There is a great benefit to the 365-day calendar – the fact that it restarts at January 1, without fail.
It’s an annual window of opportunity for recycling, renewal, rebirth, rejuvenation, rejiggering, retooling, rebooting, and whatever other “re-something” you can think of.
I call it the “January Effect“, and as leaders we need to take full advantage of it.
I liken it to the beginning of a football or baseball season, where every team starts over at 0-0, and dreams the big dreams of a Super Bowl or a World Series.
There is a short period of time where there are no deficits, or shortfalls, or catch-ups – the clock is running, but most of the scores aren’t posted until the first week in February (after the books close).
Leaders must take that “rebirth” energy and channel it into the critical momentum that will carry over into the rest of the year. Because if they can do it well, it can set them up for their best year ever.
So, how can we do this?
If you’re thinking it’s less a matter of numbers and metrics, and more a matter of preparation, inspiration and motivation, you’re on the right track.
First, let’s do the preparation. Read one of my favorite posts, The Leadership Checklist: 10 Things To Do Right Now To Make It A Great Year. Check these boxes one by one, then you’ll be ready for the inspiration and motivation part.
Because January is THE month for summoning your best stump speech – that barn burner that you’ve been dreaming about for months – and laying it out there. With gusto.
Yep, it’s time to BRING IT.
You know your stuff better than ever (because you’ve done the checklist), your team is at their freshest, with the slate wiped relatively clean, and the challenges of the year dead ahead. What better time to whip them up into a frenzy of execution?
Hit the road, and make that speech “in-person” to as many people as you can.
(I know, for most people it’s going to be Winter – not a pleasant time to travel, by any means – but at least the fares are lower)
Talk about “the cause“, and how THIS year is going to be THE year for the business – if the team can pull together, and execute the plan.
It’s about creating a keen sense of urgency and excitement, and it just can’t be done with a memo, or an e-mail, or even a video conference.
Talk about the rewards of success – not only for the company, but for THEM. The benefits of happy customers. The “greased wheel” of superior quality and service. The pride of being on a cohesive and supportive team.
Get it ALL in there, and BRING IT.
Your teammates will feed off the energy you’re bringing to the table – especially since you’ve connected all the dots for them before the year was even a month old.
That’s what’s at stake here- the difference between a roaring start, or a so-so middling one. That difference is YOU.
A couple of other tips – keep the stump speech to about 10-15 minutes, and be sure to rehearse it once or twice.
Then, when the time is right in January, BRING IT.
Don’t let the January Effect pass you by.
Don’t miss your best year ever!