Taking Stock – reflections on the year so far, a timely
We are now two thirds of the way through the year.
Realistically, it is roughly the last time you can
expect to systematically take any "strategic" actions
that will make a difference on your performance contract
or business goals for the year. It is hard to achieve
such things in days, so it is a good idea to take stock
of where you are with regards to where you’d like to be
now (or where you promised to be), versus "where you
are" as you gear up to the end of the year and to make
some plans to close the gap(s). A careful
assessment at this time of the year can re-invigorate
you to a higher level for the last few months of the
year. Don't forget to acknowledge and
celebrate your successes as well - we frequently forget
to do that. It can also help to energise you
towards a higher level of performance.
Here are some questions that we hope are useful:
- Do you have appropriate measures to help you to see
where you are now and where you need to get to (so that
you will know when you’ve arrived)? If not, what would
useful/appropriate measures be?
- Where are you with respect to your KPI’s? Where is
your team? Your division?
- What can you realistically influence between now and
the end of the year?
- If your goals are not realistic, what can you do
about it? Is it appropriate to modify them in any way
due to circumstances which have changed since you
developed the goals?
- What are your next steps and by when do you need to
complete them in order to achieve what you want to
- What small step can you take today?
A nice tool that we use to help us to quickly see where
we are is a dashboard. It is simply a slide with the
most critical and important (and therefore, only a
few) goals/KPIs listed and in response to each a
traffic light symbol – green for on track, amber for
warning, watch closely and red for danger, needing
immediate corrective action.
Don’t forget to think about (and apply) the same
questions to your team if you lead a team. One part of
organisational performance is making sure that each part
of the organisation is working as it should, identifying
where it isn’t working properly and helping/supporting
it to do so.
The second part of taking stock is looking at your own
life and accomplishments versus goals for the year.
What DO you want?
A very important question. Consider:
Success - By Walt Emerson
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the
affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure
the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy
child, a garden patch or a redeemed social
To know even one life has breathed easier because you
This is to have succeeded.
In your own life – the entirety of it – are you happy and
finding fulfilment with the balance you have? Do you get
enough energy from what you are doing? We suggesting
filling out the matrix below to assess your level of
satisfaction and fulfilment in the collection of
activities in which you are engaged. Once you’ve
identified what gives you energy and what saps your
energy, you can get an idea of what you might like to do
less of and/or stop doing and what you want to do more
of. It may even give you an idea of what you really want
to do with your life!
As you reflect on your both your life goals and any
annual goals you have established and have been working
towards, if you aren’t satisfied with where you are in
your journey towards accomplishing these goals and
aspirations, what would get you there? What small step
could you take today?
What is important to you? Are you doing that?
If not, what steps can you take to do more of it?
Reconnect with your core values. They may have
changed. They may have stayed the same...just
think about where you are now and what - if anything -
you need to do to be on track.
What did you set as personal goals this year? If you
didn’t set any specific ones, what do you think you were
aiming for? What were your implied goals? How are you
Small steps are great – things you can do immediately or
by the end of the day. Good luck – taking the next steps
in your life. Remember the old and somewhat trite
phrase: "Today IS the first day of the rest of
You may like to consider one last question: If you woke
up tomorrow and overnight while you slept (somehow)
everything in your life was perfect, but you weren’t
aware of it...how would you know?