With the Black Friday sales now done and the pre-Christmas sales in full swing, there are 15 work days until Christmas. Some will be in countdown mode, looking to simply finish off the work they currently have and slip in to the break feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy quality time with friends and family.

For others, the next 15 days (or less depending on when the business shuts down) will include extra long hours, saying yes to everything that comes at them and choosing to try and ensure everyone else’s expectations are met…. generally at the expense of their own. It’s this time of year where you can have both dynamics happening in the same business at the same time… it’s just how you choose to handle it which determines how you finish the year.

So as business leaders, we can choose to proactively manage the pre Christmas rush and continue to deliver quality value. How can we do this and ensure a positive impact on our business…

Here are some tips:

  • Connect with your Quality humans
    Throughout the year, you will have built relationships with quality humans who have been a pleasure to work with. So to us, it makes sense that you thank them… something that shows you value them as humans and as stakeholders in your business. This may seem like a small gesture, yet in the past we have seen this reinforce the trust and create an even stronger connection. It also shows that you see them as a priority and important to the business you are creating. 
  • Communicate deadlines for taking on work
    With 15 days to go, have you set your cut-off point for accepting 2021 work and when do you have your “Thank you for your enquiry. We have hit capacity of work we can guarantee for delivery pre Christmas” conversation. This transparency will help you manage the expectations of those looking to get work done pre Christmas, and help the team understand their delivery targets.  Getting aligned with timelines and expectations, especially where work isn’t urgent & important 2021 work, will ensure everyone is on the same page up front. 
  • Lock in your 2022 dates
    Saying no to work is challenging at the best of times, especially with the fear that potential clients might go elsewhere. By managing expectations and challenging whether work is truly a pre Christmas delivery, you can look to lock in an early January date for delivery, to beat the new year rush. It’s not saying no, it’s just “no not yet”. This creates alignment and allows you to manage your schedule in a way that works for you. After all… we get to choose the work we take on. 
  • Give your team a view of 2022
    With the past 12 months having been challenging, we see thanking your team for their contribution as a non-negotiable. Without them your journey would have been very very different. So give them some highlights of things you have achieved, which often reinforces “We’ve done some insanely great things in a challenging year”. The break is also a time when people think about next year, what they might be doing, where the business might be heading, what do I have to look forward to. So prior to the Christmas break, make time to thank each of your team members individually, and give them a view of what’s coming in 2022. It allows them to understand what this looks like for them, and also allows them to think about ways they can “make this their own” while they are eating turkey and relaxing over the break.  

The December period is always one where you have expectations from multiple stakeholders to deliver before Christmas. Proactively managing this will ensure your clients are managed, your team’s workload is managed, you are able to send your team off to the break with a view of what you want 2022 to look like and what it means for them. This certainty and vision will leave them ready to come back in the new year to make it happen.  

Forward this to those who you know will benefit from our tips each Monday morning. We love helping quality humans create momentum, to feel like they are empowered to make a difference.  

Keep looking forward and be an awesome leader again today !!