If you love to shop, this column might not be for you. But if you're like me, you'll do anything to avoid the malls this holiday season — especially when that excuse allows you to honor the really important people in your life. Some purchase-less gifts to consider:
For Your Company and Staff Vision. Give them an inspiring picture of what the company can be and how the purpose it can serve is bigger than the company itself. Keep talking about it. Compare every action and plan against it to be sure that you are heading in the right direction.
The A team. Do you have B and C players? Do you tolerate B and C performance? If so, the A players may get discouraged and leave. Commit to building on a first-class foundation of the right people in the right places.
Double the fun. Whatever your company does for fun — summer picnic, holiday party, white-water rafting, celebrations at the end of each big job, birthday parties — double it. Why not appoint a cross-departmental committee and give it some funds to plan next year's get-togethers?
For Yourself “You” time. Schedule time for an activity or a hobby you really love. For my eldest son, it's agility training and competition for his two rescue shelties. For my younger son, it's long bike rides early on Sunday mornings. For myself, it's gardening, running the farm tractor, jewelry-making, and exercising. Everyone is counting on you, so make sure you nurture yourself.
A clear line. Separate your personal success from your business success. Maybe your company isn't doing so well. It's depressing, but you're still a great person. Maybe your company is doing superbly. Watch out for bloated self-esteem and arrogance. Remember the old truism: When you're gone, your loved ones won't remember you for your business success.
The future. Over 50? Give yourself, your family, and your company an exit strategy. Your company has value. How can you make the most of it?
For Your Family Your time, your love, your attention. Do a reality check here. Could you do better? If so, how would you do better?
Financial security. No matter what stage of life you have reached, you'll benefit from a financial plan from a fee-only financial planner. You'll see what it will take to achieve your goals — college for the kids, retirement for you and your spouse, that long-awaited trip to Italy — and when you can expect to achieve them. Get serious about it.
For Your Community Time and/or money. Wasn't Rosa Parks an incredible example of what one person can do to change the world? Remodelers are powerful, action-oriented people. What can you do to help? What can you change?
For Everybody In Your Life Double your sincere praise. It's free. It's easy. It's incredibly powerful. It simply means you need to focus on catching people doing things right. Watch them bloom.