Quick Tips

These small but powerful nuggets of leadership wisdom can be quickly and easily implemented in the workplace.

Quick Tip – Navigating Tomorrow by Reflecting on Yesterday

Research shows that leaders who take time with their team to reflect on the past often create a more detailed and well-thought-out vision for the future. Here is an exercise that takes place in December and January to help you and your team celebrate accomplishments and get excited about the future.   This was an annual exercise my team at Family and Protective Services engaged in and it was always a great celebration and a way to align everyone towards the coming year.

In December

Carve out time to look at the past year.

  • Give everyone a page of flip chart paper and 2-3 Markers.
  • Have everyone spend some time listing their accomplishments from the last 12 months. Tell people not to be shy, but to help the team celebrate their victories of the year.  Include professional and personal events. At the bottom of the flip chart, have everyone list one lesson they have learned from the previous year that they will apply to the year ahead.
  • Have everyone post their flip chart page on the wall and present them one at a time.  Afterward, ask the team if the presenter missed anything.  Finish each presentation with a huge round of applause; the louder the better.

In January

Create time to look forward to the year ahead as a team in January.

  • Give everyone a page of flip chart paper and 2-3 Markers.
  • Have everyone spend time “visioning” for the next year. What are they excited about?  This can be either personal, professional, or both.
  • Have them circle one goal they feel is most important to them.
  • Have them present their vision to the room.  Afterward, lead the group in a round of applause.
  • Time Permitting: Create groups of three or four and have them identify trends they saw between team members.  What goals and dreams are common?  How could they “fit together” as a common vision for the future?

This exercise offers leaders the opportunity to inspire and mobilize others towards a common vision. It gives insight into the team’s hopes and dreams and helps build stronger teams through increased transparency and sharing.