By Johanne Bouchard EBS Business Columnist

The holiday season is upon us and I’m already hearing people anticipate being stressed and overwhelmed. For many, the reality of juggling so much in so little time while meeting expectations is daunting.

It doesn’t have to be this complicated. The key is to prioritize “must haves” versus “nice to haves” – things that aren’t essential and could drive up costs –and to focus on being as efficient and effective as possible. And remember efficiency and effectiveness are not mutually exclusive.

Regardless of the season, it pays dividends to constantly review how efficient and effective your teams and organizations are. I always remind myself of four key factors: resources, time, quality and completeness.

While keeping these in mind, I can assess if my goals have been achieved; if I underestimated the tasks at hand; and how well my team accomplished our goals, or unduly stretched ourselves. Were we as efficient and effective as we could have been?

Here are examples of how to apply these four key factors:

Resources: Given your resources, what can you truly achieve within your budget? Have the right people for getting the job done, and people who are effective in their roles.

Time: Given the time available, are you stretching your resources or struggling to meet deadlines, or constantly burning the midnight oil? Hire people with the right skills, experience and know how to be efficient.

Quality: Have you thoroughly achieved the quality standards you’ve instilled, or did you allow for flaws, hoping they wouldn’t be revealed in the final deliverables, product or customer service? Don’t jeopardize the quality of the outcome or let your team perform with lesser standards of quality.

Completeness: Given the expectations of thoroughly and meticulously achieving outcomes, was the level of completeness satisfactory? Don’t jeopardize aspects of customer experience just, and be sure to meet your customers’ expectations.

In my opinion, these four factors distinguish the stellar players from the competition. Similarly, you must know if you have what it takes to achieve the bare minimum, a good enough outcome, or the optimal performance.

Step back and reflect if you have the right people in the right roles, the skills and know-how and whether you know how to delegate the resources to get things done.

Big Sky Resort’s official opening day is on Thanksgiving. This is an opportune time to kick off both the ski season and the holiday season by acknowledging everyone who contributes to making Big Sky an outstanding destination every winter. Let’s not underestimate the efforts people made to get it done efficiently and effectively.

Join me in expressing gratitude for the Big Sky community this holiday season. From a hearty “thank you” to anyone who helps you enjoy your time here, to a card or small gift for those who contributes to our community – let’s come together to give thanks. See you on the slopes!

Johanne Bouchard, a former high-tech marketing executive, is a leadership advisor to CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs, as well as an expert in corporate board composition and dynamics. Visit to learn more or download her recently published eBooks “Board Composition” and “Board Basics.”