January 07


Leadership hack 019 – The one thing you can do to make the most of 2017

2016 was a tough year for most of us.  How was it for you? More importantly, what can you learn from it?

I try to take two weeks off at Christmas.  This time off allows me to decompress and remind my wife and daughter what I look like, and also see my wider family.  I also use the time to reflect on the past year to see if I made a dent on the world and if what I was doing made me happy.

Here is the process I use to make sure I can learn, and do better this year.

  1. Get my diaries (both work and personal) and journal out
  2. Work through each day and identify:
    1. What activities made me happy and unhappy
    2. What activities allowed me to have the most impact at work and at home, and which were a waste of time
  3. Try to find patterns and themes


Here is what I found:

  1. I was happiest when I was making a difference to people, either helping my clients achieve their goals, helping my wife through a tough time at work or helping my daughter learn to crawl and walk
  2. I was at my unhappiest when I was not able to work closely with people, where I could not bring my best to others, or where I felt my work was not recognised or had no impact
  3. I found that my impact was proportional to the time I spend working on problems with people, rather than separate from them


So what?  My goals for this year are:

  1. Spend more time working through problems with people
  2. Only focus on work that delivers meaningful impact
  3. Spend more time helping my friends and family

January is a generally quite month. See if you can take a few hours to pause and reflect on your 2016.  What did you learn?