As I wrap up our annual performance review discussion, I would be remiss if I did not explore the importance of a self-review. Let’s face it, accountability to oneself does not always come naturally. It is too easy to forget to celebrate or ignore your shortcomings. We do ourselves an excellent service if we take the time and effort to reflect on our year. At the risk of sharing my vulnerabilities, I will openly share my 2019 vision and roadmap review as an example in the form of a case study.
If we start with the end in mind, we assume full ownership of our goals for the year. We all have goals of some nature that we hope to accomplish. For me, putting them on paper turned them from deep thoughts to tangible steps that required action.
For the past two years, under the encouragement and guidance of my advisors, I created a vision with a roadmap for achieving my goals. As a consultant versed in helping my clients with their strategy, you would have thought that I had the wherewithal without encouragement. The reality is there are times we all need a coach. I benefited from the guidance of a coach who helped me to see the trees beyond the thick forest.
Along with the vision, I went as far as defining milestone goals and success factors. I call this my “Strategy on a Page.” This is not rocket science, it is merely applying project and strategy disciplines to personal goals.
My Strategy on a Page was printed and posted on my wall beside my monitors. Each day I could not help but see the journey and the commitments I had made. You can trust that I was filled with self-doubt in the first few months of the year. My secret self had a lot to say and it was not all very pretty. As each milestone was checked, my self-talk moved from the negative to positive, and my confidence soared.
The world is imperfect and so am I. As you can see, a couple of key milestones were not met. Assessing the root cause enabled me to determine that the benchmarks were still relevant. Once I confirmed they were still important, I built a plan to address the capabilities and skills needed. What better reason to reflect on the past than to learn from it?
Throughout this process, I was forced to reconsider success factors. For example, my scheduled weekly Let’s Talk articles and posts were fun, but very time-consuming. I believe they played a pinnacle role in building my brand as an IT Leadership and Management thought leader and have resulted in significant growth in social media readers. As my IT leadership coaching calendar is filling up fast, I am reconsidering continuing them at the same frequency in 2020. Might there be a better way of contributing value to my peers?
Also, I cannot ignore my continued limitations in asking for help or asking for the sale. As a woman growing up in the early days of IT, I developed a pretty solid habit of having to prove myself. The realization that many other women hold this same habit, drives my passion for helping and advocating for women in IT. With the insights I have gained, I will continue the journey by building my 2020 vision and roadmap with excitement for the new year to begin. It is a small investment in myself that I have confidence will return dividends.
Most importantly, reflecting on my year also helped me to celebrate the beautiful relationships built, the enlightening conversations held, and the fantastic successes of my clients. After all, the people in our lives make it all worth it.
Until next week! I am very excited for next week as I have a gift for you!
IT Executive Advisor and Leadership Coach
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