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High Performance: The value in looking back

December 13, 2016 -  By

As the calendar comes to a close and your team looks forward to a new year, it’s important not to overlook an important step—to look backward. When we take time to look in the rear-view mirror and reflect on what occurred in the past, we are much better equipped to handle what lies ahead.

If we fail to look back, we miss out on some very nice benefits. First, it’s all too common to simply repeat past mistakes because of a failure to identify root causes and make corrections. When we take time to look back, we clearly see where we fell short of expectations, which goals were missed, what didn’t go as planned and what failed. If we fail to look back, we are unlikely to see different results next year.

Another great benefit of looking back is to identify specific people that met or exceeded expectations, goals that were met, things that went as planned and what succeeded. Not only should these victories be acknowledged, they should be celebrated by everyone involved. Displays of appreciation are best made in front of one’s peers. If we fail to take the time to acknowledge our successes, we are unlikely to see continued success.

The No. 1 reason people leave companies is because they don’t feel appreciated, although they will not say this is the reason. Instead, they will talk about money or that a better opportunity presented itself. If we fail to acknowledge the success of our people, we are basically telling them that we don’t really care–not quite the message we’re intending, perhaps, but one that has deep repercussions. By taking the time to show genuine appreciation, you will be making a big investment in each person’s emotional bank account, but with positive outcomes.

The holiday season is the perfect time to look back. Identify things that need to be fixed next year because things will not fix themselves. Celebrate success and show appreciation. Next year will be a much better year if you end this year looking back.

Now go forth.


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About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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