How to close the year out as a senior leader

I have tried everything as a business owner at year’s end. We have closed early, we have worked right up to Christmas Eve, we have done something in between. All the while with a focus on our team, and our clients. Our clients are generally flexible, so it is easy enough to make timing work with them.  

Our staff are flexible, too. Everyone is keen to break, while at the same time know that we can still hustle for a few more days. Because I never really stop hustling. And I am more in the Gary Vee school, where no-one loves your business as much as you do. I get Elon’s strategy of sacking people that aren’t working 24 hours straight, but that doesn’t seem right. Just because the owner wants to hustle, doesn’t mean everyone has to, right? 

In saying that, the leader needs to finish the year off well. And properly. Yes, we only have a small team, that has been up and down over the years, but here is what I have learnt over time, to make the year end process a successful one. And what leaders everywhere should be considering. 

1. Don’t overdo the party 

Regardless of the size of your team, the Christmas party (or end of year party – whatever your terminology is) can get out of hand. There are so many things wrong with having a wild Christmas party that it really isn’t worth the risk. 

Remembering that the Christmas party is a work function, the things that happen at the party, actually happen at work. Add alcohol, which increases the risk factor, and watch things go horribly wrong. You might get lucky, and nothing might happen. But when it does, you could be talking about that party for the next few years. 

As a leader, by all means, celebrate the year, and the wins with a party, just do it at lunch time, or in a more controlled way. Set some ground rules, finish the party at a reasonable hour, and never ever let anyone drive home. You won’t forgive yourself if something happens.  

2. Celebrate the business successes 

Over the course of a year, there will be massive wins to celebrate, so celebrate strong. Thank everyone for their efforts. Congratulate everyone for their contributions. Share the excitement of another successful year with your staff. 

Review the goals that you set for your business or your team, and understand what went well, and what you will change into the New Year. Be clear on what worked, and what didn’t. And include the team in your review. After all, they were the ones responsible for the team’s success. 

As a leader, remember to thank your clients. Send Christmas cards, send personal notes, send Dan Murphy’s vouchers (not to Government Owned Corporations) – be aware and be generous. Remember that you don’t have a business without clients. And if you are a leader in an industrial organisation, you don’t have a team without team members.  

3. Plan your holiday or downtime 

This is the big one. Plan your Christmas holiday. Travel, read, take down time. Go to the beach, unwind, forget about work (hard, I know). Let your hair down (if you have some still ?).  

This is a big deal for me. My wife and I try to get away every January and take at least one to two weeks where we go overseas and go touring. This year, we are going to visit us Orangutans in Borneo. We are going to Borneo for two weeks to see some of the wild animals in that country. With the goal of unwinding, unworrying, and unburdening.  

Fun fact: Researchers have discovered that humans and orangutans share approximately 97% of their DNA. This compares to about 99% sequence similarity between humans and chimps. The orangutan is the third nonhuman primate to have its genome sequenced, after the chimp and rhesus macaque (credit National Institute of Health).  

How ever you do it, enjoy your end of year! 

Please reach out if you need to talk. 

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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