In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of doors and gates, symbolizing new beginnings and transitions. His image is one of two faces, each looking in an opposite direction. This is where the month of January got its name. And, of course, the symbolism fits the month.
While everyone is focused on new beginnings, there is also the focus on transitioning from the previous year. In life and in business, this can feel like a pull in two very different directions because it is.
In business, for example, you may be operating on the new budget and looking forward to creating greater profitability; but it may also mean you are closing out the old year’s records and completing taxes, which may draw down from the current year.
Personally, you may have set goals for improved financials or health, and yet you are carrying the weight of holiday transgressions. It is definitely a time of transition.
Acknowledging the two faces of this time of year will help you understand and better manage the overwhelm. Rather than focusing only on the new year with its new initiatives, goals, and products; make space for also wrapping up the old year well. As a leader, it is important that you understand your team is dealing with both perspectives.
Here is how you can lead well through this transitional month.
- Out with the Old
Meet with your team and especially with those whose strengths lend themselves to finishing well. Review the year and capture highlights and challenges. Ask them what needs to be done to wrap up the previous year’s business. Are there financials that need attention for tax purposes? Are there processes that need to be documented? Are there sales that need to close? Is there unfinished business that needs to be finished?
Making time for these easily overlooked parts of business can make all the difference in the new year. And giving your team time to close the loops increases effectiveness and lessens stress.
- In with the New
For the new year, schedule a meeting with your team to review the objectives. Be sure everyone is clear on the plan for the new year, or at least for the first quarter of the year. Allow time for questions and ideas, with respect to the various strengths represented across your team. Determine your best course of action and work together to determine milestones and timelines.
Review also the routines in the business. Routines are the repetitive, financial, and administrative tasks that are done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. These represent a large percentage of what it takes to run a business, but they are often underestimated and overlooked. When these are running smoothly, no one notices. But when they are not, the entire company could be affected.
As a leader, be sure to review both routines and projects so that new products and programs are well supported.
In terms of team strengths as they relate to the DISC profile, you generally will have the D’s and I’s who have the strengths of starting and driving new initiatives. And you will have S’s and C’s who will carry those forward with attention to detail and finishing. You need both facets, especially during this transitional month. This is why having a diversified team creates a strong organization. It allows you to do more, and to do it well. It allows you to move into a new year, while also wrapping up the old one well.
- Ask yourself and your team what needs to be wrapped up from the previous year.
- Get clear on the new year’s objectives and timelines.
- Consider your team balance. Do you have strong starters? Do you have strong finishers?
For resources on finding your strengths, maximizing your impact, and growing yourself and your business, click here. Helping you lead in your strengths and with purpose is our mission.
Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after executive coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker worldwide. Deb is well versed in business operations and in the importance of asking key questions most business leaders won’t ask themselves. She brings deep experience in leadership development, strategy, high performance team building and effective communication. She has a passion for leading people to discover and maximize their strengths as well as those of fellow team members, while offering advanced strategies to achieve high performance. Deb is the perfect fit if you’re ready to take your leadership and impact to the next level!