For the past several years I have guided leaders through a process of letting go during their Annual Review (see link below to download). We start by reflecting on the past year. This involves asking each other several questions:
- “What change happened in myself, my relationships, and my business?”
- “In what ways did I experience loss personally and professionally?”
- “What goal(s) did I not reach?”
The Annual Review is best done in conversation with loved ones, trusted colleagues, family, and friends. The purpose is to grow in Awareness, Acceptance, and Resiliency. In order to grow, you have to build the practice of letting go into your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual plans and routines.
Reflecting on these questions may uncover an ideal or belief that no longer holds true. When you become aware of this false idea, you can practice acceptance. Naming and accepting a new reality involves accepting losses. You know you have accepted a loss when you feel yourself letting go. Letting go of old realities and gaining clarity on current ones allows our leaders to grow. As a result, they set stronger and more focused goals. Admittedly, it is a process that gets easier with practice and time.
Getting Away In Order to Let Go
Recently, my wife and I realized a dream and accomplished a goal. We ventured to Peru for 10 days. We reconnected with friends, visited coffee farms, climbed Machu Picchu Mountain, and relaxed on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. While walking on the beach on the Pacific Coast of Mancora, Peru with my wife and friends, we discussed our losses, and acknowledged things we were letting go of. This discussion would not have been possible had it not been for the previous five days spent on an adventure. Our adventure took us from 2000 ft. to 14,000 ft., deep in the jungle rain-forest where coffee grows, to the high peak of the Andean mountains where we crossed through the mountain from Ollantaytomba and back again. This journey challenged us in numerous ways.
This trek pushed our limits of comfort and fear of the unknown. We trusted guides to lead us through safe passage routes, on long and winding roads in the rain-forest where coffee is grown. In addition, we had to trust one another and our ability to stay optimistic in light of changes in schedules, flights, and travel routes. As a result, we made connections through our vulnerabilities and our strengths.
Embracing Our Limits
Losses through adversities teach us about our resiliency, and about our strengths. We become aware of our limitations when we are tested. Consequently, we discover that we need to rely on and trust other people to accomplish the tasks at hand. When we take the time to reflect on the adventures we have been on this past year personally, in our families, and in our business, we continue to develop the muscle of awareness, acceptance, and resiliency.
Click here to download the 2016 Annual Review, and feel free to send me an email. I’d love to discuss your stories of resiliency. In addition, you might be interested in how other family business leaders intend on growing in 2017 through our Peer Groups.
Here is what one member had to say about their peer group, where they are growing personal leadership through awareness, acceptance and resiliency: “Leadership Lab provides a forum that you will not find anywhere else. It is a place where a diverse group of rising generational business leaders come together to share their real life business experiences in an open and meaningful way. The peer accountability and support that I found in my lab group has contributed immensely to my personal and professional growth and has enabled me to become a more effective communicator within my company.” – Mateen Afzal, G2 Leader and GM at PDC Machines.