2017 isn’t over ‘til it’s over. Still, the last page of the calendar is about to be revealed. And while it may seem like there’s little you can do about your final numbers for the year, there is a lot that can be done – right now – about 2018’s numbers. No, this isn’t about the strategy you set for the coming year. It’s about the mindset your team has as you finish this year.

As your team wraps up 2017, where are you on the success-failure ladder:

  • We succeeded and feel successful.
  • We failed but feel successful.
  • We succeeded but feel like failures.
  • We failed and we are failures.

There are teams that will finish 2017 having achieved their targets. By definition of a spreadsheet, they succeeded. And yet, because of a weakness-oriented focus by those in authority, the team feels bad: “Okay, fine. You got that done. But how come you didn’t do more? Why weren’t you perfect?”

And the unempathetic organization wonders why they have a talent drain as dis-heartened teammates ask themselves for the last time, “Why am I here?”

More inspiring are the teams that give all they have, miss their target, yet can’t wait to begin the new year. They ask different questions: Where do we have momentum? Why? What are we learning?

And the empathetic organization builds a stronger future, as focused, energized teammates remember: This is why I’m here.

This isn’t about pretending we’re something we’re not; nor is it suggesting that we settle for mediocrity. It has everything to do with how results are internalized and the experience your team is having. How we feel determines what we do. Failures fail. Those who are successful succeed.

Success requires knowing the difference between failing and being a failure.

How does your team feel about 2017?

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