It is hard to believe that another year is nearly over. And what a year it has been! A year of upheavals, a year of growth, a year for leaving friends behind and a year for making new ones. It has also been a year when I have learned whether my experience has actually taught me anything or not!
As we approach the Holiday Season it is time to wind down and reflect on the year that has been. It is very important to step back and review things from time to time, and what better time than Christmas? We need to recognise things that have gone well and things that have not gone so well. Of the goals you set at the start of 2002, how many have been attained? How many do you recall? Of those that haven't been achieved how many weren't 'SMART ' goals and how many fell prey to shifting priorities during the year? These are important questions that should be explored - and answered - before new goals can be set for the year ahead.
While talking about your achievements for 2002, you should be formulating goals for next year - both team goals and individual goals. Without goals life becomes a procession of greyness. Without goals, there can be no sense of achievement, of success. Personal and shared goals bind a team together, giving both a focus and a sense of direction (even to a team of 1!) and engender a pride in the team. Goals create achievers and life becomes iridescent.
This is also a time for celebration. According to The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary the word celebrate has come to us from the Latin celeber meaning "frequented, honoured". Whilst most of the emphasis will be on Christmas, it should also be a time to celebrate, to honour your team and its successes. Everybody has successes, big or small, personal or work related. Seek them out. Sadly we are generally much better at dwelling on our failures than on our successes, our achievements. Don't let anyone through the door to your Christmas party until they identify a personal achievement for the year.
No matter how well equipped our labs may be, they cannot function without our staff. The Team in the lab are far and away the most important resource there. How often is your team reminded of this? To all you team leaders out there, use this time to honour the people in your teams and celebrate their contributions. Make sure each and every member of your team feels important and valued. This is something that can be difficult to sustain during the hurly-burly of the year, but there is no excuse for not making it a priority at this time of year.
We all have much to celebrate and much to be thankful for. I hope you all pack up for Christmas looking forward to your holiday but also looking forward to coming back to work. I hope also that you all get to recharge your batteries over the holiday period and return revitalised and determined to make 2003 the best year ever.
With all my very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year and for a safe holiday,
'til next time,
P.S. The ideal New Year Resolution: Pen a contribution for Mouthpiece or the Web-site in 2003.