Set the Tone for 2014 with the Right Conversations


As last year ended, I encouraged you to reflect on what you learned in 2013 and what you want to take forward and leave behind. To support your goals and set the tone for the new year, consider three potential conversations that could move the ball in the right direction:

Your boss Kick off the year with a clear idea about what’s expected of you and your priorities for the next twelve months. To avoid misdirected time and energy, clarify and confirm with your boss what success really looks like. If your boss can’t articulate it for you, define success as you see it and ask for feedback.

Your team Make the highest and best use of your time and talent while building stronger capability within your team. Talk to individual team members about potential projects that can help them expand their skills and/or expertise. Look for opportunities within existing projects, whether that involves delegating some of your own work or redefining project roles. It may free up some of your time, and give you capacity to focus on where you can add the most value.

Your support staff Leverage your support staff to keep you focused. Have a conversation to make sure they are clear about your highest priorities (e.g., specific projects, relationships, and results) so they can help you focus and manage your time more effectively.  Enlist your staff to protect time for what matters most, including appointments with yourself to reflect and follow up, and to ensure that you are accessible.

Whether it’s these topics or others, this week I challenge you to initiate at least one conversation to lay the groundwork for a successful 2014. And remember, small steps can lead to big results.