Goal setting is as important in your personal life as it is in business. The most common denominator in all the self-help literature and books is the importance of goal setting.
Despite their obvious value, our experience with goals has shown that some are good at setting goals, sticking to them and achieving great results, while others can’t keep a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking for two days in a row.
Here is the key point to keep in mind: winners have specific goals. Without specific goals, there is no way you can determine the most important tasks. There is nothing more powerful to your workday than knowing your purpose and executing it in an effective manner. Your life will take on a real meaning once you begin to adopt a goals mentality and focus. Continue reading →
Many talk about doing their best, but few really understand what needs to be done to achieve it. Here are 6 key steps I have observed in my working with clients – some who have succeeded and others who just couldn’t get it. Continue reading →
Many of us often find ourselves jumping to conclusions about an issue with the result being we got it wrong in terms of either our understanding of the issue or the action we took, or both.
We “get it wrong” because we usually don’t take the time or follow a process to fully understand what the problem is or the best way to address it. We all, at times, are required to “think on our feet,” but that doesn’t mean we shoot from the hip or guess. Following a mental process, if done correctly, does not have to slow down how you arrive at the right action to take. When we don’t follow a process, we usually miss some key aspect of the situation which eventually results in “so-so” fixes and not solutions.
While not perfect (and they don’t have to be perfect), here are 5 simple steps to help you avoid jumping to conclusions:
Start with asking what took place, when it occurred, why and how it happened—this is the foundation for your future actions.
Define the outcome you want to achieve and by when—i.e., based upon what you learned from the what, when, why and how exercise what would the best solution look like.
Identify the first 3 steps you will take (including the resources you will need) to get you moving towards the desired outcome. These 3 steps must include what will be done, by who and by when.
Evaluate your progress after the first 3 steps have been completed and make whatever adjustments are necessary, then take the next 3 steps. Repeat this “evaluation” step as often as necessary until your desired outcome has been achieved.
Throughout your process, avoid overthinking. Keep the outcome in front of you. When we overthink our actions, we slow our progress, second guess our abilities and make the situation more complicated that it needs to be.
Intentions are things you “plan” to do. From time-to-time each of us set intentions to do certain things or to accomplish specific goals. In many cases, your actions, if you take any at all, fall woefully short of your desired outcome.
Just intending on doing something very rarely gets it done. Some get so caught up in the intention that it distorts their reality to the point where they believe that they are taking action. Yet, all they are doing is talking about it and allowing the opportunity to slip away.
We’ve all probably encountered the frustrations related to flight delays and cancellations. I recently experienced the latter while on my way to the 35th Annual J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference (commonly referred to as JPM) in San Francisco. Although, one positive did come out of my unplanned delay — it afforded me the opportunity to get through a leadership book I had been meaning to read, Step Up And Play Big by Chris Ruisi.
As I began my review I found myself highlighting concepts in the book, putting stars next to comments I found insightful, as well as bending over page corners I might want to revisit. In his book, Ruisi provides a quick common-sense approach to some best leadership practices. And while I’d encourage you to read the book, I’d like to share a few of his thoughts. Continue reading →
To be successful, especially in a leadership role, there will be times when you will be faced with making tough or difficult decisions that will, in many instances, also be seen as unpopular.
Some often delay making tough critical decisions on a timely basis because they fear the outcome. So, to avoid this “perceived” result, we either make a series of small and less effective decisions or we take no action hoping the matter will take care of itself. When we do this we actually do more harm because we are prolonging a bad situation and, in many cases, making it worse. This approach can be a fatal error for a business leader in situations where success sometimes hangs in the balance based on their ability to make tough decisions using not-so-perfect information.
Nothing is ever really as hard as it first appears to be. Personally, I tend to over-simplify things. Sometimes I’m wrong and pay dearly for my miscalculation. Fortunately, more times than not, I’ve been right and have avoided a fair amount of frustration and wasted time.
The fact is, we sometimes tend to make things harder or more complicated than they need to be. Why? Because we do. We over-think the situation. We get emotional and even mad. We lose site of the root cause, the real facts and the best solution.
We all make the choice to suffer from procrastination. Procrastination is born from one, or a combination of, the following:
Trying to be a perfectionist.
A lack of self-discipline.
The inability to fight off distractions.
A lack of specific goals and fear.
How many times do you start the day knowing what you want to do, but eventually come up with a reason why you just can’t get started and so you put it off? Whatever your reason might be, the fact is, you are procrastinating.
Left unchecked, procrastination can be a career and/or business killer. Here are 3 useful tips to help you overcome procrastination: Continue reading →
One of the biggest challenges I see among the people I work with – and for that matter the many leaders and entrepreneurs I observe – is the lack of a key success skill: persistence.
Persistence requires that you forge ahead, work hard and not give up at the first, second or even third obstacle you encounter. You need to relax and accept the fact that no one gets it right the first time, or even the second or third time. It’s okay to make a mistake. In life, there are no mistakes, just lessons. Mistakes offer each of us meaningful opportunities to learn and perform better. Just don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over. If you are, then you’re just lazy.
It’s been said that a day without learning is a day without living. When you stop learning, or close your mind to learning, you become stagnant and you die – first intellectually, then emotionally and then…well, you know. As Stephen Covey wrote in his “7 Habits…” series, work on always how to “sharpen the saw.” Legendary Coach John Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.”
Always ask yourself, “What can I learn and do to improve or get better?”
Once you’ve learned something, practice it until you are good at it. I mean very good at it. Real success comes from those who practice. In life, there is no room for “winging it”. Coach Lou Carnesca of St. John’s University said it best: “Nothing takes place on the court that doesn’t first take place in practice.”
Let me share with you some of the things that I have learned over the years:
You should not confuse your career with your life.
A person who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter or a waitress, is not a nice person.
Your friends love you anyway.
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
So now that you’ve finished reading this, get moving and learn something today that will contribute to your success tomorrow!