Attention goal setters: How to have an extraordinary fourth quarter

Fourth quarter? What happened? We blinked. That’s it.  Summer’s in the wind, and autumn is in already heading into full swing.  Calendars are changing. Plans are being made. And eyes are on the end of the year prize. Did you do what you wanted to do?  Did you reach milestones? Or do you still have miles to go?

It’s about that time.  Leaders are in full scale acceleration mode to pull out the stops and screech into the new year with kudos all around.  I’ve got you covered to help make it AH-Mazing – with a side order of fun.  

First, do yourself and your team a favor:  Watch this (old) interview with the fabulous News at Sunrise Anchor Eve Tannery where we shared strategies on her show. It’s on the money.

Second – take a few minutes to watch my video on the 10 ways you can make the most of the remainder of the year.

  1. Monday Makeover:  Give yourself a 15-minute head start on this week’s activities, so your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed and you’re absolutely ready for anything.  Meetings?  Totally cool.  Performance reviews? You’ve got this. Appointments?  Locked and focused.  Deadlines and deliverables?  You’re a master.  Next take a glance at the month ahead and prioritize your pipeline.  Might it take more than 15 minutes? Maybe. Once this is a habit?  You’ll breeze through with ease.
  2. Money talks:  Here’s to conquering the Achilles’s heel of many business professionals. Watch those targets and keep them in your sites to remind yourself weekly of the last quarter results that are your responsibility. Mine are printed above my desk and on my phone for daily accountability!  
  3. Gaps & Goals:  Now’s the perfect time to rock a gap analysis of where you are vs. where your GOALS said you’d be at this time.  Deep dive to see and understand what’s necessary to bridge that gap if your member experience goals, productivity, prospecting or sales aren’t where you want or need them to be.  THAT will become the foundation of your plan of action for the next three months.
  4. Hustle & Grit.  Ever hear that saying, “No grit—no pearl?”  Now’s the time to hunker in and fire up your internal urgency to close deals, follow up on proposals, add value to members and make hit the phones and connect with your member base.  Watch goals daily, weekly and monthly and monitor them like your Credit Union depends on it.  Because it does.
  5. Less is MORE.  Meetings are necessary, check! But time? Is of the absolute essence. So pare down. Make sure they are time-efficient team meetings that are NO longer than 20-40 minutes, tops, with agendas and clear objectives.  Meeting not vital to this quarter? Ditch it.  Your team will thank you! Allow them to be hyper focused on deliverables, not meetings.
  6. Face Time.  Not on the iPhone…but real life one on one time so that every team member is clear of your support and you have a chance to investigate the resources, training, coaching or guidance they might need to finish their year strong. Schedule your 1:1 with your leader to update them on your team’s progress and proactively share good news.
  7. Make it a DAY.  Just as you put the trash out twice a week, there’s something to be said for allocating specific tasks to specific days when so that nothing gets missed.  Think Marketing Monday, Telephone Tuesday (outbound calls to existing members), Write It Up Wednesday (proposals), Team Development Thursday etc. Group activities to accelerate productivity.
  8. Hindsight Helps:  Take a look at your typical day’s timeline – only in reverse. Sometimes by working backwards we can see where we can adjust our schedules a little more effectively.  You know what they say – “Begin with the end in mind.”  
  9. Social Hours:  Let’s be honest – it’s holiday time. With that comes parties, invites and open houses.  Believe it or not? They are JUST as vital to your career and certainly life balance as all the “real work” that has to be done before we ring in the New Year. Make time to connect with people you care about at work and at home. Keep everyone on the team in the loop for business engagements, sit down with the family and figure out the plan for as well.  Then map it all out so wires don’t get crossed and everyone breathes a little easier knowing who is going where.  Oh – and don’t forget to break the mold every now and then and be spontaneous. ‘Tis the season friends to lighten up a little, spread some cheer and even switch gears here and there.  Who knows?  You might find yourself onto something new!
  10. DEFINITIVE FOCUS: Careful. It’s easy be distracted by holiday parties, end of the year crunch time, and school pageants.  While finding the balance can be more mayhem than merry at the end of the year, keep your wits about you. Get up early, prioritize things closest to your member experience goals and make sure you create a laser beam focus to get them checked off the list.  If ever there is a season for time-blocking, it’s the fourth quarter!  Set the timer on your phone, use software to block distracting websites (we use Freedom and love it) and make this your best end-of-year yet!

Put these power-packed strategies in place and finish your year like the rock star you know you can be! Hey fourth quarter?  We’re coming for you! Get READY!  SET.  GO!

Neen James

Neen James

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