Selling is one of the few roles in business where, every year, we get to start over. We have the proverbial “clean sheet.”

We may have been a superstar in the past year, exceeding all our goals. Today, it’s “What have you done for us lately?”

Or we may have struggled, falling short of our goals. Today, we are on equal footing with the superstars.

Our organizations use this time as a time to refocus and refresh. There may be new strategies, new focus areas, new challenges, and certainly new goals. Regardless of how the organization performed last year, it’s a clean slate to move forward.

Hopefully, we take some time to reflect on the past year. What worked? What didn’t? What should we do differently? What has changed?

To get a strong start, there are a few things that require crystal clarity for each person:

These first two items are foundational for the organization. As we confront disruptions, volatility, uncertainty; as we encounters challenges we have never faced before; as we look for new questions/answers—clarity on these provide the grounding and context to figure things out.

We will never know all the things that may arise, we will never have the answers for everything we will encounter. If we don’t understand and haven’t defined and internalized (1) and (2), we will fail in moving forward consistently with our purpose, values, culture.

A note of caution, here. Too often, we do this, coming up with long laundry lists of goals, activities, initiatives. Rather than focusing what we do on that which is most important, we become refocused. With each person, we have to understand the top three priorities and goals. Everything else supports the attainment of those goals. And too often, we don’t establish the action plans critical to achieving those goals. We have these Starting Over conversations, then go back to doing our jobs. All of this is meaningless if we don’t take action and track progress, course correct, adjust.

Too often, we don’t take the time to sit down, reflect on, discuss, and agree on these things, what they mean and what we will do about them. January is just the month after December, which is the month after November, which is the month after….

We have the opportunity to Start Over. We have the opportunity to rethink, refresh, refocus. Take a few moments with each of your people–and yourself to do this.

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