Just as daylight savings time will fall back for many of you, at least if you live in the United States, it’s a great reminder to look back at the year so far.
As a leader or individual contributor, it is crucial to measure your performance, growth, or even potential decline, which would have occurred in the past year. Fall also usually falls into a similar period as many organizations are preparing to conduct their annual performance appraisals and calibrations. Whether your organization does this or not, as a future leader, you should be able to do this on your own, and in this month’s newsletter, we will discuss some of the tools you can use to measure and assess your performance.
Firstly, let’s start with metrics, measurements, and things you can use to track your growth or performance with data. If you developed S.M.A.R.T goals for the year or quarter by quarter, you could gauge progress based on their performance. It becomes tricky if you had less measurable goals that only had a complete or not complete outcome. If you did not have plans but tracked things that delivered results to a determined product (e.g., Delivered the Anderson project early and under budget by 10%), these can be used to show progress.
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Apart from data on your performance delivered by your ability to deliver on goals, building relationships in business is often critical; this is where feedback comes into play. Many organizations with performance management systems have centralized ways of requesting and receiving input towards this process. However, even without these systems, you can receive feedback by simply asking for it. While there are good and bad ways to deliver feedback, accepting it can be the same. My recommendations are to ask for behaviors (leadership, teamwork, results-focused, etc.) rather than actions (which you may have done which they like/did not like).
Additionally, do not just ask for the behaviors you excelled in, but also be open to ones that could use improvement or should be stopped. Reach out to individuals above you, below you, and your peers for this feedback. Whether or not your company uses this as part of their process, you can work on your performance.
Relationship building is a critical aspect of both being able to achieve business results, as well as being able to grow your career.
If you struggle with managing work relations or affecting your performance, coaching can help explore ways to improve in those areas.
Adjustments, Migrations and wrapping up
With the ability to gauge your progress in data from your goals, and feedback from your environment, it is now time to implement adjustments, mitigations, or wrap-up goals or plans that you hoped to complete by the end of the year. The alignment of goals to the calendar is habitual, and the fall season demonstrates that the year is coming to an end soon. Analyze your goals accordingly to see if only minor adjustments or tweaks are needed, if you need to implement significant mitigations or changes to keep things on course, or complete wrapping them up and documenting lessons learned. Having lessons learned at the end allows you to document and learn from the mistakes from the goal or project to avoid or limit their impact in the future.
Career planning, whether you are in leadership or not, is a crucial skill for success. If this is an area you struggle in, reach out to me to see if my cybersecurity-focused career coaching services can help you.