As I reflect on the year ahead, I like to make sure we bring along the important lessons from the previous year.
Because “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.
The year was tough enough, lets learn from the experience.
HERE ARE MY SIX IMPORTANT LESSONS FROM 2022
Which one speaks to you?
1. Nothing Goes Up Forever.
I know this from the many recessions and stock market hiccups I have personally experienced over the decades.
The same lesson was learnt yet again this past year.
Nothing goes on forever — good or bad.
It’s never as good as it seems (or as bad as it seems, for that matter).
So don’t get lazy only trying to exploit the “easy” growth: Take advantage of the good times to make larger strategic decisions and difficult moves.
Be proactive. Don’t let external growth trump internal growth!
2. Clients Are Forever, Employees Are Not.
While that is not literally true, it was the sentiment of 2022, and we can learn from this.
You can always market for another client. But a great employee that you have invested time and money in, you don’t want to lose.
Protect your people by protecting your culture.
Promote the bad-fit employees (to another company), even when its hard to hire replacements.
Let go of one bad employee and two good ones will present themselves.
Close the window, and the door will open.
When you do this, the great ones will want to stick around to go on the journey with you.
3. Be Proactive, Even If It’s Costly.
I just wrote about this, don’t make the same mistake as Southwest Airlines.
Don’t put off the big decisions (of upgrading systems) just because its costly and intrusive to do so.
If it’s important, be proactive and take care of it.
It helps to play the Beer Truck game, and identify your weak people and systems that will be exposed if you lost a key leader.
4. Don’t Take On Clients That Cause You Grief.
You don’t need them, your people don’t need them, and the universe will reward you.
This was easier to do last year, and the value of doing so was immediately evident.
Walk away from bad-fit clients, and you will grow stronger because of it.
5. Check Your Pricing and Budgets Quarterly.
As we learned last year, your labor and material costs can change dramatically in-season, so make sure you are prepared to update your budgets and pricing throughout the year.
I advise reviewing them once a quarter.
You can combine this with your leadership team having their quarterly offsite meeting, where you update of your initiatives for the next quarter.
While doing this, it also doesn’t hurt to review your billable hours, and make sure you are on track.
If you are off track, you can re-set your urgency and even your budget and pricing based on billable hour variances.
Keep everyone’s eye on the prize!
6. Become a Marketing Expert.
With the economy being uncertain, don’t just delegate marketing and think that your marketing person will handle it.
You have to become an expert yourself at marketing concepts.
You can’t depend on a 10 year market rise to continue forever.
Shop around the marketing firm you are using, and get personally involved.
It’s time to expand and strengthen your lead sources.
Your Challenge: Engage your team so all their 2022 lessons are captured, too.
Don’t let the rush of the New Year distract you.
As you solidify your plans, make sure to include everyone’s lessons from 2022.
Besides the six I have written about here, survey your own team to ensure that the lessons they personally learned are also captured in your go-forward plans.
Regards, Jeffrey Scott
P.S. We are having a January White Sale – a thousand bucks off membership in my high-impact Leader’s Edge Peer Group if you apply before February 1st.
Apply now in January.