Goals!

I was featured in an article from our local paper about goal setting The article was written by Lisa Green of the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“Holiday shopping, impeachment hearings, trade tariffs and the volatile stock market may be capturing many of the headlines, but in many workplaces, the year-end also means looking ahead.

It’s goal-setting season.

And that’s also true in many nonprofit organizations, even though they bear the challenge of realizing goals not just with paid staff, but through the generosity of time, talent and sometimes treasure from volunteers.

What could be.

What should be.

Goals.

Just thinking about the word can be daunting and yet energizing.

Achieving goals certainly requires more than vision and creativity.

“We might say we set goals, but sometimes we set hopes and dreams,” said Jim Johnson, a co-founder with his brother Jere Johnson of the local leadership and networking event called First Fridays.

Planning and being intentional are key, said Johnson, who is also vice president of member services at 3Rivers Federal Credit Union.

He suggests wrapping a SCARF around goals, using this five-pronged approach:

S: Specific goals are necessary. You have to get down to the details about what it will take for success.

Saying “I need to read more” might be a good concept, but it’s not specific enough. “I will read 12 books in 2020” will get you there, Johnson said.

C: You have to commit to your vision and goals. “Be passionate about achieving what you set up for yourself,” Johnson said through email, after a brief telephone interview. “Your goals should move you.”

A: Align your activities, behaviors, thoughts, and time around achieving your goals.

R: Review your goals regularly. “It is easy to get off track,” Johnson said. Review allows you to adjust and renew your focus.

F: Filter activities, attitudes and even people that don’t move you towards your goals. “If they don’t, ditch them,” Johnson said. “Don’t accept time wasters.”

Read the rest here: https://www.journalgazette.net/blog/lead-on/20191208/embrace-setting-specific-goals-for-2020

Meaningful Coaching & Evaluation Conversations

We’ve all experienced a coaching session and written evaluations.  As you think back on your best and worst experiences, what stands out?

Have you left a coaching session and/or evaluation meeting feeling motivated to achieve more and innovate more?  Do these meetings challenge you to perform at your best?

Or do you leave wondering why your manager didn’t mention your recent initiative that demonstrated outstanding results?  Or you leave wondering where you need to improve because your manager is not giving you any suggestions – “Keep at it…”

If you manage a team, you must find ways to make the INVESTMENT of time in individual team members more meaningful.

Do they deserve your (the manager’s) praise?  Then tell them and be specific!  Document it.  Remind them of their great work. A praised person will progressively perform at their pinnacle.

Do they need guidance?  Ask them better questions which will help them discover their path.  Don’t always tell.  Ask more. Engage the team member in their own discovery.

Do they need counseling for corrective behaviors?  Ask for their commitment.  Too often, we managers do all the talking in a meeting where we are discussing behaviors that must change.  All the team member has to do is endure us talking.  Be sure to ask for the commitment from them to change.  Document it.  Expect change.  Observe and monitor behaviors and then follow up.

manager as coachAre they progressing towards success?  Document your sessions so you know!  Find a way to document critical focus actions that lead to success.  Document observations you’ve made.  Be specific.  Put it in writing.  Your team members will appreciate your details – it shows you actually know what you’re talking about!

Are you following up?  A  follow up conversation demonstrates that you (the manager) have not forgotten about the team member’s progress.  Any follow ups – I call these POWER FOLLOW UPS – are powerful because you have an opportunity to connect an observed behavior with a coaching conversation and it reinforces the direction your team member needs to be moving.

Managers/Leaders make their teams better when they themselves become better.

Invest in Praising Someone

big potentialI am currently reading Big Potential by Shawn Achor.  It is a great book, and Shawn is challenging my thinking and reminding me of some great truths.

In today’s reading (chapter 5), Shawn shared some strategies to “enhance your resources.”  One of these resources is praise.  “Praise,” as Shawn states, “is actually a renewable resource…praise primes the brain for higher performance, which means that the more we praise, the more success we create.”

I’m pretty certain that the teams we lead could use more praise.  Praise that inspires them.  Praise that sparks some new idea.  Praise that builds up the individual and the team so that they commit to success and excellence.

One of the ideas Shawn encourages the reader to try is this:  Every morning, write a simple yet detailed message (text, email, actual card you mail) to someone in your life.  In this message, tell them “thank you” and “I appreciate you.”.  Be specific and authentic.

This not only will brighten that person’s day, but it will cause your brain to seek out others who you can encourage tomorrow and the next day and the next.

I did this today already.  It’s 7:59 am.  I have sent a “happy birthday” email to a mentor of mine.  He has blessed my life in so many ways.  I have told him so and today I told him he also blesses so many others – in fact, he is heading to Michigan today to give a talk.  I know that the audience will love what he shares.

I texted my 14 year old son.  He set out to improve his grades this year.  And he has done  it.  He’s been consistent.  He’s focused on his goal.  I told him all this and how I much I notice this and appreciate this.

I emailed my worship pastor.  Last night as we together lead worship with a group of nearly 150 kids, I majorly screwed up the intro to the first song.  I mean I was on a totally different planet than the rest of the band – and I had the lead part!  After our set, I apologized to Sam.  He didn’t scold me.  He laughed with (at?) me.  I deserved it.  He is so gracious.  He keeps the bigger picture in perspective – nobody went to hell because of my mistake.  I told him I appreciate him.

So, I encourage you now to take a moment to find someone to thank and/or appreciate.  Text them.  Email them.  Send them a card.  Use a social media messenger.  But do it.

As Shawn wrote in chapter 5:

dont be merely good

Global Leadership Summit 2019 Registration

GLS 2019Make an investment in your leadership development. The GLS is coming to a city near you! I participate in the largest remote site in the world here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There are sites all over the world as well. If you haven’t registered, there is still time. Use this link to register and learn from top leaders: Global Leadership Summit Registration link

Speakers included: Craig Groeschel, Bozoma Saint John, Patrick Lencioni, Jia Jiang, Jo Saxton, Bear Grylls, Ben Sherwood, and others

SPECIAL PRICING ENDS TODAY!  (June 25)

James Clear on: How Experts Practice Better Than the Rest

This is a great article by James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits.  Here is an excerpt and the link to his entire article.  

 

What Do Experts Do For 10,000 Hours?

10000 hoursMalcolm Gladwell published his blockbuster book, Outliers, in 2008 and the most talked-about idea from the text was the 10,000 Hour Rule. Gladwell, citing research by K. Anders Ericsson, explained that the key to becoming world-class in any field was to practice a specific task for at least 10,000 hours.

As you might expect, people quickly latched onto the number 10,000 and forgot the details of the argument.

Obviously, there is no magic in the 10,000th hour, but it is true that you need to put in a lot of work to become world-class in any task. However, the important question is this, “What should that work look like? If you want to become great at your craft, what exactly should you do with your 10,000 hours?”

You can’t simply put in your time and log 10,000 hours. You have to practice deliberately on a specific skill.

But what does that mean? What, exactly, does deliberate practice look like?

What is Deliberate Practice?

During a 2012 talk, programmer and author Kathy Sierra explained deliberate practice with a very simple and elegant answer. 

Deliberate practice is when…

 

Find and read the entire article here:  10,000 Hours: how the experts practice better than the rest

Leadership is About Impact by Jim Johnson

I met with my leadership team the other week to talk through a “what if” scenario.  The possibilities, as I explained, were exciting.  It would require more work.  It would require being challenged and stretched.  It would require change.

My leadership team then met (without me) a few days later to talk through this scenario.  They individually have shared with me some of what they discussed.

Not surprisingly, these leaders did not focus on how this scenario would impact them and their teams.  On the contrary, they focused on how they could impact the situation – how they would reallocate resources, elevate flexibility, and revisit procedures that had not been reviewed for a while.  They focused on how they could improve now to make the most effective impact later.

Today (it is a Thursday), try on a “what if” scenario for you and your team.  I’ll give you something to think about.

Imagine that your company measures NPS (net promoter score) as a metric that points to customer engagement/satisfaction/referrals.  Then imagine that your boss comes to you and says that your team’s performance in customer service had to improve from its current level of 59% NPS to 80%.  And you have 90 days to accomplish this.

Key Question:  how would you impact that challenge?

shocked womanI believe that many of us would quickly fall into the worry/stress mode of thinking:

  • “Is my boss nuts!?! That’s not possible!”
  • “Well, they better get me more staff if they want that to happen!”
  • “What do you want me to stop doing to start doing this?!”

But your boss is serious.  It has to be done.

So, what are you going to do to get there?

Start by envisioning a future that meets that goal.  Start by asking you and your team:

  • What would we do differently today to hit that goal in the future?
  • How would we think differently?
  • How would our team feel coming to work each day?
  • What would our customers experience differently as we worked toward this goal?
  • How would we shift from “this impacts me/us” to “how can I/we impact this goal”?

Brainstorm with your leadership team and members of your department.  Write down brainstormingyour responses to the questions above.  Agree on what the “new normal” will look like.  Then take action.  Yes, actually do this exercise as if it were real.  And watch what happens.  If you are the primary leader, take note of what the process in the 90 day time period:

  • How are natural leaders stepping up?
  • Who is “all in” and modeling the right stuff?
  • How is this exercise changing the team dynamic?
  • How are others outside of your department noticing what is happening (note:  don’t tell them you are doing this exercise – if your team is doing this well, others will notice)?

This is an exercise worth attempting especially if you and your team are “stuck” merely showing up for work, putting in the time, and then going home.  You and your team can make an impact – every day and in meaningful ways.

Leader, this all starts with you.  “Exemplary leaders are forward-thinking…Turning exciting possibilities into an inspiring shared vision ranks near the top of the list of every leader’s most important responsibilities.” (Kouzes & Posner)

Today, look for ways you and your team can impact your company’s results.  Dream.  Cast vision.  Push.  Impact.

Maxwell on leadership impact