No one says, “The late bird gets more worms” or, “You get multiple chances to make a first impression.” As well, coaches in sports don’t encourage their team to play it safe in the first half of the game, nor does the conductor of a symphony wait to tune instruments until after the performance.
The reason why you don’t experience these approaches is obvious: The rhythm, the momentum and the excellence established early determines the story told later.
Which is why your first team meeting in the new year is crucial to establishing the type of year your team is going to have.
Yes, teammates will come in from their holiday break and show up for your meeting more renewed, perhaps relaxed and ready for a fresh start. But it’s a crazy, intense world in which we’re operating. Distractions abound; stress is already high. To simply “begin again” is to forgo providing what your team needs to mobilize hearts early.
To cause the thinking and actions necessary for early momentum in 2019, ask any one of these five questions. (My favorite is #5, regarding trust. And make sure you check out the bonus.)
- How does the business need us to function as a team early and often?
- In what ways must we be clearer about our team’s purpose than we were in 2018? (And what’s the significance of that clarity?)
- What are the three most important lessons we learned as a team in 2018 that we’ll operationalize this year?
- If we were to finish 2019 stronger as a team than we are beginning it, what would we need to do?
- Will we start the year trusting each other – or will we wait to earn each other’s trust? (And what are the differences in those two approaches?)
Bonus: For each of us to experience greater work-life fulfillment in 2019, how will we support each other as teammates?
2019 is looking for leadership. Here’s to you being the remarkable, inspired leader you are. May your efforts make it a brilliant world for many.