Source: Birmingham Business Journal
7 Leadership Tips to End 2015 on a High Note
By Gayle Lantz

As you head into the home stretch for the year, it’s easy to feel pressure.

You may be in the middle of budgeting. Or you may be trying to accomplish specific goals by the end of the year. Maybe you’re doing year-end reviews. The end of the year has its own unique stressors.

A few leadership tips to keep in mind this time of year:

1. Be realistic about what you can do. You have less time than you think you do. Take some pressure off of yourself so you can enjoy the holiday season. Get clear about what you absolutely must do versus what would be nice to do.

2. Let go of what you didn’t get done. If you have a project you intended to do, or to-do items that have been carried over month-to-month, but you have not taken action, it’s likely they really don’t need to get done. It’s like that sweater you bought, but never wore. Be willing to give it away. Release those expectations without guilt. Start fresh.

3. Expect distractions. It’s a struggle to balance work and family during this time of year. There’s a lot to get done to prepare for the holidays. You’ll need to dash out to get that last minute gift. Your team members will do the same. Work on your patience and flexibility. Your team will appreciate it.

4. Express your gratitude. Gratitude is a gift. Make a list of people you’d like to thank for helping you or your team accomplish what you did. As Zig Ziglar said, “The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” Write a quick note or make a few phone calls just to say thanks. So simple. So seldom done.

5. Celebrate success. Take a look at the milestones your team has accomplished. People are motivated when they feel they are making progress. Even if you haven’t hit your target, acknowledge how far you have come and what you’ve learned. Show appreciation for the effort.

6. Set a positive expectation. Begin orienting your team around something exciting you all will work toward in the New Year. What’s your big goal for next year? Find a way to keep that in front of your team. Create a visual aid, metaphor or something tangible to represent that goal. Hold a quick meeting to talk about your vision for the year.

7. Slow down. If you feel pressure to speed up, slow down. It’s counterintuitive. Like an archer, you must be still and focused to hit your target. Aim high. You’ll do better thinking and accomplish what’s most important.

As you turn the page, be proud of what you’ve accomplished and optimistic about what’s ahead. Keep clear perspective. End your year on a high note by remembering what really matters.

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