It’s very common for businesses to create a strategic plan for the next year. In most instances, there is a review of the previous year’s activities to drive that vision. In my case, this year was no exception. As anew business owner, I want to know where my investments of time and money have yielded positive results, or at least results that make the endeavor worthwhile.‘Worthwhile’ to me doesn’t only translate into financial return there is also consideration given to strengthening relationships or giving back to the community. So, what is this twist I talk about? In the corporate world I never reflected on, nor had my team reflect on, those things we were grateful for. You are probably wondering why is that important – conventional wisdom has been to review investment of time or money, or the litany of projects that were completed over the year. How would being grateful factor into an enriched strategy?
Benjamin Franklin, a founder of the United States, had a philosophy on journaling that inspired me to start the habit this year. His approach was one that facilitated reflection, accountability, and continued self-improvement as he tracked virtues and acts of kindness. I have never been one who journals, nor has it interested me significantly; however, I found his premise intriguing. Franklin’s approach was to think about his day first thing in the morning and then reflect again on the day in the evening. Ideally, this is a strong way to track one’s activities and improvements. Twice a day is too great a change for me to master and form a habit for now, so I’m starting with reflection once a day in the evening and plan to move on from there. In addition to the achievements and accountability, recording acts of kindness and things I am grateful for has made me more aware of both the things I do for others, and the continued need to step that up in my daily routine. I have also started getting my kids to think about reflecting on kindness and things they are grateful for daily. It was also fun to have a conversation with them about the recent article published by Adam Grant.
The practice of journaling my activities over the year has really helped prepare for developing next year’s strategy and has been rewarding both personally and professionally. Being reminded of my achievements over the year has also given me an elevated confidence as I look to the future.In addition, it reminded me how fortunate I was in this first year outside corporate walls. I hope you find this twist something useful for you both personally and professionally, and I now leave you with some of those things for which I am grateful.
- My family, friends, and associates who believed that I could create and successfully run an Executive and Leadership Coaching business:
- My marketing team at Aviso, LLC for a brand and image that really gives a great first impression.
- My friends, who have amazing connections and have put me in touch with clients and contacts that would have taken years to develop a relationship with, if at all.
- My former coach and now mentor, Pam Boney, who saw my status change on LinkedIn, called and asked what was going on, and now is core to my business and life through her kindness and generosity.
- Robin Whitsell and Chris Matheus, who met me at a Drug Information Association meeting in Orlando, Florida and gave me the opportunity to speak at the global meeting, sparking a passion of speaking in me. This lead me to submit proposals for the 2020 meeting in Washington, D.C.
- My clients, the reason I got into this business, who continually amaze me with their desire to improve themselves – not only for their leadership skills, but for those whose lives they impact. You truly are the reason I love my job.
- Finally, GlaxoSmithKline, for 23 years of leadership development, the opportunity to receive an Executive Coach, the leadership development and training opportunities, and the ability to practice those every day with my team across the globe. To my associates there, I am grateful for the good times and the challenges that helped create the coach I am today.