In today’s demanding business environment (cost pressures, flatter organizations, more direct reports, “speed to market” as a competitive advantage, etc.) you have limited opportunity to devote time and energy to your own development. Most leaders struggle to meet all of the responsibilities of their positions and are too busy and too stressed to step back and learn from their experiences – or to implement changes that establish best practices. The one thing that is in no one’s best interest is for you, as a leader, to forsake your own learning and development – no matter what level you may be. In the current environment, Executive Coaching is one sure-fire way you can continue to develop your executive-level skills, as well as address your developmental and growth needs (which impacts the entire organization), while continuing to run your organization on a day to day basis. Continue Reading…
Archives For Planning Your Route
If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.
~Lawrence J. Peter
Just as when you are traveling to a destination it is helpful to know the best route, in driving toward your goals it is useful to know how to get there in the most expedient way. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends after a lot of tenacity and commitment to accomplish what you set out to do. In between there are some very well defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Following these road signs will allow you to realize your desired destination without taking too many detours.
We have, over the past couple of weeks, focused on why goals are important and preparing for the journey of personal goal setting. Now that we have prepared, it is time to embark on our journey of personal goal setting. Most of us are familiar with the SMART mnemonic for setting goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Unfortunately, few actually give much time and attention to the model. It is, however, a key difference between goals that are achieved and goals that are not.
S: Be Specific
First and foremost, goals need to be specific, clear and well defined. They should state exactly what you want to do in concrete terms. Vague or ambiguous goals are unhelpful because they won’t provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. This is the fundamental difference between a dream and a goal. Dreams get you nowhere if they do not become actionable, yet you would be surprised at how many leaders fail at this first, critical step. In order to succeed you should:
- Ask yourself exactly what it is you want to do
- Understand why you want to do it
- Ask yourself how you plan to do it
- Ask yourself who you will need to help you
- Ask yourself when you would like to achieve the goal
Being specific has a tremendous impact on your mind. Vague, generalized goals are likely to leave you bored and disinterested over time… specific, detailed goals should fuel your mind and energize your actions.
Being specific also means writing your goals down. Writing your goals out in complete detail provides the subconscious mind with a detailed set of instructions to work on – a roadmap for success. The more information you give it, the clearer the final outcome becomes. The more precise the outcome, the more efficient the mind can become. The simple mechanical act of writing makes your goals visible and tangible. Now they are no longer just thoughts – they are commitments!