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Your Mid-Year Review

June 30, 2010

If you are anything like me (a strong, decisive, and handsome leader with a clear and ordered command of your environment), then you probably developed some kind of a game plan way back in December 2009 for setting and achieving goals in 2010.

It’s just how we’re wired, right? We want to get things done, to see results, progress and promotions. So we tear out that clean sheet of paper, we pull up the blank screen, and we whip off the amazing objectives we aim to achieve in 2010.

But the same thing that holds true in business no doubt applies in our personal lives: there is a huge gap between strategy and execution.

It’s one thing to write down what you want to do or to become in the upcoming year, and quite another to see it through six months later.

So, how are you doing so far? We are, after all, smack dab in the middle of the year. The half-way point. A good time to check in on your progress.

I went back and dug through my files to find the sheet of paper where I had so thoughtfully written out my goals last December for 2010. It was impressive. But I hadn’t really looked at it since.

I had set a series of goals and strategies in five distinct categories representing distinct areas of my life. Here’s how the mid-year review shakes out:

1. Lead more effectively (Character/Leadership)

Check. I’ve grown and stretched quite a bit through my involvement with A New Equilibrium, an organization committed to developing the spiritually grounded leaders.

2. Add Substantial Value to the organizations I work with (Delivering Results)

Really, I am kicking major ass in this category. I’ve had some great opportunities at work to dig in and move things forward with some high-impact projects. Yes, I have had my moments, but overall making tremendous progress.

3. Be Open To Receive (Inner/Spiritual Life).

Okay, I definitely needed to be reminded of this. I know this whole idea of “receiving” seems spiritually vague and passive, but this was a big message for me when I wrote it down in December of 2009 – to stop pushing and striving and fighting so much. Just let God do his thing, and to practice more “being” and less “doing.” I could do a better job at the “being” thing. More time devoted to quiet contemplation is in order.

4. Exploit a Creative Outlet (Have Fun).

Yes, I have been having fun, although I actually had to plan for it. This category also includes my writing (creative outlet? Yes?), which I have been doing plenty of, and having fun with it. More, actually than I ever imagined I would be doing. I am even signed up for my very first writing conference this September.

5. Nurture Deep Roots With Family (Intimate Relationships).

I think for the most part I am on track here. I’ve been spending plenty of time together with my family, laughing, planning, dreaming, loving. And eating out. Lots of eating out. But the best thing to do would be to check in with my wife and kids, to see what they think.

Good. I’ll do that.

Now, how are you doing so far this year?

Photo by nAncY.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2010 8:50 am

    My goals are always so ambitious that it’s quite humorous to read them six months later. But, it’s the dreamer in my that keeps me looking, searching, and chasing and I wouldnt have it any other way.

  2. June 30, 2010 10:08 am

    Our fiscal year ends Aug. 31, so our mid-year reviews happen in February. I have one hard-and-fast rule when I conduct a revew — I don’t hand out surprises. If there’s been a problem, the employee already knows about it. If there’s been a success or cause to celebrate, the employee already knows abotut hat, too. So we use the mid-year review to check if the original goals are still valid and if anything needs to change, talk about personal/professional development, what the team as a whole could be doing better, and what new opportunities the employee might see.

    There’s a separate process — called the Leadership 180 — which has the team leader and his or her direct reports (if there are three or more) fill out the same survey on the team leader. And that’s where we can get at how the team leader can improve.

    • July 1, 2010 5:10 am

      Yeah, but what about personal goals, outside of work? Do you subject yourself to any of that? This was my point here, that I created a set of goals that have partly to do with work and partly to do with my life outside of work. All together, that is somehow supposed to add up to my ideal life.

  3. June 30, 2010 10:15 am

    i don’t know why, but that is one of my favorite photos lately.
    and it really looks good on your blogg. it just fits!

    very interesting about the writing conference.

    actually… i am just getting around to making the list.
    so i will check-in with it again in december.

    🙂 nance

  4. Michele Corbett permalink
    June 30, 2010 10:41 am

    Strong and decisive, yes. Handsome? Well, I hope not. ( :

    My mid-year was in December and I’m glad I had a mid-year b/c it was a good reminder to get moving on those goals! It was good for me to do a mid-year with my staff, too.

    I’ve been kicking butt at work lately, too. Now that I’ve championed a big branding platform, I’m searching for my next stage of growth for me (and my office). It’s so good to set goals or else we might be unfocused and end up in a weird place a year later.

    • July 1, 2010 5:11 am

      I guess I should have used the gender-neutral “good-looking” instead of handsome? It’s such a fine old-fashioned word, though. (and you do realize it’s all tongue-in-cheek, right?)

  5. June 30, 2010 1:45 pm

    I didn’t write my goals down this year (Last year I failed miserably so thought I’d be easy on myself this time around) but had some general goals in mind. It seems impossible that we are at the mid-way point in the year. But…taking a mental inventory, I’d say I’m doing ok with my goals. Better with some than others. Thanks for keeping me in check, Bradley.

  6. June 30, 2010 2:05 pm

    I’m so with you on needing to work on the being instead of the doing. For me, it’s much more comfortable to charge ahead with a purpose than to wait on God. But I know that in my charging, I may charge right past what God wants for me.
    Great reminder. It’s definitely time for a performance review!

  7. June 30, 2010 4:43 pm

    Goodness, you are too funny.

    I told you. I’m a dandelion seed. And it’s true. See? In January, I did not know I would begin a ballet class today. There were other things I didn’t know either. So it’s a good thing I had room on that piece of paper.

    • June 30, 2010 8:45 pm

      I’ve certainly tried to write down measurable long-term goals–I want to have the satisfaction of achieving those things. But it seems that when I’ve written down goals, God sends me in a totally different direction. Or I aim too low. So I try instead to pay attention and be brave, taking chances when opportunities arrive.

      As a result, I’ve often said I’m a tumbleweed, though I don’t know why I chose to describe myself using a symbol from western desert regions that I’ve never visited. I’ve never actually seen a tumbleweed tumbling. Maybe I’ll start describing myself as the more local cottonwood fluff. In any case, I’m much more like that, LL, going in the direction the Spirit blows.

    • July 1, 2010 5:16 am

      Tumbleweeds, dandelions seeds… I don’t know how you guys do it, but good for you. I need to have a more clear direction to channel my activities, to keep myself in check. Even if I just write something down once in the beginning of the year, it’s the process of self-evaluation – admitting where I am falling, where I need help – and then imagining a better place to end up; well, I think it’s good for me. I always look back and am surprised at how much progress I have made. Maybe I am just justifying my personal growth?

  8. June 30, 2010 9:33 pm

    “Now, how are you doing so far this year?”

    Well, I haven’t been fired yet, so from my vantage point, pretty good. ;o)


    • July 1, 2010 5:17 am

      Hey Brad- You’re the guy who said he did away with goal-setting altogether. I thought you’d use this comment box as a chance to talk about that! Anyway, glad to hear you are gainfully employed…


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