2019 Reflection and New Year’s Resolutions – Andrew Lynch
As I start looking forward to 2020, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the year that has just gone by. Like everyone. I experienced both good and challenging times, professionally and personally, and made lots of mistakes along the way – which I am committed to learn from. To do this, I find the best way is to write down the times where I felt I was wrong, messed up or just generally failed at something and take steps to not make them happen again.
It’s funny, but the older I get, the more I realise that absolutely nothing comes easy in this life and when you are being challenged and coming up against brick walls, that’s when you will find solutions to those problems and opportunities will present themselves. It’s important to know that if you can reflect and learn, then all the struggles and mistakes you make are actually strengthening you. If you are not failing, you are not pushing your limits.
But thankfully, there were lots of great things that happened for me in 2019 and I wanted to share a few of the highlights here.
I was listening to an entrepreneur a couple of years ago at a lunch and he said one of the reasons of his success was down to constantly broadening his horizons by travelling to new places and meeting new people. So, at the start of 2019, I made a commitment that I would do just that. And I was very fortunate that I got to go to many cities around the world and got to meet some extraordinary people.
From a business perspective, I made lots of new contacts. But I also got lots of inspiration from different environments and communities and every time I came back from a trip, I felt like I was armed with new ideas. I have to say; this did give me a great deal more confidence in all dealings of life and I would highly recommend it to anyone for 2020 – I for one will be planning more trips!
2019 saw us hire some fantastic people into Mason Alexander to join an already brilliant group of people. There were several promotions along the way, and nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing my colleagues develop. When a business is growing and you are adding headcount, it can be tricky to maintain the culture of which is the backbone of our company. Thankfully, we have managed to not only do that, but we have evolved it and there were so many great times and laughs along the way.
Last year there was also a number of great people that left Mason Alexander for pastures new. Whilst I am always personally disappointed to see them go, I cannot thank all of them enough for all their efforts and dedication in playing a part in what MA is today. It gives me great pleasure to see some of them leave as more well-rounded, competent professionals and I know they will go on to achieve lots of success.
We set out last year to make sure that we started to make plans to diversify the business. In an ever-changing landscape, it’s essential that you continue to pivot your products and services so that you can offer the right solutions to customers. Two areas we focused on were flexible employments solutions (contract and temping) and assessments.
20% of our revenue is now driven by our contract and temping solutions and a big part of this is thanks to the creative work of our tech team and office support division. This is going to be a big driver for us in 2020 and will lead us into new areas of business as we constantly look to improve and broaden our offering.
The world of assessments is an interesting one. Most assessments, in an employment context, are done towards the end of an interview process. We believe that companies could save so much time if they brought this forward to the start of the process and shortened the funnel of applications. Through our thinkHRX product, we are now launching this as a B2B platform in a bid to fundamentally change how companies approach hiring.
I set a target for 2019 to read 12 books and whilst I didn’t manage to hit that target (and also losing a bet internally at the same time!) I did manage to get through 7 which is an all-time record for me. One of the things that helped me was the introduction to audiobooks which is a much easier way to consume a book and it’s easy to do whilst you are in the car, going for a walk or lying in bed (definitely worth downloading audible if you are interested in reading/listening to more books). So between both reading and listening here is my book list for 2019:
- Good to Great – Jim Collins
- The Captain Class – Sam Walker
- Blitzscaling – Read Hoffman
- The Toyota Way – Jeffrey Liker
- Finding My Virginity – Richard Branson
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
- The Sun King: Rupert Murdoch – David Dimbleby
I really find reading/listening a great way to relax, get the creative juices flowing and it allows me to come up with new ways to improve and do things better. I am setting a target of 12 books for 2020 and I am determined to win my money back!
Like me, I am sure most of you have set goals for this year. New Year’s Resolution, however, is about forgiveness. So many things happen to us every day in our personal and professional lives and it can be hard sometimes not to take things too personally. Life is short and I do believe one of the best ways to enjoy it is to forgive anyone who you felt has done you wrong. I have been working on it that last couple of weeks and have found the results to be remarkable – it repairs relationships, you don’t sweat the small stuff and I have found I am much more at peace with myself. I am looking forward to working hard at it and hopefully making it one of my key traits in 2020.