It's the end of the year, but that is also a new Beginning

2015 has been a significant year for the Ryan family.  There were joyous times, like the weddings of both of our sons and the addition of two wonderful daughter in laws to the Ryan family.  There were also painful, sorrowful times, like the death of my older brother John Ryan last January.  Every period of time brings both highs and lows, both personally and professionally.  From the business view this year has been  highly successful for me personally and professionally as our firm continued to grow and strengthen in the work we do.  Every event this year has added to our experience and our expertise in the work that we do.

As I enter into the last 16 days of 2015, I thought it worthwhile to reflect just a minute to discuss how the ending of something can also support and encourage new beginnings in 2016.  Let me share a few endings and their corresponding beginnings as examples:

  1. While we close out a number of search projects at the end of the year, this provides time to review and learn from each project in order to be more effective in similar work in the future.  I am happy to say that we continue to benefit from repeat business with clients we have worked with before.  The energy needed to gain a new client is always much greater than what is required to keep one.  This does not mean that current and former clients can be taken less seriously, but it does mean that prior work experiences can lay a firm foundation for future work, but only if the previous work was done well.
  2. The counter to point 1 is that we have also learned that not every project we have done represents work we would attempt to do again.  Organizations should be in a constant learning mode and not every client is a fit for what we do or who we are.  It is painful when things don't work out well.  There is nothing that brings me more satisfaction than pleasing a client and helping them meet or exceed their goals in development or in a search project.  I hate it when we end up not being able to meet the needs of the client.  Upon review, it is often very apparent that we missed something early in the process when this occurs or we find that our client is not clear on what the desired outcome should be.  Neither of these is desirable, but these things happen when you work with human beings.
  3. There is always a better way to get things done.  We have several business models we use to serve our clients and these models work well.  We are also looking at new ways to provide service and the future may allow us to do things we never dreamed of in the past.  Change is not an option, is is essential.
  4. Things are never as good or as bad as they first appear.  One thing I learn, and re-learn, often is that the best approach is to keep things balanced whenever possible.  I never try to sulk too long when something does not work well, and I also try to not celebrate too much when things go extremely well.  Everything needs to be kept in perspective.

What have you learned this past year that you can carry forward to 2016?

Now is a great time to reflect, retool and reengage for the coming year.

We wish you the best in your efforts!