As New Year begins, the media is awash with articles on all the changes we should be making to our lives this January to become fitter, slimmer, more this, less that etc. etc. The focus is on starting afresh rather than taking time to understand what has driven our successes in the past,
How is this connected with business leadership? Well, I believe there are strong parallels. In business, we may momentarily celebrate success, e.g. a substantial contract won, but within 24 hours, 72 hours at best, as a leader we become focussed on the next goal. What’s often lost, is the valuable opportunity, to pause, think and reflect on what it was that we and our teams did that enabled that success; as time goes on and we get more and more caught up in the next goal, we forget the detail of how we achieved success. The learning is missed and possible future short cuts to further success lost.
Celebrating what is working also helps us find the energy and the strength to address what’s not working. When a team member isn’t performing at their best; our focus is generally on what needs to change. When we focus on the negatives, it’s easy to forget what we truly value about this individual and what has worked in the past.
And yet, we are told that past behaviour is the most reliable predictor of future behaviour so if someone’s performance has been good in the past, it’s high likely to be good in the future. Consequently, if we focus on bringing what we value to the fore and exploring what drove success in the past, we can help the individual rediscover their ‘mojo’ and get back on track.
So this January, before you finalise the goals for 2016, pause, think and reflect on your successes in 2015. What was it you did that made the difference? How can you leverage those successes to get further success in 2016?