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Trevor E.S. Smith | Gearing up or winding down

Published:Sunday | December 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMTrevor E.S. Smith

Time to rest from labour or prepare for the new year?

Is this tug of war threatening to steal your joy? Both are compelling options. Here is a review.


Winding Down


- Remove the feeling of guilt from stepping back. Batteries need to be recharged.

- Treat winding down as a chance for objective introspection away from the normal day-to-day pressures. Take time to take stock.

- Grasp this opportunity for a calm check-up on your entire being. This could include a comprehensive medical examination.

- Use the winding-down period as a time to fix and tidy up things - take care of neglected relationships, correspondence, and other commitments.

- Fact-finding: This is an ideal time for organisations to gather information. A turnkey, logistically friendly employee satisfaction survey could fit neatly in this time of year.


Gearing Up


- Gearing Up might give you the edge over others. Do not underestimate its value.

- View gearing up now as protection against potential hassles next year.

- Success chain: Reflection > Identification > Corrective Action > Implementation > Completion

- Gap analysis: Plan to go into the new year better equipped than previous years. Take a serious look at areas that could make a difference if you were better at them. Choose one area that will have the greatest impact, and can be achieved given available time and resources. Be willing to stretch your resources and carve out additional time.

If the new year is to be extraordinary, you need to go beyond the ordinary.

- Goal setting: Gearing up must include clear goals for the new year.

- Temper being overly optimistic by reflecting on some of the realities you experienced this year.

- Avoid New Year's resolutions and hyped-up budgets that are never achieved.

- Avoid the "add 10 per cent to last year" mentality. The goal-setting should really start from zero ... with a clean sheet. Given what we have, what we know and what we can leverage, what milestones should we achieve next year?

- Use the gearingup process to entertain day dreaming or magic wand thoughts.

"What if ..." the obstacles were removed? "What if.." Some windfall became available? This will broaden your vision of the future, and prompt you to devise strategies to remove obstacles and access unexpected resources.

- Load shedding: Get ready for the road. Lighten your load.

- Throw out physical junk. Do spring cleaning.

- Mindset adjustment. Critically, the load shedding must address what's going on in your mind.

- Get rid of mental junk.

- Banish malice and unforgiveness. Forgive so that you can live! Give up strife to get a life.

- Rise above negative thoughts. Don't underestimate what you can achieve.

- Avoid envy and jealousy. Recognise that we really do not own anything or anyone. In the overall scheme of things, we and the things we crave are like grass that is green today but soon withers away.

- Manager anger. Get coaching if necessary. Your thoughts and your actions are YOURS - Own them and control them.

- Accountability: Much of your planning and commitments will come to nought if you do not build in accountability. Think milestones and progress police.

- Break down projects into mini-steps and milestones.

- Add identifiable goals for each mini-step and objective ways of verifying their completion.

- Link steps to the vision of the future you are working to create.

- Assign priority ratings to each step.

- Identify progress police in the form of people or authorities that you respect and who will hold you accountable for staying on track.


Call to Action:


1. Conduct a customised employee satisfaction survey or 360 performance appraisal assessments. The process is swift, logistically friendly and cost-effective. Listen to the voices that matter most at a surprisingly low cost.

2. Save February 16, 2018 for the 2018 Exclusive Breakthrough Bootcamp: Guided Path to Realising the Next Level of Your Journey as bestselling author and Fortune 500 consultant Keri S. Smith brings breakthroughs to Kingston!

- Trevor E.S. Smith and the Success with People Academy team prepare and certify leadership coach/mentors and develop high performing teams. Hire Smart with their recruitment solutions. Now enrolling for the January cohort of the ICF/SHRM-Accredited Certified Behavioural Coach programme.