How would you finish this sentence: “2012 will be successful if…?” It’s not an easy question, but answering it is essential to being an effective leader. We need to identify what we want to accomplish so we can prioritize the resources needed to get there.
Starting a new year brings new opportunities, but it also brings challenges. Where do you start? Setting goals as a business is a motherhood statement. Actually identifying and accomplishing them is the hard part. As leaders and managers, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities that tend to distract us from focusing on key initiatives.
Here are my top goals for 2012:
This year will be the year I improve leadership and management training. As we continue to grow, new opportunities are created. However, we need to ensure our people are prepared to assume those additional responsibilities. Back in November, I talked about the importance of having a strong bench. Ensuring our key leaders have the skills and resources they need to be successful is my job. I think we have plenty of room for improvement in structuring our leadership training. This important initiative needs to be accomplished the first half of this year.
This year will be the year I connect better with remote employees. This has been increasingly difficult as we have expanded our geographic footprint. I do not want to lose our unique culture that has allowed us to attract and keep good people. Personally knowing employees is an important part of the equation and has certainly been challenged with 21 locations separated by hundreds of miles. In an effort to move this forward, we have made a significant investment in telepresence video conferencing at our remote offices to improve the communication experience. And I even have video conferencing capability right at my desk. My initial impression is this investment will have a very short payback.
This year will be the year I evaluate and consider restructuring corporate governance. This is the structure that augments our management team to help us make sound, strategic decisions for our employee owners. We had an advisory board at one time. This year I plan to revisit it, but will challenge traditional thinking as it relates to advisory boards.
This year will be the year I execute another acquisition that will help us achieve our goals in 2013. Yes, we are only a few days into 2012, but it is important for me to start focusing on where the growth will come from in 2013. Just like retailers are buying products for next Christmas, I am working on plans to drive growth and success next year.
This year will be the year I see our company exceed the $100-million revenue mark. Sales and profit goals are common for executives. But this is not your average goal. For us, it seemed unimaginable when we set it five years ago. We intentionally outlined a plan to hit this target, and I believe we’ll achieve it one year early.
This year will be the year I successfully move our corporate headquarters. This is not just the logistics of moving our furniture and fixtures; I am more concerned with the people aspect of the transition. Many of our employees have parked in the same spot, walked through the same door and sat at the same desk for years – even decades. Now, we are moving their cheese. That can be uncomfortable. It is my goal to make it a good transition and prepare ourselves to do business in the new facility for the next 30 years.
What are your goals?
These goals are not unique. I am certain they resemble some I have had in the past and goals many of you may have this year as well. Obviously, we can’t achieve all of our goals on our own. By aligning your teams and the necessary resources, you can keep your goals moving forward while starting to focus on the future. What are your goals for next year? How will you finish this sentence: “2013 will be successful if…?”