Five Year-End Questions For Leaders To Take Stock

It’s that time of year when leaders from around the globe look at their calendars and realize the end of a hard-fought, sometimes exciting, sometimes scary year is quickly approaching. We may want to stick our heads in the sand and pretend we have more time to introduce new projects, but sadly we need to now step back and take stock in 2017. That’s not to say we shouldn’t keep propelling forward with our goals and deliverables. It’s just a valuable time to reflect on the good, the bad and the truths of the past year.

Where to begin?

As with many analyses, it is helpful to start the search with some empowering questions to jog our memory and open up our trip down 2017.

Five Year-End Questions For Leaders To Take Stock:

 1. WHAT DO I FEEL MOST PROUD ABOUT?

I always like beginning with this question because it sets a positive tone in thinking about our past year accomplishments. It’s so easy for us to automatically jump to tearing ourselves apart and thinking about our mistakes. Instead try to capture the highlights of your successes and give yourself a pat on the back for even little steps forward.

  • List the projects or presentations that provided you with positive reviews
  • Identify a deliverable that the end result truly reflected all your hard work
  • Remind yourself of the contributions you made to your team
  • Honor the impact you made by recognizing how it made a difference

2. HOW DID I GROW AND LEARN THIS PAST YEAR?

To be an influential leader we need to keep growing and that means keeping up with our reading, attending conferences, taking courses or webinars and applying new concepts. When we commit to being a lifelong learner we stay open-minded and agile. We are able to try new approaches and make mistakes experimenting. We aren’t afraid to fail because taking risks brings us deeper success.

3. WHO DID I MEET THAT HELPED ME BECOME A BETTER LEADER?

Leaders can’t make it alone so we need to take stock in the people who made the greatest impact on us during the year. Some of the important relationships could be:

  • Our boss
  • Our teammate
  • Someone we met in a tweetchat or at a networking event
  • Our customer or client
  • A new friend
  • A teacher

Then think about what they shared with you and how that brought your leadership to a new place. Be clear on what you have learned from them and make sure to use it.

4. WHO DID I MEET THAT I HELPED THEM GROW THEIR LEADERSHIP?

It’s a two way street in leadership. We learn from others and we also share our lessons and missteps to help them become stronger. As this year comes to a close consider the people we impacted. Maybe you helped out a colleague with some insights that enhanced a deliverable. Perhaps you took the time to listen to someone’s challenges and offer them advice in how to spring forward. You might have empowered someone to speak up or helped your boss become recognized. Whomever you touched helped make you a stronger leader too.

5. WHERE DID I GO OFF COURSE? WHY?

The final question to evaluate is to look at the places where we might have performed better or chosen different options. The key here is not to beat ourselves up but remain truthful with ourselves. It can be helpful to ask others for input too. Then begin a new direction by developing goals and objectives for the coming year to make the necessary changes.

What year-end questions help you take stock in your leadership?

 

6 thoughts on “Five Year-End Questions For Leaders To Take Stock

  1. I find questions a great way to evaluate the good, the bad and the ugly of our past year in leadership. When leaders take the time to reflect on their proudest accomplishments as well as areas they fell short during the past they begin the process of where they want to focus in the coming year.

    Thanks Kate!

  2. These are all excellent questions to ask ourselves, and our team, at year end. I would also add that on a yearly basis it’s a good idea to make sure our vision for the company is the same. Goals should be in alignment with the vision and it’s interesting how easy it is for course correction to take a back seat if leadership isn’t open to exploring disruptive technology and other changes in the marketplace and look for ways to adapt and keep up.

  3. Making sure that we have a clear leadership vision for ourselves and our organizations is a great addition. Maybe asking ourselves: Is our vision still representing our purpose and direction? If the answer is no, then leaders need to analyze what has changed and how they want to lead differently in the new year.

    Thanks LaRae!

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