Newsletter: Did you leave it all on the field last year?

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What. A. Year. Everyone I speak with seems to share my sense of scrambling to the finish line after one of the most winding races ever. From the Capitol insurrection and countless unprecedented weather events (tornadoes, fires, a weeklong Texas freeze), to the excitement of vaccine rollouts and the mirage of post-Labor Day normalcy, we have collectively experienced so many highs and lows this year. So, how do we evaluate 2021? Short answer – just like every other important endeavor.

While it’s tempting to craft new metrics for unique-seeming experiences, I urge you to leverage the ease and well-vetted rigor of established protocols. I’ve seen this firsthand this season with my son’s soccer team. The team’s performance has ranged from head-scratching to awe-inspiring, yet after each game the coaches spend the same amount of time in a post-game review, teasing out what went well and what could have been done differently.

Similarly, as you reflect on a year of peaks and valleys, it is worthwhile to pause and evaluate each. Start with a simple tally of accomplishments, mistakes, lessons learned, and things left undone. This simple yet rigorous process –completed in that order – will help you see more clearly where you have grown and the progress left to pursue next year. Our work with high performers reveals that they typically overemphasize their shortcomings in the pursuit of self-improvement. Instead, start your evaluation by giving yourself full credit for what you’ve done well, especially amidst uncertainty.

My guess is that the takeaway from your debrief, like ours, will be that you left it all on the field this year. Given that, I hope that the upcoming holidays will provide a chance to rest, reflect, and recharge for 2022’s adventures.


Precious Williams Owodunni | CEO & Founder of Mountaintop Consulting

This letter was originally published in Mountaintop Consulting’s monthly newsletter. You can read the full newsletter here.

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