Category Archives: Appreciation

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:


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


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.


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.


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.


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?


Seven Critical Leadership Rituals

Rituals are important to the survival of any organization as they contribute to the unique culture of a workplace. Rituals can mean honoring our co-workers’ birthdays with cards that everyone signs and a special birthday cake or making Wednesday “Bagel Day” for the firm. Some teams embrace the ritual of a monthly Happy Hour to connect with everyone in a less formal setting while other teams support a “Field Day” filled with outdoor activities to get to know one another better. Whatever the ritual, to feel part of our work worlds we honor those routines and behaviors.

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Rituals are also the key to i… Continue reading | 2 Comments

How To Become A Grateful Leader


At this time of year in the United States we gather with our families and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. We take stock in all that we are grateful for- both the big and the small wins. The reality is that most of us have also faced challenges during the year and have needed to rely on our support systems to help us get through. Our lives are imperfect and that means we can choose to dwell on the disappointments or focus on what we are grateful for.

Let’s choose to lead with gratitude in both our personal and professional lives. When we are grateful we bring out the best in ourselves and in others.

Five Ways Mentoring Grows Leaders


I recently shared with one of my daughters a critical realization about my career. I had learned the bulk of my skills and knowledge from a woman I worked for many years ago. She was an extraordinary boss and more importantly, a talented mentor. I had accepted a position that I had a minimal amount of experience. I was confident that I could master the necessary skills I was lacking, but I had no idea how that would happen. Many of you may be thinking that I had “imposter syndrome” but honestly I was a newbie with very little exposure to a field I knew I belonged.

Has this ever happened to you in

Best Leadership Mantra Ever-“I’m Here For You”


These past few weeks I have been working with a vendor to set up an online assessment for one of my clients. Although I have administered this assessment for a long time I never dealt with this vendor. I was uneasy at first to connect with a new supplier, but kept marching forward to see how this new relationship and process would play out.

As I delved deeper to learn the new system and see if it would work effectively for my client and myself, my anxiety began to grow. Every roadblock I hit I would contact the vendor with all my questions and errors. At one point I was calling them every day as… Continue reading | 6 Comments