Greatness begins with awareness.

Leader and Team Assessment Questions To Plan For A Year of Growth

Welcome to 2018!

As a team leader, does the thought of the brand new year ahead excite you or make you anxious?

Are you and your team already zeroing in on new goals, diving head first towards your pursuit, trying to hit the ground running?

Psychologically, we always seem quick to “hit the reset button” at the beginning of January. A fresh beginning can feel invigorating, yet I urge leaders and teams not to archive the past year too fast. At least not until you’ve had the chance to take a good look at the last 12 months and really learn from them.

I invite you and your team to take some time to do the beginning section of an exercise that I give my clients at this time of year. It’s a powerful way to start the first meeting in January.

It’s a simple Leader and Team Assessment exercise, yet can yield very powerful results.

Why? Because it asks the right questions to help you take an honest look at your leadership and team performance, so you can plant the seeds for a fantastic year of growth.

Part I: Put the Past Year On the Table

Ask yourself:

  1. What are you most proud of from this year? What did you complete?
  1. Now list your disappointments. What can’t you believe you didn’t do this year?
    • Jot it down so you can review it
    • Like you did for the positives, include work and personal stuff
    • Are there things you started and didn’t finish?
    • Or things you never even started? Be honest! Something like avoiding a tough conversation with a team member should be considered an incompletion.

Part II: Assess Your Leadership and Team Performance

Now, analyze the two lists and see what you can learn from them.

  • What made the good stuff get done well?
  • What stopped you on the hard stuff that didn’t get done?
  • What patterns do you notice?
  • What would help you be successful next year?

Go through this Leader and Team Assessment as a team and individually. The questions might seem strange or awkward at first. Just start and keep going.

It’s important to begin with the completions (the wins) because it will make everyone feel so good about what was accomplished.  Often, we only focus on what was not completed and forget about the good things we did.

The unfinished tasks – whether projects or missed opportunities or conversations that should have taken place but never did – can be tough to acknowledge. However, being honest with yourself and the team can be a powerful motivation to address them quickly and handle those kinds of challenges more effectively in the new year.

Full Leader and Team Assessment Exercise

Like I said, this is just the first part of a bigger assessment exercise that I walk my clients through at the start of the year. The full exercise includes guidelines to help leaders and teams review their roles and goals, so everyone can be more intentional about how they spend their time and energy. It will pay you back handsomely all year!

Want to get the blueprint for the full exercise?  Or would you like to schedule a team session with me to work with your team? Email me.

Best to you for a wonderful 2018.



  1. Jeremy Thompson

    Your advice to have the team leaders to not simply archive the past year without learning from them is a very great one to give as with the simple leader and team assessment exercise you have provided. That should keep everyone on their toes and ready for the struggles awaiting to be conquered for this year. I hope more and more people would be able to see your article as it’s very helpful to psych one’s self for the start of the new year. Thanks!

    • Susan

      Thank you for your kinds words, Jeremy. Have a wonderful 2018!


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