It’s that Time of Year: Reflect, Recalibrate, Celebrate

Greg Knopp, Vice President at American Council of Engineering Companies and GAIN Advisory Board Member

Greg Knopp, Vice President at
American Council of Engineering Companies and GAIN Advisory Board Member

I have a note taped above my desk to help me focus on the first and last ten minutes of each day. Before reading a single email in the morning, it reminds me to plan out my priorities for the day, including which key project or activity should demand my immediate attention. The last ten minutes of the day ideally should be spent reflecting on what went well, along with what I learned about the challenges I faced. The idea is to begin the day with a plan to meet at least one major goal, and end it with a recap and some introspection.

Maybe we should begin each month and each year that way. ­

This issue of PIN Points aims to tie up the past year by looking back at some recent key activities — including the PAC Match survey findings, links to all the professional development webinars we hosted, and past articles and resources. It’s also a nod to plan for the coming year, along with highlighting the Council’s new Certificate program which we will feature in future issues.

Looking back to reflect, and looking ahead to plan are obviously essential to every program or organization that wants to grow, evolve and thrive. But I would add another element – the importance of recognizing and celebrating achievement and success. Far too often we move immediately from one goal and accomplishment directly into the next. There is no pause for reflection and even less for praise and recognition. Too much to do, we are told, ‘gotta get going onto the next big thing’ (we tell ourselves). No time for something as trivial as celebrations – or is there?

Mother Teresa once said that “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” She’s right, of course. According to Forbes, 43 percent of employees cite a lack of recognitionfor their work as their reason for quitting.  Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics had a slightly more colorful way to express the same sentiment: “There are two things people want more than sex and money: recognition and praise.” You get the drift.

Some friendly advice: take time this holiday season — more time than you would normally allow yourself — to pause and reflect on what went right and what your challenges were. Consider what falling short of some goals taught you about your programs and yourself, how failure helped you grow.

But more importantly, stop and celebrate whatever success you did have, as well as the successes of others you work with and for. When you do that, you truly plant the seeds of future success. The Dalai Lama himself noted, “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” Big hitter, the Lama.

Have a safe, happy, and especially grateful holiday season. You earned it.

This article was originally posted by Public Affairs Council