C-Suite Network™

The Step Executive Leaders CAN’T Skip Before the New Year

Year after year, the holidays coincide with the end of the year and all that entails. I feel your pain, truly I do. Back in the day, I would get caught up with the holidays and all that they entail, (which I still do, of course), and then jump into planning, goal setting, and resolution making for the New Year.

But I’d skipped a valuable step. I’d neglected to reflect on the past year. While it’s easy to fast forward to future visioning, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to take the time to take inventory on the past 12 months.

Reflecting on the year past is not some soft, fluffy, airy, fairy activity, but rather, can have hard-core, bottom-line business impact. Whether you’re a leader, manager, supervisor, a wannabe, or a dog or a cat person, trust me, this stuff works. Whatever your current role or your aspirations, if you want to advance your career and certainly if you want to become a better executive leader, you have got to commit to learning and growing. And that’s precisely why you need to make sure you thoroughly process and digest your experiences.

Socrates said,

“An unexamined life is not worth living.”

Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I do think there is value in taking time to pause and reflect.  One way to do this is to celebrate the wins and digest the lessons. Incorporate the best and eliminate the worst.

Think in terms of MOLO – More Of, Less Of.

What do you want to create more of in your life and what do you want to have less of in your life?

I aim to take time during the last week of the year to conduct my own year-end review. This has actually become a ritual that I look forward to and plan for. You can conduct your own review any way you like. My suggestion is to set aside some time (anywhere from an hour to a full day or more), grab a notebook and pen, disconnect from all, uh, distractions, (namely your texts, email, etc.), and go to a place where you won’t be disturbed.

Ponder these executive leadership questions as you sip your beverage of choice:

1. What gave you the feeling of great accomplishment? Think in terms of what you did really well and how you might replicate that. What do you want more of in 2019?

2. What, or who, are you most grateful for? Feel free to go crazy on this one.

3. What would you do differently if you’d known then what you know now? What do you want less of in 2019?

4. What did you learn? What skills, knowledge, or awareness did you develop?  How are you different this year from last year?

5. What relationships did you nurture or develop?

6. Jim Rohn said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Who did you spend time with?

7. Who did you look to as a mentor? Who did you mentor/teach/coach?

8. How did you increase your value to your organization? To your direct reports? To your clients or customers?

So before popping the 2019 New Year’s champagne and jumping right into goal setting and resolution making, take time to reflect. I hope these six questions have sparked your thinking and prompted you to take stock of the past year.


  • What reflective questions would you add to this list?
  • How do you conduct your year-end review?
  • Pop a comment below and share your practices, ideas, and suggestions with our community.

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Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication.  In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems.


Jennifer Ledet

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