(As published in the Sunday Star Times and online at stuff.co.nz on January 12, 2017)
What do you need to learn personally to be able to perform better in 2017? Nobody is perfect. Are you aware of your limitations and what’s holding you back? When did you last truly get real feedback on what your limitations are? It’s worth spending the time thinking over a few things that might have some good ideas on how to get around what is holding you back – here are four suggestions from me…
Lesson one: Consider how you frustrated others and work out how to reduce the risk of repeating.
Personally I find so many learnings in how you frustrate others. Interesting, I was talking to a client the other day and they said they had had some customer complaints about a staff member… I shared that statistically various studies have shown that if you get a formal customer complaint, there are 8 other customers who feel the same way but have not formally said anything to you. I reckon it will be the same with how you personally frustrate others – if you know you frustrated someone, I wonder how many other people you frustrated in similar ways that you are not aware of? Think on and you should improve your leadership. Think about how customers are frustrated by your business – what can you do to change that. Which points of pain can you remove to make dealing with your company a less frustrating experience?
Lesson two: Put time into thinking about the thing that will make the biggest difference to your business, and then do something about it, stat.
Consider what is the biggest positive thing that could happen for you, your team and your business in 2017. The dream number one thing. The thing that will change the trajectory of your performance forever and ever. The only way to have a chance of achieving this dream thing is if you consider the first step that you must take to make some progress towards this. Give yourself some deadlines. What is the first thing you must do by January 31, 2017? And ditto, what is the most important thing you must do in February 2017 and then in March 2017 etc in order to increase the probability of this big positive thing happening for you. Put these things in your calendar. Set time aside to make them happen. And you will be steps closer in 2017 to achieving the biggest thing ever in your business.
Lesson three: Time to stop putting off those difficult actions and conversations. Be brave. Give yourself a deadline. Do it…
What is your elephant in the room? Meaning we all have things that we know we should have addressed but have either not set the time aside or aren’t brave enough to do something about it. For me personally, it is not dealing with what I would call ‘D-grade clients’. Certainly something that many businesses could consider – what can you do about your worst customers? To make a real difference, why don’t you give yourself a deadline to address your elephant in the room? What elephant do you need to address over the next several weeks? Set yourself a deadline (by the end of next month, for example) and challenge yourself to confront it.
Lesson four: Goals can be a waste of time unless you work out how to achieve them and move forward on them regularly.
Certainly many of you will have created some new years resolutions. That is fantastic but only if you actually remember them for the entire year… How do you remember what your goals are? Everybody has different ways but many of us tend to forget to refer to our goals enough. Goals are a great part of human success but only if you do something about those goals, meaning taking some tangible steps to achieve them. Once you have re-set your goals, I wonder what action you will take over the first quarter of 2017 to get closer to achieving these goals. Have a system that works for you to know you remember your goals and you move forward towards hitting them every single week!
Set aside half an hour to ponder these four things and then put them into action to get you a step closer to achieving your best year yet!
Zac de Silva is an award-winning business coach who owns www.businesschanging.com as well as being the co-founder of the Nurture Change Business Retreat in Fiji. If you like the questions that Zac poses, check out www.accme.co which will get you thinking on how to run a better business.