Answer These 5 Questions To “Own” 2022
Summary: How to “own” what works. An exercise to help you capture and repeat the best of 2021.
My office is strategically located over one of my favorite coffee shops.
While getting my first cup of the morning, I asked the barista how her Thanksgiving was.
“The food had the best taste ever!” she said. Her turkey was ok, but she surprised herself with how good her gravy was.
Then she said it, “I’m not sure why it was so good.”
That seemed sad. To reach a culinary high mark and have it just slip away. So, I asked, “What did you do differently?”
I won’t give away the details of her secret, tasty gravy recipe here. But as she thought about it, she realized that what made it special was her onion reduction. She did it differently this year.
And that, my friends, is important.
Too many leaders can’t repeat success because they don’t understand it.
Most leaders have a drive to be successful — however they define success.
Only a few can tell you exactly how they got to where they are. For many, perhaps most, it’s a mystery.
Or at least that’s how they tell the story. Maybe this is coming from a sense of humility and not wanting to be a braggart. Or particular decisions and actions are so natural that success feels like an accident. Or they just lack self-awareness in general.
But it’s a problem. For at least two reasons. Let me tell you why. If you don’t understand your success you…:
- Can’t intentionally repeat it.
- Can’t teach it to anyone.
And so, success eventually peters out.
Deciphering the recipe of your success
How was 2021 for you? Perhaps it was a great year. Perhaps it was a challenging year.
Whatever kind of year, at some point you did something that produced good or even great results. Results of the nature that you might like to see them repeated.
Below are prompts to help you figure this out.
Secret Sauce Recipe Making Questionnaire
If you are in a hurry, take a quick read through this questionnaire. You can think about your answers whilst running around.
But if you really want to get the most out of this, get your favorite beverage and block a chunk of time. Usually, 30–45 minutes and really reflect on the answers.
Additionally, you can actually do this with your team, with individuals on the team using the questions to interview each other. Then, this can be followed up with a discussion where you share and aggregate lessons learned.
Here are the questions:
- Think of an achievement or success, this last year, when you felt particularly proud or accomplished? (Pick a situation that has a quality or result that you’d like to repeat in some way. It could be a specific result. Or how a process went. Or how something was led, etc.)
- What specifically happened?
- What made this experience stand out?
- What are the one or two most important impacts or benefits?
- Who was involved?
- What did you or your team do (specific actions or behaviors) that contributed to this?
- Without being humble, what did you do? What specific decisions, attitudes or behaviors did you choose?
- What did your team do? What decisions, attitudes or behaviors did they choose?
- What “proven strengths” do you have or does your team have that contributed to this? (These are deeply embedded qualities or habits or capabilities. These may be carefully cultivated and you may be very aware of them. But they may seem so natural and second nature to you that it’s easy to overlook them.
- What didn’t happen, wasn’t included, or was kept out — and that mattered? Sometimes there are “contaminants” which spoil success. This could be certain attitudes, behaviors, ways that meetings are conducted, certain habits, the involvement of certain people, etc.
- What needs to be included for this success to be repeated? What needs to be excluded?
Learn from your success. Take a look at it. Observe it. As little people on planet earth, we don’t control everything.
Ownership isn’t just about taking responsibility for things that have gone wrong. It’s also about being able to “own” things that go well.
Let’s set a good foundation for 2022.
Take good care,
Originally published at https://www.christianmuntean.com on December 7, 2021.