I don’t know about your business, but mine tends to slow down twice a year: mid year, around the 4th of July holiday and right about now – as most of the business winds down for the Christmas holidays. So, like many people I take some time off to spend with my family. Many call that work-life balance; I just need that intentional time to really disengage from work and it helps me think about, focus on, prioritize, pay attention to all these other things that are equally important in my life.

A few years ago, I also blocked off time on the calendar for this type of forced introspection. I clear off my desk, throw out all of those gilt-written to-do lists that I didn’t get to, throw out boxes of recycled newspapers and magazines, and really try to clean up and clear out my work area. I review my notes throughout the year, client meetings, phone conversations, opportunities won and lost. Relationships I’ve touched and those who impacted me more than a cordial interaction. Think of this as spring cleaning for your brain and I’d submit it’s an essential part of your personal and professional growth – if you don’t ever clean anything out, how will you make room for more ideas, more key initiatives, and just as important, more strategic relationships.

So, use some time during this holiday season to really think about your strategic relationships this past year. Where did you invest time and effort? Whom did you neglect? Where do you need to prioritize your strategic relationship investments in 2012? Make an intentional list of the type of relationship-builder you want to become vs. just that you want to achieve and really work on those attributes, those relationships, those friendship that will help you grow in the New Year.

After all, holidays are for more than just gift giving. It’s a great time for gift receiving – in forms of introspection that will help you grow, personally and professionally. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

Happy Holidays,


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