As I’ve said, I am a firm believer in New Year’s resolutions. Just as I set annual goals at work, I set annual goals for my life. Do they change? Yes. Am I flexible? Yes. Do I think they are improtant anyway? Hellz yes. Just like it’s important to buy your honey flowers on Valentine’s Day even though you show love every day of the year, it’s important to set goals at the beginning of each year even though I set goals constantly throughout the year as well. To me, New Year’s resolutions are my reminder to look at the horizon and make sure I’m steering the ship in the right direction.
As with anything else, though, if you forget to hold yourself accountable, you will most likely fall flat on some of your goals. So I am going to use this blog to track myself and make sure I am sticking to my values and always growing, learning, and reaching.
As a reminder, I have 6 core values that I always focus on:
- Be an excellent mother.
- Nurture my relationships.
- Excel at work.
- Be smart with money.
- Focus on wellness.
- Organize and simplify.
It would make sense to start with goal #1, but as I just returned from a business trip, I’m going to jump into goal #3, “Excel at work.”
How exactly does one excel at work? Well, of course it’s different for all of us, but for me, I know my strengths, and I know where I need some improvement. So here is my current plan to excel at work (note: It’s already changed in the last two weeks)
Excel at Work
- Be more strategic and less tactical.
- Learn academically.
- Select a role model or mentor.
- Create and follow through on my personal development plan.
Breaking it down:
Be more strategic and less tactical.
There are a few reasons this is important. First, I manage a team of four people, and I owe it to those four people to make sure that their time is well spent. That means it’s my job to ensure that we’re working on the right things, that roadblocks are being addressed, and that accomplishments are being shared. Second, I owe it to them to focus on their professional development so they can move their careers forward. Third, my performance review said I need to do this. Hey, the boss’s opinion should count for something, right?
So how will I accomplish this? For starters, I need to empower my team to take some things off my plate so I can spend time on the strategic items. Second, I need to remember to take time each week to think about where we are, where we’re going, how we need to get there, and what is in the way. Last, I need to work with my boss to make sure I’m not off base.
In a nutshell, this means that in addition to practical experience, I should look for opportunities to learn more about management, leadership, and especially strategy. For instance, I can “learn a book” on the subject, watch TED talks, sign up for some blogs, etc.
Select a role model or mentor
I’m not really sure how to go about finding a mentor. A lot of the folks who are really good at strategy are in high demand, and I don’t want to be an added burden on them. That said, they are still good role models, so I want to reach out to them and pick their brains on their personal operating system, what questions they ask, how they bring themselves above deck from time to time, etc. (sorry for all the metaphors)
Create and follow through on my personal development plan
Essentially this is an outline of the gaps between where I am and where I want to be, the goal I have in mind, and the steps I’ll take to get there. It’s something I’ll share with my team, my boss, and ask for their feedback on a quarterly basis on how they think I’m doing against my goals.
So that’s my current plan on goal #3, “excel at work.” Four items, totally manageable. 🙂