SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 200,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.
As the year-end approaches, how did the year turn out for you versus expectations?
- Significantly better! I’m shocked at how well we did: 14.54%
- Better than expected: 39.83%
- As expected: 20.93%
- Worse than expected: 20.05%
- It was a disaster, and we never expected it to be this bad: 4.65%
Better than expected. 55% of you reported you had a better-than-expected year this past year. 15% of you were surprised at how well you did. Why did this happen? Look at your expectations and how they were set. Were you too pessimistic? That might have led you to miss opportunities early in the year because you were timid. Did you miss a major market trend? How will that trend play out next year? Don’t simply be satisfied with having a fantastic year — consider the reasons it happened and what you can take advantage of in the coming year.
For those who did worse than expected, evaluate your market assessment practices. Did you fall prey to the tyranny of the numbers (e.g., “goal is last year +10%”)? How might you do a better job of identifying market drivers and forecasting more accurately in the coming year? Learn from your experience this year to have a better year next year.
Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN — the firm’s e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”