Everyday without fail I write down my personal and business goals. I’ll make a cup of coffee, sip away and start writing in my journal. It’s a practice that I’ve followed for a number of years and really enjoy the opportunity to isolate myself and visualise the future.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t something out of the ordinary…It is a rule of thumb for business owners and leaders to set goals at the start of the year. Most business owners continue to track or adjust their goals every quarter, month and week until December 31st, and then the cycle starts again. During this period of time, it is common to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and update scoreboards to understand your true performance. Often, this data inspires strategic decisions in an attempt to improve results or to provide additional positive feedback that things are working.
Recently, I found myself going through this cycle of writing goals, reviewing goals, making strategic decisions and doing it all again. Like most goals, some things were working and some things weren’t. But in one particular area of our business, we found ourselves struggling to get into the next gear. We’d hovered around the same KPI in a particular aspect of our business for almost 12 months. Despite that fact, we’d set our goal to double this KPI at the start of the year, 8 months later and a handful of strategic changes, we still hadn’t seen a large shift.
On the weekend just gone, I sat down and decided to approach the challenge a little differently. Rather than looking at the KPIs, the data or our past results, I decided to flip the whole situation and perform a full review on myself as a leader in our team. I begin by asking myself important questions like;
- Have I placed enough focus on the team and our people?
- Have I defined our company vision?
- Have I clearly articulated the company vision?
- How has my communication with the team been recently?
- How have I personally grown and developed over the past 6 months?
All of these questions seem fairly simple in isolation but it became clear that there is immense value in truly reflecting and asking yourself questions. I found myself asking questions on top of these questions and what I intended to be a business strategy session soon become a personal reflection exercise.
What I enjoyed the most out of this whole process was exposing my challenges, highlighting my areas of improvement but most importantly laying down a plan on how I can personally improve.
Sometimes it is not the business that needs strategic change; it is us as leaders who need to grow and evolve.
I believe that there is a direct correlation between sustainable business growth and our own personal growth.
Self-reflection is such a common subject and a concept that every “business influencer” seems to have packed down. However, ask yourself how honest your current self-reflection is. Do you tend to blame the economy, your team, systems, processes, external stakeholders, or interest rates? Or when things don't go as planned, do you sit down, analyse all the data, ask yourself the hard questions, review your own performance and see how you can personally improve?
From my recent experience, I can tell you that the latter is far more empowering, rewarding and reinvigorating…Give it a go 🙌
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