Have you really learned your lesson?

Welcome to 2023! It’s a time when the typical newsletter reminds you to set ambitious new goals for the year! 

This is not that newsletter.

I want you to keep the same goals as last year, but achieve them in a smarter way. Many of our goals relate to continuous improvement – living healthier, taking time for ourselves, reading more, not letting meetings become snooze marathons, telling our peers what we really think… and we can always do better.

Therefore, I want you to begin this year by looking backward and thinking about how much smarter you’ve become. When was that one amazing meeting you ran? Which employees burst through their past hurdles? What were the best conversations you had that led to innovation and action? Which projects had incredible success? How did those things happen? 

What did you learn?

I’ve written before about the futility of “lessons learned” activities covering the same set of challenges and mistakes we seem doomed to repeat on the next project. What’s the point?

At the start of this year, look back and consider what you’ve learned and how you’ve succeeded. What will you stop, start, and continue as a result? Make a pledge to nurture and sustain those successes. 

  • End your meetings early
  • Eliminate status meetings
  • Set realistic goals
  • Strive for good enough over perfection
  • Reward improvement over rote task repetition
  • Encourage honest communication that saves us all from problems

Andrew Hollo writes about how high-performing execs respond to success by asking 4 questions:

  1. How do we amplify it, so it has greater impact?
  2. How do we replicate it, so everyone can do it?
  3. How do we generalize it, so as to find new applications?
  4. How do we codify it as IP, so we can pass it on (including selling it)?

While you read this I’m sitting on a secluded deck at a Cabo resort working on my next set of offerings, because I’ve learned that sunny seclusion is a great incubator for ideas and productivity. I’m replicating what I learned last year to achieve MORE.  

Those that ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. Take a quick look back so you can chart the BEST course to your goals, then press the accelerator to the floor. This is going to be a great year!!

Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff Skipper

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