To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: (Eccl 3:1)
We live in a world filled with seasons: The calendar has four seasons … each follows the other with distinct purpose in the cycle of life that surrounds us. We just completed the Christmas holiday season and now to many it is the exercise-and-lose-weight season. Our lives, our work, even our sports are all seasonal.
Solomon was correct when he penned those famous words in Ecclesiastes … to everything there is a season.
For those in ministry or non-profit work this should be the Season of Reflection — time to review, analyze, and think about the past year. Reflection implies looking in a mirror — seeing yourself as you really are. Now is the time to take a few hours to evaluate what you did well … what you could have done better … what you need to do differently.
Assessing the previous year is a critical exercise in maintaining your mission, your brand, and your focus. I encourage you to gather your leadership team together and allow them to share in the Season of Reflection. You won’t be disappointed…
Here are 20 questions you could use as discussion starters for your Season of Reflection:
- What did we do better in 2009 than we ever did before?
- What did we not do as well?
- How did we handle the financial challenges of 2009? Were we successful?
- What was our organization’s main accomplishment in 2009?
- If I were not part of my organization, what would draw me?
- What is the biggest change we need to make in 2010?
- What are the three things we did really well in 2009?
- What three things do we need to improve upon in 2010?
- What did we do in 2009 that we never did before?
- Did we experience growth in 2009? In what ways?
- How did each person on the team distinguish themselves in 2009?
- What is the one message we did not communicate well in 2009?
- What was the one thing most people knew about us in 2009?
- Did we set SMART Goals? (Specific-Measurable-Actionable-Realistic-Time-sensitive)
- How well did we achieve our goals?
- Did our brand drift (accidental) or shift (intentional) in 2009?
- What do we need to do to solidify our brand in 2010?
- What held us back from accomplishing more in 2009?
- What was the best new thing we introduced in 2009? Was it successful?
- What about our organization gave me the greatest level of personal fulfillment in 2009?
One of the amazing things about a Season of Reflection is that the process stimulates creativity and the seeds of change. I guarantee that after you go through this process you will be prepared to lay new plans for the coming year with greater focus and clarity.
There is no greater teacher than experience, there is no greater mentor than reflection, and there is no greater inspiration than opportunity.
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