Dear Aunty B,
After expecting a great second quarter I am looking at awful figures. I am now expected to put on a happy face, celebrate Christmas, make a hilarious speech at the Christmas party, sing karaoke Christmas carols on the last day (my stupid idea – shoot me now) write nice emails to all my staff and have a jolly merry Christmas when I feel like crawling into a hole!
Aunty, give me some words of hope! I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet, the kids are complaining about the lack of a Christmas tree and Christmas this year is at my place!
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There is one simple answer to all this.
You are going to sit down and write yourself a list with only four points. It will look like this:
1. Write Christmas list of presents and make sure all are vouchers. Get PA to go and buy the vouchers. Ask PA to wrap all vouchers in fun wrapping of different sizes and add a post it note so you can add a card.
This should be done by tomorrow. Get PA to go online and get Christmas tree delivered to your door tonight. Drink wine and write cards tonight. By tomorrow your Christmas shopping will be done.
2. Get kids to ring all members if family and request they bring a plate (most to bring salad or veg, a few desserts and you provide the seafood and champagne.) Do that tonight.
3. Ask all key staff to send to you by end of the week a few highlights and funny things that happened through the year. Set aside the time to write the speech. You’ll be surprised how quickly the thing will write itself.
Make it half as long as you planned. Write end of year emails now and ask PA to send them on last day from your computer.
4. That means within two days, you have ticked all boxes and can focus on your strategy for next year. Again make a list. What is changing, how can you respond? Start asking key staff for their input. Make any cost adjustments now. Your aim is to have a break over Christmas and then start thinking about strategy. You will come back to work, refreshed, rested and with new ideas.
Now get going!
Your Aunty B
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