Take Your Secret Sauce into Next Year

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This year has been a big one for me, to really notice my own Secret Sauce. As I worked on creating a new app to help people build their leadership skills, I found myself having to tease out the nuances in what I do and how I do it.  It was a difficult exercise, but it helped me create an app that is like nothing else out there.


If you’re like most people, you may be looking for the “next thing” you should be doing to get better results, but not necessarily taking time to reverse engineer how you have consistently achieved the results you have. I find this to be especially common with the high-performing leaders I coach.  They usually focus far more on their perceived weaknesses than their core strengths, as they try to take their performance to the next level.


One of the most impactful ways that I help leaders get unprecedented results is by helping them notice and magnify their strengths.  Once they notice what they have accomplished and how they did it, they can teach others and amplify their ripple effect.  When something is second nature, they may not realize how many steps they actually go through very quickly when approaching a challenge or project.


So, I think it’s the perfect time to take even just 10 minutes to answer these two questions:


  • What are your top three successes this year?


Suspend any judgment when you do this exercise. Simply notice your big or small successes. Sometimes those small wins really pave the way for even bigger wins. I just want you to notice your success and what made it feel like one. If your list is longer than three, even better!


  • What really worked to help you achieve those results?


Take time to identify and understand the critical strategies you used. By handwriting them, you’ll engage your brain differently and you’ll get a better sense of how you specifically accomplished what you did. And you’ll make it much easier to repeat.


This exercise is thought-provoking. I’m betting that you’ll notice things you hadn’t before, and will uncover important information that you can share with others in a way that is useful and relevant.  So, as we wrap up this year, give yourself the gift of insight about your strengths and personal best practices. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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