The clean, blank pages of a new calendar can be dazzling. Empty space whiter than a snowdrift, poised for the possibilities that will fill the days, months and year. After the holiday frenzy of too much intensity, expectation and just plain busyness, no wonder we crave a fresh beginning. School kids cling to September as the time of new starts—hey, it IS the season of new backpacks and binders!—but for the rest of us, January’s promise sparks those resolutions. Perhaps especially because 2009 was such a rocky roller-coaster year for so many of us, with uncertainty and depressing headlines following us everywhere. Get it gone, we say, close the door on it—along with all our own extra pounds, that credit card habit and all of last year’s mistakes. And we’ll be better for it.
But will we? What about all the accomplishments of the past, ready to build on and expand? And customer partnerships, forged over time—they need to be nurtured and brought along for the ride into the new decade. Maybe last year offered a chance to make one small change—a new method of seeking feedback, or a surprising idea that snowballed, so to speak, into a team-building exercise. Instead of relegating it to the 09 files, fine-tune the feedback machine, and look for a new variation on the idea. The year itself may rank high on the gloom-and-doom scale. But the lessons learned during the dark days, when customers were scarce and hopes for new business faded, can color this new year’s pathways. A little extra kindness and attention, a new focus on an individual’s business, a more efficient way of getting the job done, all because the uncertain past forced us to adapt and adjust.
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