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2012 will be over in just a few short weeks, so now is the time to start thinking ahead to 2013. What professional goals do you hope to achieve in the new year? What skills do you want to develop as a manager? What do you strive to look back on proudly at the end of next year?

Set aside a block of time this month to reflect and plan how to get the most out of the coming year, and you’ll be ready to tackle 2013 on January 1.

Customize Your Professional Development

1. Take a break from you computer screen, and sit down with a notebook and paper. Dedicate a few pages to three different sections: 1. Personal Effectiveness, 2. Leadership and Management and 3. Team Priorities.

2. On the Personal Effectiveness page, focus on your performance during the last year and your goals for 2013. Use these questions to get you started:

  • What were the most important lessons or skills you learned in the last year?
  • What are your proudest accomplishments from 2012? Why?
  • What were your greatest challenges in 2012? Why?
  • If you had to name one big goal you want to achieve by this time next year, what would it be?

3. On the Leadership and Management page, write about your strengths and weaknesses as a leader in your organization:

  • How would you describe your management style over the course of the last year? What about this style do you think was most successful? What do you think needs the most work?
  • In what specific ways have you helped your employees as a coach, mentor or guide in professional development? In what ways could you improve in this area?
  • What is your biggest day-to-day management challenge?
  • What is your biggest day-to-day management strength?

4. On the Team Priorities page, consider the role you and the employees you manage play within the organization:

  • How would you rate employee engagement and satisfaction overall? How could you work to improve engagement over the next year?
  • What are the long-term professional goals for each of your employees? (If you don’t know, ask!)
  • What talents, interests or skills do you want to develop within each of your employees? How will this professional development aid them as individuals and benefit your organization?
  • In what specific ways can you help your employees work toward their individual goals?
  • What is your overarching team goal for the next year?

Share one of your 2013 professional goals in the comments!

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