As a child, summer was a wonderful time. Days were long and formal plans were scarce. The primary goal was to make sure to do whatever you want, and laze for as long as possible. At some point though, the dream of summer turned into a crash of the end of August and the reality of another school year lay ahead.
In the corporate world, the same pattern is appearing right now. After many weeks of delaying projects and deadlines because of a variety of vacation patterns, the end of summer is upon us, and there is a similar dread of missed deadlines and too many deliverables on the horizon.
In other words, panic has officially set in!
Our strong advice is don’t succumb to the panic right now. The end of August is the perfect time for an annual plan tune up.
We offer the following three pieces of advice to avoid being swept up in a summer slump vortex:
#1– Revisit Your Strategic Plan
Yes, there is an air of urgency right now. However, it is far better to take a breath and look back at the 2019 plan for your company/team, etc., and audit the success so far. We’d advise relooking at your plan even if you just looked at it in June or July. Having an idea of where energy should be focused is key. Things to consider:
- What goals are on track vs. falling behind?
- Why are those goals leading or lagging?
- What are the odds that some of them can get back on track or over-succeed expectations by December?
- Are there any new goals that must be considered?
#2 – Reset Your Strategic Plan with a Simple End-of-Year Battle Plan
If you’ve done a thorough assessment of the plan and possibilities that lie ahead, do yourself and your team the greatest favor by creating a one-page plan that narrows the focus for the rest of the year to only two or three key initiatives or action plans. Simplicity is the key now. Because of that, make sure to choose your activities wisely. Anything that is not crucial for meeting end of year goals, or will not be back on track by year-end, should be set to a lower priority. (Not eliminated, but not emphasized).
#3 – Gather the Team, and Make Sure Everyone is Included in the Year-End Plan
One of the best ways team leaders can reduce panic in a team is to make sure that everyone is on the same page. The most valuable thing a leader can do at this summer slump stage is to regroup with that simple one-page plan. Don’t leave the room until everyone on the team knows how they will be involved in the two or three key initiatives from now until December. Be sure to include specific actions and timing expectations for them to get there.
This advice may seem like common sense – and to some degree it is. However, we strongly believe that these three steps will help turn your summer blues into renewed September energy – and will be the best bet for accomplishing your goals by the end of the year!
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