For anyone interested in becoming a true growth leader, the end of the year is always a perfect time to engage in a thoughtful retrospective analysis of what you and your team accomplished during the year. But reflecting on the past year involves more than just tallying up achievements; it's about understanding the journey, acknowledging the challenges, and paving the way for continuous improvement.
If you're a developing growth leader, consider how you did, taking both a quantitative and qualitative approach to measuring your performance. Here is the process I recommend following to obtain a comprehensive and objective view.
Measure against Goals and Objectives
Start by revisiting your vision and objectives for the last year. Evaluate your performance against the hard facts and targets you established. Did you meet, exceed, or fall short of these benchmarks? Use real numbers to measure how you did.
Next, conduct a root-cause analysis and identify the positive and negative factors that influenced your performance. Consider if you initiated new strategies, discontinued certain practices, or encountered unforeseen circumstances.
Conduct a Qualitative Analysis
Growth leaders know it takes more than hitting your numbers to succeed, so your analysis should also include a more qualitative approach. Start by reflecting on your performance and assess whether you believe you gave your best or if there were factors that hindered your performance. Note unforeseen circumstances, personal challenges, or other elements influencing your journey.
Be sure also to highlight the improvements you implemented along the way. Did you introduce new processes, technologies, or methodologies that contributed to your success? Acknowledging these positive changes will help you put shortcomings into perspective and context.
Extend Analysis to Your Team
Conduct workshops with your team, share your performance metrics, and collectively reflect on your performance as a leader and your team's performance. Evaluate your team's achievements and areas for improvement using a collaborative approach to foster a culture of transparency and accountability.
Ask your peers, direct reports, and your leaders to complete a 360-degree feedback survey that will help you understand your performance comprehensively. Seeking input from these groups can provide insights into how they perceive your leadership and management style. This external input provides valuable information to help you calibrate your self-assessment.
Once you've received sufficient responses to your survey, present your quantitative and qualitative findings to the team, including your rationale for any conclusions you've drawn. Encourage open discussion, stimulate feedback, and be open to challenges. Maintaining objectivity is critical here, not to tint any interpretations.
Celebrate Achievements and Look Ahead
Not every year will be a roaring success, but every achievement, big or small, deserves celebration. Stay positive and refrain from finding excuses. Focus on what you and your team accomplished and the lessons learned during challenging times.
As you transition from reflection to planning, use a framework that encompasses four key yet simple elements:
- Do More
These are the activities that added value and helped move you towards completing your objectives
- Do Less
These activities still add value, but maybe not as much and should probably be diminished
- Start Doing
You will try the new activities in the coming year
- Stop Doing
The activities that aren't working at all and aren't contributing to your team's success
This framework provides a structured approach to start shaping your strategy for the upcoming year.
Say Hello to Your Future Self
Consider recording a video or writing a letter to your future self. Outline your aspirations, learnings, and goals for the coming year. Revisit this next year when you do your annual reflection to help you track your progress as a Growth Leader.
Reflecting on your year as a growth leader involves a multi-faceted analysis combining quantitative metrics with subjective assessments. This comprehensive approach will ensure a well-rounded understanding of your performance, paving the way for continuous improvement and future success.
Need some help becoming the growth leader you've always wanted to be? We can help! Schedule a free clarity call to discuss the concrete steps you can take to develop a high-performance team and organization.