'Tis the Season: Count Your Blessings

Tis the Season: count your blessings

As the year draws to a close, we often find ourselves consumed with final reviews, wrapping up projects, and setting strategies for the coming year. Though we all know it’s the time for reflection, few leaders actually schedule time with their team to do just that – reflect. The holidays are the perfect time to review the year’s successes and failures, and identify new opportunities for growth. The season is one filled with thanks and giving, and during this time, leadership must take a moment to express gratitude and help everyone in the firm count their blessings.


Successful organizations are those that recognize and support the individual contributions of each team member. No matter how big or small the role, every member has contributed time, energy, and skill to elevate the firm. Be thankful for your team and acknowledge the efforts of all within the organization. Make your employees feel appreciated. Throw an office party, be flexible with holiday schedules, or consider giving a holiday bonus. When your employees feel appreciated, they work harder, respect one another, and build loyalty toward the organization.


Your clients are at the heart of what you do and without them there would be no business. Whether they’ve been with your firm for years or have recently signed a proposal, it’s important to take a moment and be thankful for their business. During the holiday, send out a company holiday card, a custom gift, or simply pick up the phone. No matter what you chose to do, it’s important to express your gratitude for their business.


Whether a vendor, business partner, or a referral source, reflect on all of those who continue to aid in your business’ success. Did you thank a colleague for the referral? Do your vendors know how much you appreciate their partnership? Maintain your partnerships by acknowledging your appreciation of the relationship. Thank those who sent you business by repaying the favor. Be a connector. Send a thank you note to those who help serve your industry. Publicly thank them over social media, or tag them in a post. Help build their audience online by connecting them with others in the industry. A small and subtle thank you can go a long way.


Regardless of ending the year financially in the green or red, take a moment to be grateful for all the opportunities that were presented to you. Whether you capitalized on each one or passed on others be grateful there was an opportunity. Reflect on the decisions you made and how you arrived at that point. What compelled you to move forward with some and withhold from others? Review your decision-making process for the New Year and remain open to all opportunities in the future.


It’s easy to be thankful for the opportunities that panned out, the goals that were reached, and the success of the firm; however, it is just as important to be thankful for the times in which you learned from your failures. Leaders that analyze their failures and take proactive steps to improve upon the lessons they learned will grow far more than those who just chalk up mistakes as just that. The year’s successes are a blessing, but the failures in which you learn and grow are the true blessing, for it is learning from your mistakes that lead to success in the future.


Finally, be thankful for the organization in which you lead, the brand you represent, and the team you have built. Think about your company culture and brand story. What makes your firm special? What do you do that makes you interesting? What makes your clients truly appreciate you work? Be thankful for the small gestures and details that that make your company unique.