The fourth quarter of each year brings a mixture of reflection, planning, and high activity for companies and individuals, as it should.
But what if you could take that fourth quarter focus and turn it into year-round success?
The good news is…you can!
Consider what you do as a leader in the fourth quarter.
You pull out the now dusty goals you set back in January and reflect on them. You take an assessment of where you are now, both personally and professionally. Compared to where you had planned to be, perhaps you are on target; or maybe you are entirely off base. But at least you have gotten your bearings by identifying your successes and opportunities.
Now is the time to look at your list of opportunities (otherwise known as unmet goals) and determine, realistically, how much you can accomplish in one quarter. The key word here is “realistically.”
You see, until fourth quarter, we tend to inflate our ideas of what is possible. But when you see a year-end deadline, it has a way of making you hone it to what really matters.
This is absolutely key for fourth quarter thinking applied throughout the year. What if you looked at each quarter as if it were the last quarter of the year? It changes your perspective.
Some people think of planning like a to-do list of endless details. There is a time and place for that; but first, think bigger picture. What are the one to three things you can realistically accomplish this quarter?
Success is not based on how many things you can accomplish that don’t really matter. It is based on the few things you accomplish that truly make a difference.
What are those three things for you and your company…for this quarter (goals)? And what does success look like (vision)?
You have a vision.
You have three goals.
Now lay out your plan.
What three to five milestones do you need to accomplish along the way?
Setting yourself up for short wins en route to a long-range quarterly goal provides measured doses of incentive and a sense of accomplishment.
- This idea of short wins is especially important for the I-wired among us, who would otherwise lose interest in reaching a goal that is far into the future.
- They are also important for D-wired leaders who need to see results.
- Milestones also help the S-wired maintain an even flow throughout the quarter, eliminating the erratic movement that could otherwise ensue.
- And milestones also help the C-wired employees, who work best with at least some sense of structure.
Three to five milestones.
What tasks must be completed in order to reach each milestone? At this point, you can focus in on each milestone and what it will take to reach each one. You don’t have to be overwhelmed thinking about the big goals because, if you reach the milestones, you will reach the goals, almost as a side-effect.
Reflection is important. Planning is essential. But neither of those will work unless action is applied.
And do you know what one of the biggest motivators for action is?
This is why fourth quarter initiatives are often the most effective – there is tightly applied, highly focused, action.
This three-part formula works
And, here’s the key…it works best when applied every single quarter.
Are you and your team applying quarterly focus for year-round success?
To learn more about how you can create a team that creates year-round success – click here.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.