(2-minute read, and a lot to consider)
My thanks to Susan Fulwiler, a friend and colleague, for suggesting ‘resetting‘ as a topic for this month’s blog. It’s a well-timed request as August is a month when many people pause to recharge.
When applied in both personal and business areas, I hope that what follows is a useful tool and process for the unpredictable times ahead. It’s no more or less than a starting point for your analysis. I like to think of it as an organic template that will change as your priorities and the priorities of your organization change. Add to or rewrite the prompts and content to best suit your needs.
Resetting is about gaining clarity in a time of continuous uncertainty. The process of resetting begins with looking back on the decisions you’ve made over the past four months and defining the priorities that led to those decisions. With previous priorities and goals clearly defined, you’ll be better able to understand the basis of your future decisions.
The process of resetting breaks down into three parts: Reflect, Restore and Recast. The prompts will help you learn about, clarify, and apply your priorities for making decisions and pursuing opportunities.
Section 1: Most decisions made “in the moment” without knowing the full context or scope of an issue. Reflection offers the clarity of hindsight. With clarity, we can determine what is valuable now and useful for the future. Consider the next five prompts personally or collectively with staff. Formalize the answers in a document for evaluating opportunities and making decisions.
- What were the most significant decisions made over the past four months?
- Which of those decisions had the greatest impact?
- What did I learn?
- What is replicable?
- What can you abandon?
Section 2: When we reflect, we weigh past decisions or occurrences through the lens of our values. Situations went either well or poorly. Things improved or did not. It all depends on our perception of how people reacted or how others treated us. It’s easy to reflect on what didn’t go right. Contemplating relative importance into an unknown future proves a bit more complicated. Articulating your values or the values of your department or organization provides a point of reference when faced with difficult decisions.
- How do (I/we) want to be remembered?
- What are the values (I/we) admire in others (people or organizations)?
- I am most proud of (myself/my organization) when I,
- When (I/we) make decisions, these are the factors (I/we) consider,
- (My/our) core values are:
Restore is about understanding and refocusing on priorities. Restoring is directly tied to purpose, either personally as motivations or as an organization’s positive impact. With values articulated, consider what motivates and interests you or your team most. With priorities and purpose defined, decision-making will become more informed.
- What are the five things most important to (me/our organization or team)?
- What are the causes (I/we) will fight for?
- When others describe (me/us), what do (I/we) want them to say about (my/our) actions?
- These are the priorities:
With values determined and priorities and purpose defined, there is clarity about what is essential. Recasting is thinking more expansively about who you are and what you offer as it relates to others. These may include friends, family members, colleagues, potential employers, clients or competitors.
- Who needs what (I/we) offer?
- Why (me/us)?
- Why now?
There is a lot here to consider and express. Take the time and be thoughtful. Pausing to reset now will be repaid this fall when faced with many complex decisions around the reopening of schools and businesses.
Priorities and goals will change. Make time each year to run through this resetting process. It is a valuable personal and team-building exercise.
The insights become your playbook for making clear and proactive decisions and will serve you well during the uncertain times ahead.
Be well and stay safe
If you’re not on the list and would like to be, sign up here. You’ll get advice about your career and on leadership the first Tuesday of every month
You can also check out Forbes.com/CFO blog where I write about communicating with and motivating teams.
Thanks for reading
If there is a topic you want to explore,
send me Email and we’ll cover it in 2020