of greater results.
Empowering your employees, allowing them to use their critical thinking skills to involve employees in the decision-making process, interacting with their co-workers on issues they may need help with, which gives them the positive self-confidence they need to create and produce greater results.
Initially, set your goals using SMART. Each quarter make the next goals more challenging to reach. By using HARD goals you prepare your employees to use their strengths and hidden talent and skills to improve their results. What goals did you succeed in reaching this year?
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”
Training your employees to change their mind-sets in creating and producing greater results and this can be accomplished by looking at things with a different perspective. This helps to leverage your natural strengths to meet your goals, and the results yield toward the power to lead, achieve & develop. This also helps bring out more of who your high-performers and who your high-potentials are.
Essentially, using the Pareto principle, or 80–20 rule, the 20% of your efforts need to be put into activities that should be chosen very wisely. This is because they are of greater value toward where you take your organization.
“I’m going to put the 80/20 rule to serious work, focusing on the 20 percent of my work that generates 80 percent of the revenue” -Haziq, via Twitter
Work on Time Management
Having good timing is often cited as critical to success. Plan your strategic plan with helping your employees
Being more efficient for the time you have in getting things done helps when you teach your employees a formula to complete their work without having to spend more time on the task or project, or to repeat the same work a second time for the same.
Create a to-do list for the first week of January
Taking the first step is often the hardest. So why not start now with a to-do list for the first week of business in January to jump start with a clear commitment to change. Begin implementing your vision goals. Make sure you have everyone on board as you did before the holidays.
Value the priorities that move you forward toward your goal(s).
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Actively listen to your employees and responding back with first thinking gives employees the recognition of what is being said. With any ideas or suggestions from employees, give them recognition and reward them if you use any of their ideas or suggestions for implementation.
Listening is a big key to getting employee commitment. Perhaps the most powerful of all leadership techniques for motivating employees is effective listening. The skill of listening is every executive, manager and supervisor’s doorway to employee commitment.
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” -Jack Welch
After goals are completed at the end of each month, reward your employees for a great month. This helps give them the recognition, value and self-esteem to continue creating and producing greater results in the next month.
According to Gallup studies, less than 70% of the workforce is truly committed to their company or boss, and less than 70% is truly motivated. Your organization cannot afford to have this happen. You need 100% of your employees truly committed and truly motivated.
At the end of the year when your organization accomplished greater results than the year before, you can give an extra bonus to each employee and possibly another way of recognizing their contribution they gave for great results produced.
Culmination of Your Results
Where is the energy going to come from to make all those changes? Like most people, I set goals and resolutions for 2014. In this case though, leaders need to set their sights for the entire year with respect to their entire organization.
Your employees need to learn to work a lot smarter not harder in order to reach the great results communicated by you, their leader.
Even after you put everything in place, you still need to continue working through your vision with your employees. Be persistently consistent. The rest is up to you in taking the actions needed to move forward for greater success in the New Year.
“Not every end is the goal. The end of a melody is not its goal, and yet if the melody has not reached its end, it has not reached its goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche