If I’m super honest and vulnerable, I’ll tell you that I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in leading Weaving Influence this year. Unexpected staff departures. Client projects that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. Times of doubt and wondering.

Despite a few setbacks, we finished the year strong and are set for an even stronger 2017.

Here are a few important observations from the year:

So much of what we do is fueled by relationships. In 2016, as in other years, our team’s top work experiences included times we met other team members or clients face to face. Three of us (including me), saw several clients and collaborators in Denver mid-year at the ATD International Conference and Expo. While at that event, we loved co-hosting a cocktail party with Berrett-Koehler and spending time with so many clients and friends at once. We had great team time in Atlanta while serving clients there. Several team members in the Washington, DC, area formed #widc and enjoyed meeting to work in person together. Though our team works virtually and flexibly, there is no joy greater than being together.

We can accomplish more than we think we can. Our company launched a start-up division in early 2016, Hometown Reads. Our first city launched on March 1st, with 20 books listed from Toledo, Ohio. By the end of the year, we had doubled my original expectations and launched 40 locations, to list nearly 1000 books on the site. We did this with a modest investment of time and money. We’re excited to continue to learn how to support authors more effectively, and the local angle is a new approach we hope will create great traction for authors. Read my reflections on what we accomplished at Hometown Reads in 2016 here.

We can accomplish more — together. We added a new team member to our business development process this year. After being the primary/only salesperson in our company since I founded it, I enjoyed having a talented team member to work explore new partnerships and to shepherd new opportunities. By focusing on a few key performance indicators, our biz-dev team created momentum for the company.

We’re maturing. Some of this year’s hard-knocks helped me see the ways we’re maturing as a company. Though we added some team members and said goodbye to a few, many of our team members have significant experience working with us, which adds tremendous value and comfort. We’ve had enough experiences as a team that we are resilient and hopeful. As we approach our 5th anniversary in June, we know how to recover from setbacks and how to stay focused on continuing to grow and learn.

Tell me something! What have you learned this year?


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