Tag Archives: lifelong learning

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?


Five Practices To Strengthen Your Leadership Status

One thing I know for sure about leaders- if they believe they know everything about their field or career and there isn’t anything else that can help them grow, they are sunk. When leaders allow their experience and expertise to prevent them from learning new concepts or processes, they will begin a downward spiral in their organizations and careers.

[Tweet “Leaders are sunk if they aren’t willing to keep learning.”]

What I have also observed is that age and background has nothing to do with our desire to learn new skills or have new experiences. Some of the youngest leaders I work with are sometime more closed minded to new approaches than seasoned leaders… Continue reading | 6 Comments

How Long Should Leaders Stay With One Company?

Many things have changed in our work worlds and one of them is whether longevity at one particular organization is helpful in our careers. Does spending a large part of our careers at one place matter? Is it a positive or a negative for our career growth?

Should you stay or should you go?

In a leadership program this week, I worked with leaders who had spent the majority of their careers at one company. They were actually deciding on their next crossroad and I was helping them with strategies for their Second Acts. For each of them, Act 2 was going to look a little different and we worked hard and also… Continue reading | 3 Comments

Punch Holes In Your Leadership Routine To Thrive

pic for punch holes

Just like most people, I depend on my fail-safe routine to get me through my workday. I have set up systems to begin my day, respond to emails, return calls, design programs and present. It seems to flow and I feel comfortable knowing this fairly tight schedule is in place. The truth about routines is that they can save us from falling off-track but they also can prevent us from switching to a new track. Routines can keep us on a fixed path that may be adding to our success while at the same time not helping us grow our leadership.

[Tweet “Deeply held routines propel leaders forward while maintaining the status… Continue reading | 6 Comments

Can Reading Fiction Save A Leader?

pic for fiction and leadership

To grow and evolve, leaders often turn to business books that share new work trends or address challenges they may be facing in the workplace. By learning how others solve the same problems we are facing, we gain insights and alternative steps to resolving our glitches. So many of us gravitate towards non-fiction to learn new strategies.

I’ve been thinking about why we choose these self-improvement and business type genre over a work of fiction? Why do we avoid reaching for that novel or historical literature? Is there ever a reason we may want to delve into a deep narrative and not come up for air until a twist in… Continue reading | 8 Comments