Looking back at 2004 – my accomplishments, disappointments, strengths, weaknesses

I like writing on this blog and the resulting catharsis. I ask that you indulge me in this reflective post looking back at 2004 where I will think about my accomplishments, disappointments (both generally and in relation to my ’04 resolutions), and newfound strengths and weaknesses.

Accomplishments – I am most proud of making a smooth transition of giving up most of the day-to-day reigns of Comcate and engaging at my school by forming tighter friendships, assuming captain responsibilities for the basketball team, and being an active editor at the school paper. I feel like I am striking a healthy balance that allows me the best of both worlds. I am proud about my participation in the intense political conversations in the fall.

I followed through on my two of my 2004 new year’s resolutions by “getting more out of each book I read; quality, not quantity” and “trusting new Comcate hires to do the right thing, less micromanagement.”

Disappointments – My academic performance in school has been the most disappointing part of 2004. I know my high school is very hard and that my attention is in a million places, but still, I feel like I could do a lot better. I’m disappointed that many colleges won’t give me a second look because of this fact.

I failed on my other three resolutions: “stay in B land for my grades,” “build solid relationships with females at school” (I’ve since concluded that high school ruins even the toughest girls, so I’ll wait to achieve this in college), and “meditate at least four times a week.”

Newfound Strengths – some are newfound, some not. I would characterize my strengths as a person as:

a) Communication – I believe I can communicate with anyone in most any situation including those “critical conversations.” My writing and oratory skills are at a very high level I think.

b) Relationships/Charisma – I think I can sell any reasonable idea or product to an open-minded audience which in turn means developing rewarding relationships with people (even if it means faking it).

c) Big Picture AND Details – I’ve been working on being able to switch between the minutia and big picture vision talk and I think this is a skill I am mastering. I feel like I can deftly move a conversation back and forth between these two lenses.

d) Mentoring – Mostly through my basketball experiences but in other areas as well I believe that my ability to be a good role model and mentor someone is strong.

e) Physical Fitness – I am proud that I have been able to get myself in great shape so I feel good, get plenty of sleep, and am attuned to my nutrition.

Newfound Weaknesses:

a) Numbers – I am frustrated by my inability to understand in real-time situations that involve rapid number crunching, percentages, etc. If anyone has any corporate finance 101 book recommendations let me know. I have been able to rely on others for this so far but I want to do better.

b) Giving and Receiving Feedback – Striking a balance when giving negative feedback between a hard-ass tone and positive reinforcement is tough. As is receiving critiscm, no matter how well-intentioned. This remains a challenge for me.

c) Sense of Direction – As a licensed driver I now realize that if you drop me in an unfamiliar location, I probably won’t be able to find my way. MapQuest has probably contributed to this.

d) Getting Past First Impressions/Stereotypes – I believe it’s really important to not let your impression of someone in the first two seconds of meeting them the one that sticks. Clearly a gut reaction is a good thing, but I think people take this too far. I need to work on this.

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