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Back to business

[Sep 8, 2014]

Summer break is over and we go back to our usual scenario, tons of e-mails to catch-up on, solving the problems that occurred during our absence, and…starting the famous budget process marathon that will probably (and ridiculously) keep most of our energy for the next 2 to 4 months.

In my experience as leader, there is one habit that I have learned to be extremely fruitful and I am happy to share it with you today. I call this habit the GYET (for Great Year End Test).

Summer break is over and we go back to our usual scenario, tons of e-mails to catch-up on, solving the problems that occurred during our absence, and…starting the famous budget process marathon that will probably (and ridiculously) keep most of our energy for the next 2 to 4 months.

In my experience as leader, there is one habit that I have learned to be extremely fruitful and I am happy to share it with you today. I call this habit the GYET (for Great Year End Test).

The principle is rather simple, as leaders, managers or individual contributors, we rarely have a clear view of our priorities, which, at this period of the year is an absolute MUST HAVE if you want to make sure that you will totally focus the more or less 3 working months that remain available to achieve a Great Year.

On day two of my return to the office, after connecting back to colleagues, customers, staff and peers and checking if any major emergency would have to be dealt with during this first post-holiday week, I take a three hours -doors closed- strategic retreat to review my year in progress and set very specific priorities, goals and deliverables for each of the weeks that remain on my calendar till year end.

I call this document my YEWA (for Year End Weekly Agenda). The starting point is always the current strategic imperatives of the company, together with our year goals and an assessment of our YTD performance and main challenges ahead of us to achievement or better, overachieve our objectives.

The reflection pattern is then pretty simple:

  1. Challenge your thoughts with a basic prioritization table to get the core 3 priorities that will have the most impact on your performance and deliverables.
  2. For each of the 3 top priorities, you shall now determine the required actions and efforts to be done during each of the 3-4 months to come.
  3. Then, translate each month into a weekly objective/deliverable.
  4. Your YEWA is ready, print it in A3 and put it in front of view.
  5. One last thing, to make sure that your team and environment will understand and share your priorities, communicate it immediately and use it as a dashboard during your upcoming weekly meetings.

I wish you all a successful back to business period. Don’t make it as usual, focus on your strategic priorities to drive your energy towards a Great Year End!

Laurent Poujol P&P

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