If you ever attend a meeting, presentation, speaking engagement, or event with me there is one question I’m almost certain to ask when the engagement concludes.
I will say, “What did we learn?”
Lessons learned from the U.S. military is to thank for this. They’ve been teaching leadership for over 200 years at West Point and they’re pretty damn good at it. I’m extremely interested in the leadership styles of our military as I find a deep appreciation for their dedication, focus, and buy-in to each other. If you’re really interested in leadership I invite you to buy, “Leadership Lessons from West Point” below.
Here is a link: Leadership Lessons from West Point
Not only should you ask what was learned during the engagement, but also do an assessment of what worked and what didn’t. I find it ridiculous that sports teams do this routinely after every event. However, because we’re in business and our game happens all day every day we don’t. That’s weak! If you really want to get better you must assess right after engagement. It’s our way of keeping score.
Take 15 minutes and write it down. Things get more real and entirely more accountable when written down. To do this use a CRM (customer relationship management) database if you have one in your company. The notes will never leave and you can reference them again in the future. If you don’t have access to a CRM the lead of a pencil, ink of a pen, or keystrokes in an email to yourself will still yield positive results. Save in a client folder for your next meeting.
The most important element of this process is creating the habit to do a rigorous self-assessment after all important engagements. I promise you positive results are sure to follow, but you have to be honest.
- Tomorrow- find a meeting, pitch, or client call you can asses.
- Write it down. What did you learn and how do you intend to get better?
Always take the time to asses right after the event. You will NOT remember everything a day or two later. Even five honest minutes counts!