Elim­i­nat­ing ob­sta­cles

De­vel­op­ing goals that work

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - Joseph Sher­ren, in­ter­na­tional busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion spe­cial­ist, can be reached at 902-437-6998, or check his web­site www.gate­waylead­er­ship.com

Abra­ham Lin­coln once said, “The best way to pre­dict your fu­ture is to cre­ate it.” And now is the best time of the year to do that.

At a year-be­gin­ning meet­ing, I once had a par­tic­i­pant say:,”But we spoke about this last year.” My re­sponse was, “Great, so how did you do on those goals?” He ad­mit­ted he hadn’t ac­tu­ally doc­u­mented any goals, so had noth­ing to re­port. Then isn’t it great, I replied, that you have an­other op­por­tu­nity to trans­form your life.

But, why didn’t he? Es­pe­cially when there is myr­iad re­search done over many years that shows your life can truly be im­proved by do­ing that one sim­ple thing. One well known ex­am­ple is a 1979 study, where in­ter­view­ers asked Har­vard MBA grad­u­ates, “Do you have clear goals, writ­ten down and a doc­u­mented plan to ac­com­plish them?”

The re­sponse, as re­ported by Mark H. McCor­mack in his book, “What They Don’t Teach You At Har­vard Busi­ness School”, was as fol­lows:

• 84 per cent had no spe­cific goals.

• 13 per cent had goals, but had not writ­ten down.

• 3 per cent had writ­ten goals and a doc­u­mented ac­tion plan

Af­ter 10 years the re­sults were as­ton­ish­ing:

• The 13 per cent who had goals were earn­ing on av­er­age twice as much as those who had no goals at all.

• The 3 per cent who had clear writ­ten goals were earn­ing on av­er­age 10 times as much as the other 97 per cent.

Oc­ca­sion­ally some­one will say, “Well, I don’t mea­sure my suc­cess in terms of money.” Fine, but it is an easy way to tan­gi­bly mea­sure ac­com­plish­ment. The point is, no mat­ter how you mea­sure suc­cess, you are sig­nif­i­cantly more likely to achieve it if you write it down, record a plan and track your ac­tiv­i­ties.

So why doesn’t ev­ery­one do it? In his book “Suc­cess Prin­ci­ples”, Jack Can­field says that once you set a goal, there are three things that will stop you:

1) Con­sid­er­a­tions:

You may start think­ing: now I have to work harder, now I will have to get up ear­lier, or I will not have as much time with my friends or fam­ily. Th­ese are self­lim­it­ing thoughts that can all be mit­i­gated.

Th­ese thoughts come from your sub­con­scious and it is good to bring them to the sur­face, be­cause if left in there, will sab­o­tage you. Bring th­ese thoughts to full aware­ness to move past them. 2) Fears: You may ex­pe­ri­ence the fear of re­jec­tion, fear of fail­ure, fear of los­ing your job or friends. Ac­knowl­edge your fears and un­der­stand that they are part of the process. Per­haps talk to some­one you trust about their ex­pe­ri­ences. 3) Road­blocks: Th­ese are gen­er­ally ex­ter­nal mat­ters, ob­sta­cles that the world throws at you. Such as, you do not have the re­sources, you re­quire in­vestors, or you will need to move. They are real cir­cum­stances that you need to over­come.

When any of th­ese ob­sta­cles arise, most peo­ple give up Don’t! Re­al­ize this is a nat­u­ral part of the goal set­ting process.

It is th­ese thoughts which have been hold­ing you back all your life.

In­stead, wel­come them as ob­sta­cles build char­ac­ter and make you stronger.

My sug­ges­tion for man­agers this week: “Set time aside to cre­ate your own per­sonal and pro­fes­sional goals, then help your em­ploy­ees to do the same.”

I wish you all a healthy, happy, and suc­cess­ful new year.

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