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Archive for March 2011

Setting Goals for Yourself

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Wow! People really struggle with setting goals.  I am by no means an expert at setting goals but I believe that I have a simple, yet effective method for setting goals.  This method can be done quickly and without having to use a long process.  It can be done in writing, or it can be a quick 5-minute thought process.  Follow the concepts I outline and you will be creating goals that will lead to wins.

First, decide WHAT you want to do.  This is the first step and the most important step.  Visualize what you want to accomplish.  What does the finished product look like?  It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  Write it down, or think it out.  It doesn’t matter.  For example, earlier this year Brandy and I decided to get out of debt.  So the WHAT of our goal is to get out of debt.

Write it down, or think it out. It doesn’t matter.

Next, explain WHY you want do the WHAT.  The WHY is the specific reason that you have set out to accomplish the WHAT.  It is important that the WHY be specific and that it is special to you.  It needs to be specific enough that you can explain your WHY to another person.  It has to be special to you because when you explain the WHY to someone else they have to be able to sense your urgency, passion, and excitement.  So back to my personal example, Brandy and I decided to get out of debt because we want to be able to raise our daughter and future children in a home that will provide them with the things they need and want without being in fear of not having enough money or having to live from paycheck to paycheck.  The WHY of our goal is our family livelihood. 

Then, decide HOW you will accomplish the WHAT.  At this point you are deciding the steps that you will take to accomplish the WHAT.  Are you noticing a trend here?  Everything ties back to the WHAT!  Make sure that your HOW is realistic and that it is something that can be measured.  For example, don’t just say you’re going to read a book.  Write down the name of the book and by when you will read it.  Brandy and I are reading the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, unfortunately we did not set a specific date that we would finish the book by.  However, when school finishes for both of us we will recommit to finishing the book.  In addition to being realistic and measured, make sure that your HOW is related to things that you like to do and that you are good at.  I like to read, therefore reading the book is something that I will enjoy doing.

Are you noticing a trend here? Everything ties back to the WHAT!

The HOW is closely related to the WHEN.  You will attach a WHEN to every HOW that you create.  This is crucial and will ultimately lead to you being able to accomplish your WHAT.  The WHEN should be realistic and reasonable.  For example, my goal to debt free is within the next 5 years.  It would a terrible idea to make it a WHEN of 30 years from now.  By then I would forget what the goal is.  Also, make sure that your WHEN does not defeat you.  So do not make it so soon that it defeats your momentum.

Finally, assign the WHO to the different parts of your HOW.  You will own a majority of your WHO, but in some instances it may require other people in your life.  God put people in our life to help us through it.  Use your resources and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  My WHO includes Brandy.  The WHO of one of my professional goals includes a direct report, and another individual.  These two men are helping me by teaching me something that I don’t know.

God put people in our life to help us through it.

So simply put, design your goals around the following model: WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHEN, WHO.  The order is also important and is a logical sequence of how our mind processes information.  This model can be used for simple goals, weekly goals, daily goals, long-term goals, personal goals, or professional goals.  I use the model daily when planning out my day.  It is simple and leads to quick victories that lead to momentum.  Who knew setting goals could be so easy?

Written by theheadcoachmanager

March 17, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Have fun with your direct reports.

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Who made the rule that leaders and directs could not have fun together? Whoever it was, was wrong and they missed a great opportunity to become an even better leader.  My experience as a leader has helped me to see how valuable it is to have fun with your directs.  Obviously there are boundaries that cannot be crossed but those are clearer than you might think.

My experience as a leader has helped me to see how valuable it is to have fun with your directs

First, get to know your directs and what they like.  It is difficult to have fun with someone if you do not know what they like.  I make it a priority as a leader to learn something that is unique about each one of my directs.  For example, I have one direct who is coaching soccer for school aged children.  This small detail helps to build credibility for our relationship and makes it easy for us to have a relationship and be able to have fun.

Second, laugh out loud and laugh often.  I am convinced that laughter can break barriers.  There is a power in a good loud laugh.  Furthermore, a laugh is contagious and it brings people together.  As a leader, I make it a top priority to laugh at and laugh with my directs.  When a direct sees you laughing out load it shows them that you are a real person and that you are more than just a leader in a suit.  In addition to laughing out loud, make sure that it is often.  The more often the better.  Your directs will appreciate you for it and it will help you build up your team.

Finally, whistle while you work.  Literally.  If you sing, sing.  If you hum, hum.  Just make sure that you’re enjoying music with your directs while you work.  Just like laughter, music has the power to connect you to your directs in a special way.  The best piece about this part is that when followed in reverse it could help you achieve your other goals.  For example, I am a terrible singer, but I enjoy dropping a lyric or two at work and it brings out a laugh from my directs, which then causes me to laugh.  It is also a great conversation piece and it opens up dialogue between you and your direct.  Do not be afraid to ask them what kind of music they like, and when they do not expect it, surprise them with a lyric from their favorite song.

If you sing, sing. If you hum, hum.

In closing, a few boundaries that are obvious.  Remain professional.  Guard your relationship and do not allow the line of leader-direct to get blurred.  Be genuine.  Most importantly, have fun!

*****

Can a strong leader also have fun?

Have you ever had a leader that made work fun? What about a leader that made work not fun?

*****

It’s easy to have fun when you assume positive intent.  Learn about positive intent by checking out the article Assume Positive Intent.

Written by theheadcoachmanager

March 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm