The Unfinished Business Of The Year


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The end of the year is approaching quickly.  As is usual, we are consumed/distracted with a lot of things.  Month end, Quarter end, for many Year end.  We’re rushing to make those last minute numbers, perhaps get some of those year end dollars.  Pile on top of that, the New Year, which for many of us means to start planning for 2015 Kick-offs, programs, new quotas, new goals, looking forward with anticipation.

Then there is the personal side, Holiday plans and celebrations, family, friends……

It’s easy to get caught up in all of this, but there are some important pieces of unfinished business.  The good news, is this is stuff we should always be doing, but somehow we become more attentive at year end.  Plus, if you haven’t been doing this throughout the year, it’s a great time to start:

  • Thank your customers for the privilege of working with them and their business.  Take some time to understand what’s happened since you last talked, listen with no agenda other than to learn from them.
  • Thank the customers where you competed, but lost.  Tell them how much you appreciated being considered.  Tell them how you look forward to the opportunity to earn their business in the coming year.
  • Thank the people in your company that supported you–customer service, technical support, order management, may be that person in shipping that accelerated an order for you.  Yes, even those people in marketing and finance ;-)  And for those of you in marketing and finance, those pesky sales people ;-)  Selling is a team process—without the support of everyone in our organizations, we could not be successful.
  • Don’t forget to thank your manager for her support and coaching.  Make an appointment to sit down and talk about your development in the coming year.
  • If you are a manager, make sure you thank each member of the team, not just collectively at some party, but individually.  Take some time to talk about 1-2 highlights, something you caught them doing that was truly outstanding.  End the year with them thinking about something outstanding they did.  Think of how it will inspire them for the new year.
  • Thank your friends for their friendship and support.
  • Thank your family!  Thank them for their patience, for the missed meals and events, and sometimes distraction or pre-occupation with business.
  • Thank yourself.  By that take some time away from all the distractions this time of year creates to reflect.  Reflect on the progress you’ve made in the past year, the successes you’ve had.  Reflect on some of the missed opportunities/failures–not to beat yourself up on them, but what you’ve taken away from them and learned.  Make sure you have “finished” this year before starting next, clear your mind of all the stuff we tend to carry and accumulate.
  • Thank a stranger on the street, in an airport, or anywhere you might encounter them.  Do it quietly, just smile, perhaps a simple, “Have a great day!”  Smiles are infectious, they spread faster than anything we can imagine.

With that, Thank You!

It’s such a privilege to be part of this community and to share ideas about our profession, business, and the impact we have on our customers, peers, companies, industries and communities.  The conversations generated through these articles, wherever they appear, are both appreciated, but help me learn.  The hundreds of private emails, texts, phone calls help me to continue to learn and improve.  Thanks for your active engagement in helping me learn!

I look forward to your continued active engagement, challenges, and ideas.  Best wishes for the New Year!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


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