Here we are at almost the end of another year. Can you believe how fast it has gone?
I am sure that you set goals and things to fix at the end of 2020 for this year. 2021, much like 2020, has brought us more unexpected and challenging things to deal with from the continued Covid-19 pandemic to employment and workforce issues, to various other items we have had to adjust to and deal with on a daily basis.
The question is – did you accomplish those goals and hit the resolutions that you said you were going to do in 2021?
At the start of 2021, I wrote a blog on the Top 5 Bad Habits that I observed by companies and leaders in 2020. You can find a link to that article here
I still feel that the 5 items I outlined at the start of this year continue to be relevant to leaders and companies. I am writing this blog to focus on a few additional key observations of challenges that were caused by some bad habits by companies and their sales teams in 2021 and what to do to avoid repeating them in 2022.
So, here goes my top 5 list for 2021 and what to do to overcome these in 2022.
Top 5 Bad Habits I Observed with Companies in 2021
- Abundance vs scarcity mindset.
All of the unexpected challenges from early 2020 until now in 2021 have hit us hard: The Covid-19 Pandemic: Economic changes due to Covid, the presidential election, other unknowns; The challenging new labor situations and not being able to hire and retain people as easily in the past, and on and on.
The companies and their leaders and teams that have not only survived, but thrived in the past year have seen that these challenges are opportunities for them and their people to improve and get stronger. They have looked for the “silver lining” in all of this and looked for the opportunities in the marketplace to help more people and grow.
The companies and their leaders and teams that have not survived have seen these challenges as major setbacks that have set up near impossible odds for them to overcome. They have seen all these challenges as just more headaches and problems to deal with and focused on fighting to keep what they have versus looking for areas for them and their people to grow and help more of their clients and prospective clients.
Are you and your people approaching these challenges as ways to improve and looking at all of the great abundance of opportunity before you? Or are you and your people looking at all of these challenges as just more headaches to deal with and wondering how you will survive all of this?
- Not taking responsibility and letting chaos reign.
It’s easy with all that has happened in 2020 and 2021 that was unexpected and unplanned to place the blame on everything around us and just say, “it is what it is – what can I really do about it?” While we cannot always choose the challenges that get thrown at us, we can take responsibility and choose what to do to improve the situation and learn and grow from it.
The leaders I have seen that have weathered the storms of 2020 and 2021 much better than their counterparts are the ones that have said, “Yep – all of this sucks. But here’s what my people and I can and are going to do about this and we’ll figure it out along the way.”
Are you taking responsibility and doing something to make the changes to reach the outcomes you want, or are you making excuses and placing blame on all of the stuff outside of your control?
- Not leading by example.
#2 above leads into this one – not leading by example. I hear so many leaders say, “I want my people to step up and take responsibility and lead by example instead of always relying on me to tell them what to do or to make sure things get done!” Then, I see them do the exact opposite of that themselves. They blame everything else for their challenges and their people not being better instead of taking responsibility and leading by example. They tell me that they want their people to do the right things all the time when they themselves aren’t doing those things all of the time.
Remember – as a leader, you are constantly being watched and judged by your people. They will hear the words you say, but they will follow and mimic the actions that they see you do each day.
Are your actions reflecting the leader you want yourself and people to be?
- Settling for mediocrity.
You tell your people that these are the values of your business, the standards that are expected, that mediocrity won’t be tolerated, and then you make it ok for mediocrity to happen through your own actions. You don’t hold yourself accountable and to a higher level, but yet you expect your people to do this. You keep telling yourself and your people how important it is that we “get to the next level” and reach the company’s key big goals each year, yet you let yourself and everyone miss the mark time and time again.
JUST STOP IT.
If you are not going to commit yourself to do whatever it takes to reach the big goals you have for yourself and your company, don’t expect anyone else to get on board and do it either.
Either commit yourself, raise the bar, and set the example or stop talking about it.
- Not knowing your business and the key things that make it work.
Do you really understand the people and parts of your business, how they run and work together, and the key items and metrics that need to be tracked and evaluated to make sure your business is running the way you intended for it to run?
Or are you just guessing on these things each day and hoping that wheels don’t come off the bus at some point in the near future?
Stop guessing and start knowing. Hope is not a strategy.
As you review the list (and the one from last year), what do you notice? Have you made the changes that you promised yourself and your team that you would make for this year to make a difference? Or are you still leaning on the same excuses and falling in the same traps as you did in 2020?
Once again, were the things on the list caused by all of the continuing and new challenges from 2021?
Most likely, they were already there before 2021 and just got brought to the surface due to the challenges thrown in front of you and the fact that you have been avoiding them for a while.
Do you really need to wait for a new year to start working on fixing these challenges? Are you going to keep making the same excuses for you and your team not exceeding your goals for another year? Or are you finally going to step up, set the example, and do something about it this year?
Draw a line in the sand, tell yourself you are not going to take these excuses anymore, make the decision, and commit to fixing these items today.
If you need help in figuring out what steps you need to take in making these changes and how to get there, reach out to one of our coaches to see how we can help.