What is the measure of a good year? It is easy to bear down throughout the year, shoot for quarterly goals and lose track of the big picture. Or get into cruise mode when things are going well. Or to just be caught up in the crazy pace of life. If we take a step back, we could ask ourselves, what constitutes a good year? What is that mark that makes us happy with where we are?
There are a multitude of answers to this question. Many would say meeting financial goals whether personal or business. Others might speak of the spiritual, and still, others might say making progress toward their vision. Some might focus on relationships and suggest it is seeing their family do well or developing deeper relationships with friends.
I’ve been weighing things as the year comes to a close and asking myself what truly makes a good year in business and personally. Here are my 7 Measures of a Successful Year:
- Profit. Ken Blanchard says, “If we take care of our customers and create a motivating work environment for our people, profits and financial strength are the applause we get for a job well done.” Are we profiting? How much applause are we getting? This can be a tough standard, if you are struggling to get things going, and yet it is also motivating. Keep your eyes on the goal, keep your focus right and keep making the right course corrections. The profit will come.
- Team. How is our team? Have we been able to grow our team by adding more members? Is our team growing in knowledge, values, and their ability to lead? Are we stronger together than we were a year ago? We have an awesome team here at CTaccess. Our goal is for our team to be the best at what they do and the highest paid in our field. That requires education, learning, and stretching. Are we making the right steps in that direction?
- Customers. People are what make our business operate. We exist to serve. How are we doing at that? What have we done in the last year to improve our communication and service to our customers? How can we further serve them and be an indispensable partner to them? Have we grown in a way that allows us to help more customers? How are we improving systems, technology and our people to serve more organizations? We have made some great moves in the last year at improving our service levels. As we look to the next year we have some big goals to make it truly Best-In-Class.
- Leadership. John Maxwell defines leadership as influence. Do we recognize our influence? Are we developing leaders within our own team? How do we assign new projects and tasks? Is it with the goal of developing leaders, or simply getting the job done? Do we delegate in a way that helps others learn and grow? Where do we need to trust the team and get out of the way? Developing leaders is something that is part of our purpose at CTaccess, and we are working to get better at it in 2018.
- Empire. I label this measure with a little bit of sarcasm and as a reminder to myself. If you are trying to build your own empire, please forgive me. The problem with building an empire is that an empire is a structure built to oneself. True purpose and satisfaction comes in serving. Are we using our influence in the community around us for good? What specific impact are we having in our communities to improve lives, help those less fortunate, and set an example for others?
- Family and Friends. How is my relationship with my wife and children? Do I take the time to communicate and spend time with them on a weekly or daily basis? Have I forsaken friendships in my own selfish pursuits? I am taking a decidedly personal turn on these last two items, and yet it seems business and life are inseparably blended together. Over the years I have seen and heard so many who have sacrificed family and friends in their pursuit of success or profit. None of us intend to do this, but it takes a purposeful commitment to make sure that our important relationships stay strong.
- Deeper faith in God. Those of you who know me or read my newsletter frequently, know that I am a follower of Christ. I must ask myself as I look at the past year, if I have a relationship with God that has deepened. Do I know and trust God more? Since faith without works is dead, is this deeper faith demonstrated in the way I live my life and relate to other people? Does this carry through to how I live and operate in business every day?
As I evaluate the last year, I am reminded of how truly blessed we are, and the questions that are noticeably not on this list. The majority of us are likely not asking if we have been able to provide for our family, or if we will have somewhere to live in the coming year. We live in a great country with much wealth and freedom. Food, shelter, and clothing are all at our disposal. With this in mind, as we close out the year and measure how things went in 2017, I would like to encourage us all to be generous. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
As we close out 2017, let’s remember to celebrate the successes. And, let’s plan to use the areas where we failed as building blocks to do better. From all of us at CTaccess, Happy New Year! May your 2018 be prosperous in every way.