Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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12 Days of Christmas

What can we do to help our clients and ourselves during December?  Can we enjoy the holidays and prepare for the New Year at the same time?  Yes. 

Here are a few suggestions:

12 Months to plan.  Get your calendars, both paper, electronic, and white board for 2014 ready to go.  Transfer important dates, note travel, and highlight important events.

11 Holiday cards.  Send cards (handwritten, you know the drill) to 11 people who were not on your original list, and promise to follow up with them in January.

10 Follow-up phone calls.  Make 10 phone calls to new people or organizations that use services like yours, and send a follow-up note at the beginning of January.

9 Office Files.  Clean out 9 files in your office.  Throw out what you really do not need.   Don’t be distracted by everything else n your office that you could do.   Focus on getting just 9 files organized.

8 Article or blog ideas.  Take yourself out for coffee and make notes for 8 articles that you want to write and for whom.  Use index cards or a program like Evernote to make notes, or organize your research using something like Pocket, or use Poster to make your blog or articles look impressive.  (add in links)

7 Throw Social Media candy.  Like Mardi Gras.  My friend, Gina Carr ( says to throw social media candy to help other people.  Compliments and likes on Facebook, comments on blogs, sharing G+, and retweeting all help other people.  During these 12 days of Christmas, try to interact with at least 7 new people a day.

6 New events.  We tend to fall into a routine and sometime we fall into a rut.  Look at your calendar and schedule in 6 events that are interesting to you, and where you might meet new people or try something new.  New events can sometimes be uncomfortable.   Focus on enjoying the experience.

5 Referrals.  Make 5 referrals to people who can hire the people you refer.  Make the introduction and facilitate the coordination.

4 Books.  Find 4 books that you want to read in the first quarter of 2014 and get them now, or ask for them for Christmas.  I tend to focus on sales, marketing, and other business books, but don’t forget to read biographies and fiction to stimulate ideas and creativity.

3 Trusted advisors.  We all need to learn.  Identify 3 people you respect, ask them specific questions, and listen carefully.  Don’t take up too much of their time, be clear about what you want help with, and thank them generously.  Remember that different generations have different perspectives, so take advantage of diversity. 2 Smartphones.  Now is a good time to upgrade your phones and phone plan (holiday sales abound) and make sure you have a cost-effective, efficient plan for you and your team.

1 Find a partridge in a pear tree.  Or a secluded beach.  Or a European castle.  Or a staycation with movies and takeout.  Do a little research and plan a 2014 vacation.  Even planning a short vacation gives us something to look forward to and a break to recharge.  Schedule in time to spend with loved ones and celebrate the people around you.

Above all, be thankful and happy for what we have. 

We are immensely grateful for the opportunities that make our business possible, for amazing communities, talented peers, gifted associates, and the opportunity to help others in both the business and the non-profit world. We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!


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