Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow

By October 27, 2021 No Comments

Fleetwood Mac is a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 120 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands.

… Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

… Why not think about times to come?
And not about the things that you’ve done
If your life was bad to you
Just think what tomorrow will do

… Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

As I think about these lyrics and the time of the year, it is time to think about tomorrow. Our next year plans both personally and professionally, the changes we want to make and our responsibilities to our people as it pertains to the important yearly evaluations and career development discussions.

As leaders each of us touches and influences the lives of the individuals in our care. It can be a person under our supervision or care, a spouse we honor and live with, or a child we  nurture, a student we teach, or a player we coach. It could be as simple as a fellow member of our church or religious affiliation, club, league, or association, but it is usually identified by the fact we have made a positive difference through our actions and examples.

We take great pride in the books we have read and where they sit on the best-seller list. I often find that some of the best examples and learning experiences come from the stories we tell and the experiences we share. Sometimes they come from the stories we learned as children or read to our children as parents or grandparents, and for many of us it is the songs we grew up listening to.

Leaders must develop emotional intelligence along with their educational intelligence and business acumen. Sometimes a simple story I find can help people see the bigger picture, promote moral and ethical behavior, and maybe, just maybe, not take ourselves so seriously that we lose sight of the fact that it is not always about us.

As we stop to think about tomorrow, giving feedback to your employees, is one of the most important responsibilities you have. The challenge maybe more difficult this year in a virtual world but must be done in a thoughtful way that motivates, inspires, and helps them continue their journey.

This is particularly important when their performances fall short of expectations. This is one of the most critical roles you play as a manager. For most people, it’s also one of the most dreaded. Such conversations can be very unpleasant, emotions can run high, tempers can flare. And so, fearing that an employee will become defensive and that the conversation will only strain the relationship, the leader all too often inadvertently sabotages the meeting by preparing for it in a way that stifles honest discussion. This is an unintentional—indeed, an unconscious habit that’s a byproduct of stress and that makes it difficult to deliver corrective feedback effectively.

To help I have enclosed a template that may be helpful to use as an example as you begin to prepare your year-end conversation with an eye to “Thinking About Tomorrow”

(Insert person’s name)
(Insert year) Year End Review


(Insert person’s Name) is a good team builder and has created a very loyal management team. He or she has excellent knowledge of the (insert their responsibility) business, understands the value of their customers and does a good job representing himself and the company during his customer visits. (Insert person’s Name) has a solid understanding of the external factors that affect their business and can communicate these effectively to their management team.

Most effective leadership trait:

(Insert person’s Name) is very competitive and this has served them well in achieving their business results especially as it pertains to (insert specific metrics) index or metrics. (Insert person’s Name) has been able to be creative and has adapted the many metrics and business challenges to the scorecard approach. (Insert person’s Name) is very passionate which helps him or her and their people to excel. This passion helps (insert person’s Name) to rebound after a disappointing result or performance by one of his or her people. He or she has the desire to make his or her work meaningful and to get his or her people to do extraordinary things. His or her passion for excellence and his or her competitive nature drives this success and the success of their people. Once (insert person’s Name) has decided, he or she has the ability, energy, enthusiasm, and passion to make the best of it.

Areas for continuous improvement:

(Insert person’s Name) needs to work on the perception of the way he or she runs their business unit. He or she is not viewed as inclusive and open to ideas outside of what he or she or their teams is currently doing. By building strategic relationships outside of (their area responsibility) he or she can then utilize the thinking and expertise of the entire organization. How you present yourself to the world (corporate, peers, etc.) will determine whether you’re respected or reviled, honored, or minimalized. Be conscious of your image. Cultivate a stellar reputation. Ambition and determination won’t pay off unless your people, your peers, customers, and corporate groups etc. respect you. You have most of your people and some of your peers. Gain the rest in (insert time)

Most to gain areas:

In (Insert person’s Name) interactions outside of (their areas of responsibility), (Insert person’s Name) can be viewed as utilizing a “strong-arm” management approach. In our organization and culture, it will be essential for (Insert person’s Name) to become a team player beyond the geographic boundaries of their business unit. (Insert person’s Name) needs to work to improve the perception that he or she only cares about their results or the results of their business unit and not how it pertains to the organization as a whole. (Insert person’s Name) will need to continue to develop confidence in his or her role as (Insert their position or area of responsibility). This will allow him or her to better balance being the manager in charge with a collaborative approach. There are times when it is appropriate to be less democratic and take charge sooner. (Insert person’s Name) at times needs to be more persistent. Persistence embodies many other qualities of excellence including risk-taking, resilience, ambition, and passion. Although (Insert person’s Name) possesses many of these qualities, getting his or her people to exhibit them will be key to their success. (Insert person’s Name) knows what he or she wants and pursues it relentlessly, the key will be their ability to instill this passion in his or her people as they develop their (insert their area of responsibility) and help to shape our organization.

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” Personal Integrity – you always do what is right for your customers, people, shareowners, and stakeholders no matter how difficult the right answer may feel. You role model consistency between your words and actions; you live your word; you establish open, candid, trusting respectful relationships at all levels and you treat all people inside and outside fairly. Finally, you make decisions that are effective rather than politically correct.”

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