Do what you always do, but different.

June 1, 2020

It’s the start of a new month, June 2020. We are in a period of history that none of us will ever forget. Remember February this year? How different does that seem now?

The times are changing again; the rules are flexing. Who knows what the world – your world – will look like in another four months!

So, as we start a new month, indecision and uncertainty can easily payalyse us.

Because there’s so much you don’t know, how can you possibly make plans? How can you take action when you don’t know whether they’ll be the ‘right’ actions given the changing circumstances?

All valid questions. So what should you do?

Answer: do the same as you always do, but different.

Go to your system – the one you use every month to review the previous and plan the next. The system that helps you set goals and establish priorities for the next four weeks. The system that helps you set up progress tracking towards your goals and recording your success with the habits you’re working on developing.  The system that you rely on to make sure you schedule time for your high payoff activities and reminds you of your ‘big picture’ (purpose, mission and values) so the vision of what you are living for is crystal clear.

Such a planning system is absolute gold. Most people had them in the 80s and 90s. Their large, leather-bound organisers with templates for setting goals, making plans, communicating well and remembering to spend time doing the most important things, day by day, week by week, month by month.

Then we went all technological. We moved on.

But we didn’t take our systems with us into the new media. We left them behind and with it a whole heap of healthy habits were lost.

If you’re reading this and you don’t have a brilliant system for planning June 2020, we need to do something about that. You see, when you have a system that you know inside-out, one that you’ve used time and time again, it’s much, much easier to adapt to changing times. Just follow the process but with different inputs. I can’t do X this month, but I can do Y. A and B may be uncertain, so I’ll focus extra effort on C because that’s within my control.

I’ll end simply with this: get a system. LMI have a brilliant one and I’m always happy to share that. You can design your own if you’re so inclined. Buy one – Best Self Planner is a great option – borrow one, phone a friend. By any means, get a system that works for you. Then you can do the same, month by month, every month, but different.


Success is in the system

May 12, 2020

We looked previously at how success can be defined as progess towards achieving your own meaningful goals. By that definition, everyone can be (and feel) successful. Going back to where we started looking at goals, this is the perfect antidote to the negative feelings that we can all be susceptible to if we find ourselves measuring our success by comparison with others.

Ok, so success is in our hands if, AND IT’S A BIG IF, we learn to regularly set our own goals. It sounds simple. In many ways it is extremely simple and yet so many aren’t doing it. There are two really important keys here:

  1. Learn a system for goal-setting and customise it to your own needs/style/situation/preference.
  2. Make using that system a habit.

We’ll look now at the steps for setting goals as laid out in the LMI Goal Planning System. Next time we’ll talk about how to make using it a habit.

Before we get into that though, a brief intelude. Could you take a few seconds just to imagine the impact it will have if you get seriously good at this? What if every month for the rest of your life you could identify the most important work and personal goals in your life and work effectively to achieve them?

Ok, back to the system in ten steps.

  1. Define or describe something that you’d like to be better in some way.
  2. Write a specific goal(s) that supports this intent.
  3. List the benefits gained and the potential losses avoided by achieving the goal.
  4. Write down possible obstacles and list potential solutions.
  5. Write detailed action steps and deadlines to achieve the goal.
  6. Integrate the action steps into your planning system.
  7. Determine a method of tracking your progress.
  8. Write affirmations to encourage you and keep you on track.
  9. Develop a visual representation that effectively reminds you of your goal.
  10. Celebrate the accomplishment of meaningful goals

It’s a simple and immensely powerful system where each step plays an important part in making the whole system work.

We talk more about this in the Foundations of Success workshop I run. If what we’ve been looking at around goals is an area you’d like to improve in, and the LMI Goal Planning tools would be helpful, you’d be really welcome to join one of these sessions.


My goals, my way.

May 6, 2020

The last post ended with a promise that we’d look at how to set goals that work for you whatever you are currently facing.

And let’s face it, some of the goals we may have had are not very helpful to us right now. That one about getting 5000 people to that big May event, anyone?

I’m sure you’ve had at least some negative experience with setting goals. You may even be in that bracket of people who have sworn never to go down that road again having found it only led to guilt, frustration, disappointment (insert any additional / alternative negative emotion here) when the goals weren’t reached.

Let’s start really simple. A goal is simply the expression of an intended outcome; something you want to achieve, do, have or become. Let’s call it ‘being intentional.’ I find this really helps. I don’t need to start with, “Be the best in the world at….” or “Double my income by….”

The psychology of being intentional is incredibly interesting. When I set a goal, no-matter what it is and regardless of how small it may seem, it gives me a sense of purpose and direction. Again, this may be very small but we have to realise that great habits and big successes begin with small actions and are often the result of years of small accumulations. When I achieve that goal, I can’t help but feel a little bit more successful which in turn helps me feel more motivatied to take on another goal.

My apologies if this is way too basic for you but I have so many conversations with people where this is exactly where they need to begin, especially if they find themselves in a state of lockdown lethargy or experiencing the guilt/frustration/inferiority challenges that we discussed last time.

Write down something that you’d like to do today, no matter how small. Something that you’ll feel pleased, relieved, delighted, triumphant (insert any additional / alternative positive emotion here) about when it’s done. Then do it. Start really small and ultra-achievable. See how it goes. If it works for you, then repeat.

Even really big goals work in exactly the same way.

We are just beginning to scratch the surface with the whole goals shebang so please, stick with it because it will make such a difference to your life, your family and friends, your work and even the world if we all get seriously good at this!

Next post we’ll look specifically at the goal-setting system we use in LMI to help people consistently achieve the goals they set. It’s a good one. See you then.

 

 

 


That’s a very personal question

May 4, 2020

Learn a new skill.

Get iron-man fit.

Write a book.

Run a high-performing home-school academy!

There’s so much talk about what we could and should be doing during lockdown and equally as much talk about people feeling guilty / inferior / down because they are not achieving what others seem to be doing during this time.

My last-but-one post about empathy is super-important here.

Just as important though is to recognise why we experience these negative feelings about what we’re not doing. This is a complex issue however one common reason is that we’re not confident in what we are doing.

This is why the art of goal setting is such an important skill.

Paul J. Meyer said,

Success is the progressive realisation of worthwhile, pretermined, personal goals.

In other words,

Success is goal directed action

and

Success is personal.

When I’m good at setting my own goals, whatever they may be, I feel successful when I’m making progress towards achieving them. When I’m focussed on my own goals and I’m feeling good about working towards those, I’m far less likely to be worried about what others are doing and what I’m not doing.

It’s a big subject so more on this next time when we’ll look at how to set goals that actually work for you whatever you’re facing right now.


Big picture and daily accomplishments

April 30, 2020

Latest podcast, covering big picture ideas of purpose and vision as well as the nitty, gritty day-to-day disciplines like daily planning and recording accomplishments.

LMI UK & Ireland · So What About Leadership 30.4.20

New Podcast: Goals & Goal Setting

October 18, 2019

Yesterday Roisin and I recorded episode 3 of ‘So What About Leadership?’. In this edition we talk about goals and goal setting.

I used to not like goal setting at all. It felt forced and restrictive when I prefer to be relaxed and spontaneous. Turns out I was just not using goals very well! Goal setting is simply the practice of deciding what’s important to you (in all areas of life) and setting a course in that direction. I love it! Hope you enjoy our conversation.;


Imagine a leader…

August 13, 2019
Imagine that you had an amazing leader.
Someone who is always able to inspire you. Someone who deeply understands your own drives and desires and always knows how to motivate you to great effort and exploits.
Someone who knows just what to say when you are really going through tough times that will help you through. Someone who is able to give you just the right support to help you carry on with determination.
Someone with vision for a great future that seems to match just right with your own hopes and dreams. Someone able to give you exactly the right tasks and responsibilities to bring out your very best.
Now imagine that someone is you.
Be the leader you need you to be.
https://www.lmi-uk.com/programmes/effective-personal-leadership/
#EffectivePersonalLeadership #TheTotalLeader

 


More of….Less of…

January 3, 2019

As the New Year gets under way I have, as I’m sure you have also, been thinking about what lies in store for 2019.

There are the ‘business as usual’ things that just carry on. Wheels set in motion that need little or no extra effort to make happen. None of us begin with a completely blank canvas.

But what of the other?

There are, for sure, plenty of areas when we have scope to make changes. It may be tweaking things slightly, stopping some things completely or beginning something new.

I find it very helpful to use a simple two column format to focus my thoughts: More of… and Less of…

What happened last year that I’d like more of?
What happened last year that I’d like less of?

It’s a great way to stimulate the goal setting process. Here’s a few examples for me that may help get you started:

  • more helping people achieve meaningful goals
  • less time in rush-hour traffic
  • more fun with my kids (especially memorable trips)
  • less of the admin work involved with the management apprenticeships
  • less time wasted on my phone (be a better example to my kids!)
  • more discipline, especially in writing blogs/articles etc

What is it you’d like more of / less of in 2019?

Write it down. Share it with others…and if you need some help (sometimes we know the changes we want to make will require some rigorous, impartial accountability), feel free to drop me a line.

 


Review your definition of success

July 11, 2018

We easily get into ‘getting on with it’ mode. Days and weeks go by. Months pass in multiples. Suddenly we’re more than half way through the year, it’s nearly (or already for some) the summer holidays, then September and we rush headlong towards Christmas.

I’m in the ‘relaxed and positive’ rather than the ‘doom and gloom’ camp when it comes to the passing of time, with one caveat. Am I doing worthwhile things with all these hours or am I just busy with activity that, on review, will count for very little.

Success

It all comes down to whether we have clear definitions of what success is and how to measure it. Answering this question is a crucial aspect of leading yourself and leading others. Once that’s done, here’s a few questions that can help keep us on track:

  1. What progress & victories have we achieved today / this week / this month that are in line with our definitions of success?
  2. What have we done that’s contributed most to those victories that we can do more of?
  3. What new things can we try to achieve more?
  4. What have we done that’s not contributed to our success that we can do less of, or stop doing entirely?

 

All seems a little bit simplistic when we put it like that, doesn’t it? Regardless, it works incredibly well. It’s often the simple things that do.

If it’s been a while since you reviewed what success means to you, can I strongly encourage you to do so? And not just at work or in business by the way. At home, with your family and friends, your health, your contribution to society and your giving to others. Your success needs defining for all of these. I’ve got plenty of simple tools to help you do this so please do get in touch if you need a hand getting started.

 


Making friends with failure

July 3, 2018

It’s an issue I find myself constantly facing with my own kids, as well as in many situations with the managers and leaders I work with. Fear of failure stops people from achieving what they are capable of. We must realise that failure is inevitable if we are to learn and improve.

With my kids it often comes out as “I’m not very good at…”, or “I can’t do…” and I hate it! Of course some things will come easier to them than others but there is almost nothing that they couldn’t become really good at if they seriously wanted to and put in plenty of hard work.

YouareAwesomeI’m really enjoy Matthew Syed’s writing on this subject. First with ‘Black Box Thinking’ and then in his book for children called ‘You Are Awesome’. In this work he speaks to children about how you get really good at something. Sure there has to be a little bit of natural ability to begin with but then it’s down to practice, hard work and, most importantly, getting comfortable with the idea that to improve you have to fail. You have to try something and it not work as you’d hoped…so you try again. And again. And again.

Whether it’s a new marketing strategy or learning Italian – making friends with failure (also known as learning to get it right) is essential. Cue the Thomas Edison light bulb quote!

I find this challenging as I realise I am just as prone to to failure avoidance as my kids. Head down; keep going; keep the end in mind.