Begin and adjust or wait and wonder.
Get started and discover what’s possible or delay until you’re “ready” and forever dream what might have been.
“This is incredibly difficult,” is only said by those with the courage to begin.
“This is extraordinary! Look what we found!” is only said by those who get underway.
“The water is freezing and deep and frightening and powerful,” is only said by those who will themselves to jump.
“My team is capable of more than I ever imagined,” is only said by those who let them run.
“We failed miserably even though we did our very best,” is only said by those who take the chance.
No guarantees of success, only the chance…every single day…to know what it means to be alive.
Starting is everything.
You’ve got another year of experience under your belt. Are you also another year better at what you do?
This is the question, the evaluation, that is so important at this time of year. Are you a better provider than you were a year ago? If so, by how much? How do you know?
If your offerings can be evaluated purely by metrics, the assessment should be an easy one. (Of concern, however, is that if your offerings can be evaluated purely by metrics you might be replaced by a robot in the very near future.) If your offerings can be evaluated by less objective measures than you have a choice to make: will you ask those who pay for your offerings if, in fact, you offered those services more effectively this year than last?
It’s a straightforward, if fully loaded request:
- What did you LOVE about what I provided to you this year? (Not like, but LOVE!)
- What could I have done differently or better?
- Would you recommend me to your closest friend?
If you don’t ask, you won’t know. And if don’t know, you cannot accurately say that your additional year of experience is also an additional year of effectiveness.
Take heart! Getting better is a privilege set aside for the few who are willing to humbly acknowledge that there is always more to learn.
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.