How to start the year off right 

We start off January with a fast-paced kickoff meeting where I’ll bring the entire team together and try to accomplish a couple of things. The first is to remind them of our mission. What’s our overall objective for our firm? The second is to focus on specific attributes of our year. Maybe it’s less wastage within our business, maybe it’s new clients in specific target markets that we’re in. I try to make that particular day or that particular meeting fun, so I will invite the individuals to participate in some type of event. It might be over a lunch; it might be a happy hour; or it might be an outing. 

We also do a fair amount of preparation work in December, so that we roll into January already with momentum. I have a team of 15 people, including 10 salespeople. Each of those salespeople has one-on-one meetings with me to set up their own planning for the year with my observations and maybe some best practices they can focus on. As far as our professional staff is concerned, I do visit with them one-on-one to go through a review of the year, maybe focus on some skilled training they can implement in the new year. Then I also will bring the entire professional staff together because I like them working together as a unit. 

Then the last big meeting is when I bring the entire firm together, review 2023 and then have that kickoff meeting in 2024. As far as me personally, I map out my year just like I do with the salespeople. I’m incorporating my trips, my planning and all my continuing education as well as client reviews. I typically work with larger clients, larger businesses, law firms, executive recruiting firms, a couple of venture capital firms, and I typically set up those meetings on a quarterly basis with their HR professionals to review the benefit planning and new enrollees. And all of that is mapped out prior to the year even beginning. 

John F. Nichols, MSM, CLU, is a 24-year MDRT member from Chicago, Illinois, USA. Hear more in the MDRT Podcast: 

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