Over the last ten years I have always considered my end of year ‘Board meeting’ as one of the most important of the year. The meeting never involves any Board members, only ever has two agenda items and always takes place at a time and location of my choosing. It follows the same format each year:


In attendance: Me

Agenda Item 1 – Reflection

Agenda Item 2 – Looking to the future

My 2018 Meeting

My end of year meeting has just taken place – it was an enjoyable and productive one. It was a chance to reflect on 2018, think about what I have achieved, consider how successful I have been, reflect on what I have learnt and most importantly take some time to consider and set some goals for 2019. At the annual meeting with my professional self I always ask myself a number of simple questions:

Agenda Item 1 – Reflection

– Have I achieved what I set out to achieve?

– What’s been great/not so great and what (if anything) has held me back?

– If I was to rewind the clock what might I have done differently?

Agenda Item 2 – Looking to the future

– What do I want to achieve in the year ahead?

– What will I need to do in order to achieve this?

–  What areas of development or support will I require to enable me to be successful?

2018 was a big year. At my 2017 end of year ‘Board meeting’ I had just launched a new five year strategy, was about to relocate the organisation to new premises as well as implement a programme of new ways of organisational working aligned with a new technical infrastructure and CRM for the charity. At my 2017 ‘Board meeting’ I also decided that, after five magnificent and enjoyable years as CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis UK I had achieved what I set out to do and sometime in 2018 I would be ready to take on my next challenge (welcome to Thrive Consulting!)

Investing in YOU
As leaders, one area that frequently gets pushed aside in the realities of a busy and demanding job is investing time in ourselves. Yet setting time aside for reflection and personal development is an important part of leadership – and can actually be a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.

As an absolute minimum I always ensure that my year end Board meeting is a three line whip – a compulsory ‘must attend’. As a result, I am confident that my one man meeting has helped me to develop as a better leader as well as focus on and set myself some goals for the coming year. Across the year I will try to ensure that I ‘check in’ on how I am doing and think about what more I can do to ‘lead from the self’. 

Leading from the self
I am a firm believer that ‘leading self’ is the first step to leading others. Devoting time to this important self investment will help you become a more effective leader. The more you understand yourself, the more you can lead with your strengths and put a plan in place for your continued development and growth. Understanding self leads to transparency and humility, which in my experience makes you more approachable, genuine and authentic.

So, as 2018 draws to a close why not ensure that you invest some time in YOU. Make your own personal Board meeting a compulsory one and I am sure you will benefit. To help, I share with you a simple Christmas gift – the slides of a talk I have given in the past about  ‘Leading from the Self‘. The talk formed part the Charity Comms ‘Stepping into Leadership’ programme and is five of my own reflections on how I have learnt to lead from the self. I hope you find them interesting and useful.

Merry Christmas.

Former charity CEO passionate about helping charities and not for profit organisations across the UK to Thrive. With over 25 years experience I support people and charities to be the very best they can be. I set up Thrive Charity Consulting offering a wealth of insight, experience and expert advice. We help people to solve problems, overcome challenges and maximise individual and organisational effectiveness.

Contact us to find out how we could help your charity.


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