Celebration as a stepping stone to future success
The familiar sound of jingle bells is a stark reminder that yet another year has almost passed us by. What better time to take stock and celebrate our achievements?
Yet, Christmas carols should not signal the end of our efforts for the year, a signing off from business or a stepping back from our commitment to culture. Rather the festive season could remind us that Christmas is about far more than just indulging in celebratory beverages and selecting secret Santa gifts for our colleagues.
Beyond the clinging of champagne flutes and the closing of the calendar year lies a poignant and momentary opportunity for self-reflection and expansion. The opportunity to understand, connect with and care for others.
Seasonal celebration offers a powerful opportunity for human connectivity, for setting the tone for next year. For celebrating our professional achievements but more importantly, for understanding that we are first and foremost, people.
“Seasonal celebration offers a powerful opportunity for human connectivity, for setting the tone for next year. ”
For many, the familiar sight of Christmas decorations is also a stark reminder of what we have lost, let go of or failed to achieve this past year. Feelings of sadness, disappointment, overwhelm and failure often echo through the half empty halls of organisations over the Christmas period and leave a kind of unattended to energy hovering, eagerly awaiting our return.
If we have done the work of developing our soft skills this year then we may get some valuable insight into the connection between effort and outcomes. When we get related to who we are for others and how we show up within our business, in the context of reviewing business results, we are better placed to identify opportunities for improvement.
This is an important time to take an earnest and judgement free look at our efforts this year, to ask ourselves, what is working:
- In our team?
- About my leadership?
- Within the business?
When we look at how our connections, collaborations and communications have developed this year, we are certain to feel a sense of pride, achievement and completion, even if fleeting. And well positioned to get a jump on time itself, starting the forward planning before the new year is upon us.
Yet, knowing what we want to achieve is only half the battle. The hard work comes packaged in the challenge of discomfort, unwillingness and sometimes even resentment (“Why don’t I have the job/partner/sales that I want?” “Why am I hustling the hell out of every day and still not basking in the glory that my efforts should surely attract!”).
The truth is that culture is the sum total of our relationships; how we think, act, influence and ignite energy in others has a lot to do with how we experience ourselves.
The optimistic view that a new year is a fresh page is a positive reminder that choice is always available. That perception creates reality. That expectancy plays a huge role in experience.
Wherever you are (in work or life) as the business year comes to a close, make the choice and take the time to self-reflect, own the breakdowns, have the conversations you have been avoiding, clean up any impact of being less than the leader you know you are. Be complete and close the year with peace, love and joy.
• Where are you not leading in your life?
• Where is your investment in relationships falling short of the commitment you know is required for the culture you know you want?
• What’s going on for your colleagues this Christmas (yes, even that difficult personality)? Is there anyone suffering or someone you could reach out to?
When we end the year with accountability and positive intent, we are far more likely to start the new one with optimistic orientation and positive anticipation.
Cheers to that!
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