Harnessing that back-to-school energy: 4 “to-do’s” for leaders

I still remember the excitement leading into a new school year. Admittedly, I was a bit of a nerd. I spent hours organizing new supplies, couldn’t wait to meet my new teacher, and had a steady “back-to-school” countdown. New pencil crayons may not be part of it, but there is something hardwired in me about September.

And, I see it in others: September brings that “new ideas, new focus, new energy” feeling.

As a leader, it’s a great time to refocus and reconnect. Here are 4 things to do as you and your team “head back to work” this September:

1.   Connect with your team. 

After summer vacations, September provides an opportunity for meaningful team interactions. Convene an All-Hands. Host a video conference or online chat. Run a leadership off-site. Share your thoughts on wins, new ideas, and areas of focus. Ask questions. Listen to feedback. Do something fun to deepen connections.

2.   Take a hard look at your progress.

Dust off those objectives that were set at the beginning of the year. Take stock. Where have you knocked it out of the park. Celebrate. Where do you have work to do? Identify a plan to get the job done.

3.   Harness the “new ideas, new energy” feeling to look ahead.

Those big ideas you or team members had while away? Activate them. Planning for next year? Jump-start the process: organize calendars, gather performance data, solicit feedback from customers, gather input from team members, create running list of priorities, etc. Make this the year that goals are locked down early.

4.   Set a personal goal.

Remember that Zen feeling you had while sipping your morning coffee while gazing over a pristine lake? Or, that feeling of strength from crushing a big bike ride? What are you going to do to preserve those feelings and to stay centred and recharged through the last months of the year? Set a goal. Then, block your calendar to make the goal happen.