How is your year shaping up so far?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 220,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How is your year shaping up so far?

  • Much better than expected: 9.5%
  • Better than expected: 27.6%
  • As expected: 36.8%
  • Worse than expected: 20.7%
  • Much worse than expected: 5.3%

A better year than expected. So far most of you say the year is meeting or exceeding expectations. Obviously some of that is a function of prior difficult years tempering expectations down. Perhaps some of it is natural pessimism. For those who are doing better than expected, ask yourself how you can sustain that performance without burning your team out. For those underperforming expectations, ask yourself what are the two or three focused priorities you can work on to shift performance. A leader’s job is to always look ahead and ask how you can change the trajectory. Rather than looking at today’s numbers, ask yourself how you can affect tomorrow’s numbers instead.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."