I look back at the past 365 days, via my blog posts, tweeted pictures and emails and am astonished at what has happened. In my final post of 2012, I wrote that ‘I hoped my thank you list for 2013 would be longer’, but would never have guessed the scale and enormity of the ‘thank yous’.
I’ve engineered ‘Stemettes‘. I’ve been invited to Number 10, been on ITV & BBC News, had full page coverage in the Times and the Observer, won UK IT Young Professional of the Year and was named as one of the hottest ’25 Under 25′ by the Evening Standard. I keynoted twice and have shared a stage with some impeccably impressive people. And those are just the highlights of the headlines.
I’ve also learnt a lot this year, have done a lot of experiments and have spent a lot of time ‘grafting’ and ‘doing’. When asked to speak to an audience of young entrepreneurs a month ago on my 12-month rollercoaster I gave them three principles to sum up my year:
- Work Out Loud – I’ve blogged, tweeted and told anyone and everyone about what I’ve been up to, what my aims and ambitions are and what my motives have been. This has meant that people with common aspirations have been able to find us and join in.
- Collaborate – I’ve worked together with well known organisations, new organisations, and great people who have similar interests and aims. This has helped me gain exposure and learn from the best, firsthand.
- Network – I’ve reached out to help others along and have made meaningful connections for those in my network. I’ve also welcomed a new set of people into my network. I’ve met & connected with a lot more people in this past 365 day period than any other.
I don’t want to predict what might happen in 2014 (I’d be foolish to try) and I won’t be setting any new year’s resolutions (I’ve never been a fan of those) but in 2014 I will continue my tradition of having a ‘word’ for the year.
A word for 2014?
In 2012 my word was ‘Go’. This was the reason why I made my fateful trip to Grace Hopper. ‘Go’ was the reason why I started this blog. ‘Go’ was the reason why I took up membership of two boards. ‘Go’ put me on my front foot and was essentially a personal call to action. ‘Go’ got me to stick my neck out and try something different.
In 2013 my word has been ‘Hungry’. I’ve worked hungrily on everything I’ve done. I’ve approached the running of Stemettes in a ‘hungry’ manner and have been ‘hungry’ to get things done at work. I’ve hungrily pursued opportunities thrown my way and have been ‘hungry’ to make the most of them. Being ‘hungry’ with my time has also pushed me to say No to projects which haven’t had the same sense of urgency.
In 2014 my word will be ‘Focus’. I’ll do my best to stop multitasking & spreading myself amongst so many projects. I will knuckle down on (relatively) few things: My technology career, Stemettes and My personal life. With this in mind, I’ll also focus on improving my weaknesses, to help boost the effectiveness of focussing on each of these things.
At the top of that list is team building. Recruiting, managing, paying, communicating with and motivating a team (for Stemettes) will be the most important thing I seek to learn in 2014. I’ve been reading up on team building and have observed both bad & good teams. I’ve kicked off by looking for an ‘anchor’ and working on communicative habits to help my team follow along with me. I’m also being conscious to give my team space to grow and explore their own strengths and weaknesses.
Happy New Year everyone!