Thomas Moran – Three steps to get the ball rolling on a prosperous 2014

It’s a new year and a fresh start. While it could be construed as cliché to make resolutions, sometimes they are exactly what I need to refocus and recharge.

By working with multiple organizations over my career, there have been recurring themes that have stayed with me. People want to work toward something together and belong to an organization that they believe in and trust. They want simple, clear directions as well as focus, and everyone always wants to see tangible results.

With those thoughts in mind, here is how I approach my new year:

Plan — for the day, quarter and year

Short- and long-term goals are vital to any businesses’ success. What I also find important is the communication of those goals. Everyone in your organization should know your goals, should be focused on them and should tailor their actions to help achieve them daily.

The individual goals of each person in the organization need to be aligned with your goals. That will keep everyone working toward the same things you want and need to see accomplished. Your communication of these goals should be used in all of your conversations and interactions with your team. It will build the unity you are looking to achieve.

Team members will rally to help you reach your goals, because they will have been invested and in agreement with them from the start.


Once you determine your goals, or just refocus your staff on your current ones, you must prioritize. Whether it is based on ROI, or long-term benefits, your staff members need to know where they should focus and the importance of each goal. Don’t overcomplicate it! Simplification is not overrated and helps get the message across with a large staff.

Put into practice

This is the time to put your money where your mouth is. Hold yourself accountable to the high standard of actually doing what you say you are going to do. People believe in words, but the actions are what make a good leader.

If you put into practice actionable steps to reach your goals, people will notice. More importantly, people will want to follow your example.

It is OK to make mistakes along the way.

Making mistakes means that you are acting on accomplishing your goals, instead of just talking about them. It means you are trying new things and approaching your goals head-on. This is why you should have a strong executive team around you — to support you, and to help you when an obstacle arises.

I am a firm believer in the old adage, “You are only as good as the company you keep.” While I might not know every answer, I know that I can count on my team around me to help us get the right answer and strategy.

A year can seem overwhelming when you look out at all 12 months. But take it one step at a time. Take small chunks of time where your presence and ideas can be felt, and then your actions can be executed. You have to believe that your company is right where it should be at this moment, and with careful planning and a renewed focus, you will get to the next step, together.

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Thomas Moran is the CEO of Addison Group, a professional staffing firm headquartered in Chicago. Addison Group provides high level recruiting and placement services for finance & accounting, information technology, health care and administrative industries. For more information, visit