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Feb 01 2019
It's Time to Evaluate Your Scorecard
Danny Wheeler, CCE, ICCE, Adobe Systems Inc
As we start the New Year I often reflect on the prior year and take in all the past year's challenges, achievements and overall successes. One of the critical aspects of this process for me revolves around finding activities or decisions that I found happiness in and that ultimately help me find my highest level of achievement. The attempt is designed to move past the standard key performance indicators or the black and white delinquency numbers that we all strive to attain year to year. Those are important but the processes we follow and personal choices that lie underneath those metrics are more important. I recently read a book by Hall of Fame NFL coach Bill Walsh titled "The Score will take Care of Itself." It left with me a few key life concepts to consider. These ideas that doing the right things, the right way and enjoying what you do will affect the result you are seeking more times than not. So what things can we do that will allow our own personal "Scorecard" to take care of itself when 2019 wraps 12 months from now?

The first thought that comes to mind when beginning this activity is how to combat all the nervousness or anxiety with a set of ever-growing job responsibilities and challenges. We are seemingly asked every year to do more with less. How can we most effectively keep performing at the highest expected level with more to do and less resources at our disposal? That is a great question and answers will vary depending on the management guru you subscribe to on your daily podcast or book you listen to on your way into work. So, I will leave the heavy lifting to the experts. For me, when I am in this frame of mind and start viewing the New Year's mountain sized goals, I think of one question...

For what and whom am I grateful?

Asking this question affects me in many ways. It allows me the opportunity to align my professional staff members, their direct teams, other support resources and my family in clear view. Why am I grateful for them and have I expressed that gratitude back to them? I know it's because together we have proven we can perform at incredibly high levels, tackle tough new projects and find ways to make our organization more efficient and scalable. Being grateful for others helps us as individuals feel better. There are countless articles from the experts regarding the science for why that happens, but from a personal standpoint, I know I experience this benefit when I express gratitude towards those I affiliate with professionally and at home. Thinking of things to be grateful for forces us to see and focus on the positive aspects of our lives during all our daily stress. Gratitude doesn't just make us happy, it also creates this positive feedback circle in all our relationships. Expressing this gratitude will build the foundation for accomplishing the 2019 goals your organizations leaders allocate to you and expect of your team.

The second thought for me in this process turns to all the many decisions that go into a successful year. There are thousands and thousands that originate from any credit team. These are driven to reduce risk and maximize profits for your company. Every day we are called upon to make decision after decision. I am sure you are very well acquainted with the stresses and uneasy moments that come with the decision making that is part of our roles. If you are like me, you know this leaves you exhausted at the end of most days. Making decisions like stressing over marginal accounts when that next order shows up on hold, reviewing daily credit limit and all the necessary approvals and the flow of internal questions from your team can be overwhelming. What can we do to manage this and still be effective? Often, we must make a "Good Enough" decision. The critical point is that we can't get locked up or paralyzed over making the absolute perfect decision every time for every day. We all know there are some decisions that require much more work than others to get to the "Good Enough" level. For many of the day-to-day operational decisions we should use our experience to get us to "Good Enough." Trying to be a perfectionist can be extremely stressful. I have experienced personally how trying to be perfect overwhelms us and our emotions. This can result in feelings of being out of control. I know that when I DECIDE on anything...whether it's a large critical deal or it's just something small and ordinary I immediately feel better. There is a sense of control that stems from this action. There seems to be less stress and I move on in my day.

There will be new goals, stretch objectives and fresh challenges in 2019. Look backwards and be grateful for everything and everyone that was part of your past journey. Take time to be grateful and trust your experience in keeping up with the increasing need for speedy decisions with your business. Focus on the people and process...the result your organization expects will take care of itself.