One of my habits is to reflect at year’s end for a whole day or two. So, on December 29, I parked at Starbucks and started listing the highlights of 2012, and the lessons learned from the hard times. Here are some of mine:

Highlights:

  • Recognized for the Family Advocacy Award by AMFT and celebrated with brunch at the Space Needle in Seattle.
  • Got life-coach certification from CoachNet
  • Began community workshops on leadership and personal development in the Tri-Cities
  • Became VP of professional development with the Mid-Columbia Leadership Development Association and the communications chair for the Mid-Columbia chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management

Lessons Learned:

  • If a leader doesn’t “lower the shields” and have vulnerable/real conversations about the “elephant in the room” issues, then top performing people will leave.
  • If you don’t make the necessary changes to grow the organization past the complaints/comfort zones of some, you will lose some good people who are looking for courageous leadership.
  • Ask feedback questions regularly to assess the strength of the relationship or else it will vanish without a trace.

What’s one highlight and one lesson learned for you in 2012?