It’s amazing, really. To be here and witness the importance of ‘thinking’ from those in leadership roles across the country. In 2020 and 2021, leaders scrambled to readjust business plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They innovated concepts, scrapped old processes and created new, well-thought strategies to keep their business flowing, employees retained, and their companies alive to navigate the new “normal.” The pandemic forced executives to step back, prioritize, and THINK for a change.

As we head into the new year, keep this in mind: The biggest role for you, as a manager, executive, or CEO, is to THINK. Your role must change. You can no longer be a day-to-day doer, but rather a creative and innovative leader tasked with producing new ideas and further launching those ideas into action. Don’t get me wrong, there are things you need to DO each day, but if you’re not thinking, you aren’t fulfilling your #1 responsibility.

Strive for Greatness
Is your business on the path to greatness? Is it sustainable through the unknowns? Is it predictable, at least for the short-term? Is it stable? Are you consistent with delivery and outcomes? Do you have an emotional connection with your customers, employees, and stakeholders? If one or two of these basic pillars aren’t being met, take time to think about what changes need to take place in your companies’ structure, culture, or processes.

Think About Your Team
Remember the old adage “Teamwork makes the dream work?” Think about your team and the skills they need to succeed in implementing your new plans. What resources can you provide to enhance their skills? Are you helping your team reach their fullest potential? As a leader, be a resource to your team and ensure they have the right tools to get the job done well. If you’re not thinking about how to ensure your team is capable of such success, it’ll be difficult to meet your goals.

Think About Culture
Is your organization living its best life? If not, how can you establish a workplace in which your employees are proud to be a part? Do the core values of your business benefit your workers as well as your mission? A positive workplace culture will engage the behaviors you desire from your employees – think about how you can foster a workplace encouraging innovation, ideas, creativity, and makes your employees want to execute projects at their full potential. In addition to elevated productivity, your organization will experience less turnover, retain top performers, and advance your brand’s identity creating raving fans and loyal customers.

Think About Strategy
How will you win? To avoid seeing your lofty goals fall flat, it will take plenty of thought and strategy to make your ideas become reality. Think about the markets you should focus on for long-term success. How can you maximize a greater return, and where you can scale most effectively? Remember, it’s no longer your responsibility to implement day-to-day operations, but develop a blueprint for your team. A sturdy foundation for your team to build upon, meeting goals and exceeding expectations.

Think About Results
No one wants to get to the finish line and realize they’ve run the race backwards – how do you make sure the ideas, strategies, and plans you’re putting into place warrant successful results? What opportunities is your team missing that could impact the bottom line? What bottlenecks need to be addressed to help move your team more efficiently toward effective processes? What testing and measurement methods should you be investing in to make sure you’re achieving desired results?

As a leader, it’s your job to be thoughtful in your strategy, approach, and implementation; being sure to set your team up for success this year.

Need a thinking partner? This month, I am offering a complimentary strategic thinking session to help kickstart your successful year. Contact me today! Hurry, schedules are filling up!

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