Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Subscribe to Small Business Monthly
Small Business Monthly on Facebook Small Business Monthly on Twitter Small Business Monthly on LinkedIn

SBM Articles


Looking Back: The Year in Review

by Kathy Cooperman

2020—What a year! People everywhere will always remember what a chaotic year this has been.

Time to Reflect
As you maneuver through the last month of the year, take time to reflect on your 2020 leadership journey. Consider the highs and lows, the surprises—both good and bad, and your achievements and lessons learned. You may find there is a benefit to writing your thoughts in a journal. Reflecting, especially on paper, might spark improvement ideas or goals for 2021.

Achievements and Challenges
1. Think about your 2020 goals
a. Which goals have you achieved? How did you celebrate success?
b. Which are still in progress?
c. Which have slipped out of reach? What obstacles did you encounter? How did you overcome those obstacles (or not)?
d. What are your lessons learned?
2. Overall, what surprises did you face?
a. What effect did the “unexpected” have on the following?
i. Goal accomplishment
ii. Team productivity and morale
iii. Your stress level
iv. How well you managed your stress
b. Which of these events were within your control? Which were not?
c. Which events did you have influence over?
3. How will these events shape your 2021 plans?

Leadership Lessons
Now consider your actual behaviors. What observable actions did you take to respond to the unexpected twists and turns? Questions to consider include
1. How would your team describe your leadership style this year?
2. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
3. To what extent did you make people a priority? How?
4. How well did you manage change? What behaviors did you demonstrate?
5. How did you maintain team cohesiveness? What did you do to encourage a sense of team building and team collaboration?

Your Leadership Legacy
Now, looking forward, how would you like to be remembered by those with whom you work? List the things you would like people to say about you—for example, what it was like to have you for a “boss” or leader. Don’t rush this process. Imagine it’s your 90th birthday and your family has invited people from your past to the party, including work and personal connections.
When you complete your list, take a step back. To what extent are you showing up every day to make those things happen?
In facilitating leadership courses, I have participants describe “the best leader you’ve ever worked for.” They discuss the characteristics of bosses who were outstanding and memorable. Characteristics often include
•Had our backs
•Acknowledged successes
•Great communicator
•… more
Next, they discuss their worst boss. Predictably, they identified characteristics such as
•Played favorites
•Played politics
•Claimed credit for team’s success
•Rarely communicated to team

I challenge you to decide how you want to be remembered. Set daily reminders for yourself to live your leadership legacy. We do control how we respond to events and other people. As we like to say in our leadership workshops, “Catch yourself in the act of being you.”

Kathy Cooperman, an executive coach and leadership expert, is the president and founder of KC Leadership Consulting LLC. For more information, contact her at, or 1 (866) 303-1996 or 303-522-2114.

Submitted 2 years 188 days ago
Categories: categoryLeader Acceleration
Views: 1685