Goals and goal setting
The 7-year itch
Many of us are used to the quotation of this old film and its salubrious meaning.
However, the 7-year time span is a common one for us to consider.
It is too long a time frame for us to feel panicked by when setting a meaningful goal. It is a healthy time frame for us to get used to the daily or weekly gains we need to achieve to enable the goal to become achieved.
It is also long enough to get complacent over but as long as we keep it in focus, we develop a sense of building urgency that motivates us for the up and coming deadline, gradually enough to keep it feeling achievable and worthy.
When we set a goal for seven years ahead, we will lull ourselves into a great big meaningful goal, but we would also be confident of achieving it because seven years is almost a bit too long to envision.
Many cycles of events relate to the number 7 and it is one of the most trusted numbers for us. Walmart carried out extensive research on the number and discovered that customers would actually pay more for the same item priced a bit less, as long as its cost ended in 7 or 70.
Its is not fully explained to be definitively accurate, but we do have sway to the number, quite naturally.
With this in mind, please consider the following.
What would you want to have in place in 7 years from now, for you to be proud of your achievement and proud of yourself for? Start with a 7-year vision and be bold. The rest of your goals will naturally fit around these. Sometimes just three major goals will help you with enough goal setting that if broken down over the 7-year timeline, will inspire and motivate you in a way that excites you.
A 7-year goal becomes several smaller goals, which in turn maybe 100 little goals. It’s the track to run on that gives you clear momentum and drive.
What would inspire you over the next seven years, to be driven and engaged, like never before?
As a coach, I am often asked to define what it is I do.
And it inspired me to think about what most of us want.
Directions on the path.
If you can see where you want to go. See the path. See the benefits. If you can envision the impact and the long-term effect. If you can get excited about the direction you are hoping to travel in and can be enthused about the future, then often you will believe you do not need a coach.
A coach, however, can bring to the table, experience or tools or a more detailed map. This can shorten your journey or just make it more pleasurable, less stressful and ultimately by helping you implement – more beneficial.
A coach can be the sounding board of wisdom too. Perhaps your goal or vision is contrary to your beliefs or integrity in a way you don’t realise. Maybe the congruency of what you want is in conflict with other areas of your life.
Overall a clear vision with a defined why and a steer towards improving you, others and the world around you, will add traction and momentum. This style of thinking will make you unstoppable.
Along the journey, you will be often hit with the pugil stick of life. Sometimes you see it coming and sometimes you don’t. Feeling unstoppable will allow you to be resilient. A coach will vaccinate you from bad influences and virus’s that are new to you.
In addition to that, your vision can be clearer and in 3d focus with laser precision.
Make 2020 your clearest drive to what’s best for you and those your goals impact upon. Get your foresight checked through your coach and allow feedback to keep you on track.
You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
I am curious
If I could, please ask…………?
Would you mind if I suggested……………………?
These statements were shared with me this week by Bernie Da Souza at a presentation that I consider was excellent.
It made me think about how we ask for information and how we expect answers regardless of how we ask. The kinder way to ask is to elicit opinion and then actually listen fully to the answer.
Never one to feel like I have all the answers myself, I continually wonder how I can improve things, and these hit home with me as being kind and respectful.
Bernie is an international speaker, author and coach. He even made the point that we all need a coach and of course he has his own.
So, please let me ask you…
I’m curious, do you use a coach. If not, why not. If so, how is that working out for you?
If I could please ask you, what would be the perfect client for you and how many of them would you like?
Would you mind if I made suggestions about how to find more perfect clients?
What this leads to is a future track to run on, and we all function better with a vision or written plan. Especially if it comes with a timeline.
The final part to any coaching is the need to track, give feedback and be accountable. The best way to do this is to give someone you trust the power to follow you up in a way that you know will keep you on track. If I suggest how to follow you up, then it may not work, but if you suggest how I should follow you up, it is more likely to succeed.
At Compass Business Coaching, we create a follow-up plan that enables you to be motivated, focused and excited about your goals. Plainly some goals have to do rather than want to do, but even just knowing that once these have to do goals are out of the way you can get excited about what follows, its better than relying on will power alone.
We all know how easy it is to be distracted off our hoped-for track. The reality is it is you who holds that key to a solution. We just show you how to make it so.
Check out Bernie Da Souza; you’ll love his stuff if you are mindful of the concept of coaching.
Sharing goals will always be more fruitful. Sharing ideas helps that too. Being accountable gives us power and energy.
Your ideas and story
Your top ideas. Your client’s top ideas.
I’m curious about people’s top ideas, and when I meet new business people, I’m often curious enough to get them to spill their heart out about what they love and why they do what they do.
The stories are often surprising, and I get taken aback by the depth of the emotion, adversity and tenacity that businesspeople seem to be able to relay so easily.
What makes your clients tick is easy to uncover with just a few of the right questions and a willingness to listen, rather than comment, lecture or show off.
If you were asked, so what made you start your own business? You would find it a good experience and spout the best of stories.
So, ask your clients to unfold their ‘why’ their passionate stories, inspirations, frustrations or even their wants.
Everyone has them. We all are moulded by experience, both good and bad.
Ask your clients. Ask in a way that indulges them. Let them be selfish. Give them the stage to boast from. Give them room and time to rant. Be a cheerleader for them and their struggles overcome.
They will be so pleased you allowed them to open up. Stories sell, Facts Tell.
Once they have done so, ask them these questions.
I ‘m curious, what are your top three tips?
What do you want from me? Not what do you need, just, what do you want?
Would it be ok if we quoted your knowledge to others that are just like you?
Start with yourself, what is your story.
Holidays vs Time out
You may have recently had a holiday which took significant planning, proactive action and timed schedules to make possible. I know I have and sometimes it can seem such hard work that it takes the first two days of holiday to catch your breath.
Then the calm starts; you are glad to be relaxing. You get sold the idea of an activity that will take all day and drain you. It’ll be fun, and it will be tiring. You’ll sleep well. You rejuvenate more, and the benefits kick in of why you came on holiday. A wonderful feeling.
All too soon, home time looms, and the busy head gets started again. You get back, and within two days you wonder if you had a holiday.
This cycle is common. However, a friend of mine added a few twists that I consider make the whole process even more rewarding and memorable.
My long-suffering PA now has all the details I need to gather to book the holiday. I tell her where I want to go, when and for how long. She prepares a file for me. One that gives me all the details boarding cards, contacts and the insurance and anything else that I may need. It’s then copied onto dropbox. I have a small paper file as back up that fits in my passport wallet with currency and spare credit cards.
I have a prepared list of things to take that I tweak each holiday and the bags I take include the toiletries already.
This makes the process slicker and takes the prep time and stress factors to a low enough level that by the time I go, I am already chilled out.
The next level is the work that I would normally do is fully delegated, and I only come back to the stuff no one else could decide on or handle.
All the photos I take on holiday are in a shared online file, and I select the ones I want converted to a book either on the journey home, or as I go through the holiday. This gets printed for me as soon as I get back.
This all sounds wonderful. Yet the reason we take holidays is to rejuvenate. So, the more we can do so, the fresher we are when we get back. The more efficient we are for the next period before we go again. Win-Win all round.
Holidays should be rejuvenating, and under the best conditions, we get the best new ideas. Even if all we do is take time out, it should be rejuvenating enough to be beneficial.
Taking this to the idea of how you run a project in your business is duplicatable. Most of what we do can be so organised as to be rejuvenating rather than draining. Your business is a series of projects and plans and goals. Treat your business like you are planning a holiday. Boss it to benefit all concerned and make each project a holiday to remember. Take pictures and reflect on how it all went. You will look back at that project and get more energy from it because you will reflect on it. Just like you do with that fabulous holiday you had that you always smile about when you remember it and look at the pictures.
Eight biggest mistakes of business owners
The following eight mistakes of business owners are not meant to be a comprehensive list because as all of who are business owners know the list is a lot longer than 8 points. However, I believe that if you address the following 8 points, those actions will have a massive impact on the profitability and success of your business.
These points are more about mindset changes as opposed to specific activities.
1. Being driven by money and not a passion for delivering value
Sure we have to make a good profit to remain in business. It’s no good having a wonderful business which you love if you do not make enough profit to live your desired lifestyle and help your teams of people do the same.
In the end, the money your business makes is a direct reflection of the value it offers and the number of people it delivers that value to
However, if your focus is ONLY on the profit, you will not build a strong growing business. A business is only as strong as the idea behind it and the value it delivers to its customers. Bear profit in mind but swing your mindset more to offering as much value as you can to your customers. The more you can grow and differentiate the value your business offers to your customers, the more “Raving Fans” you will build. Therefore, the word of mouth recommendations you get will significantly improve, and the more your business will grow.
Look at every one of your products and services. Focus ONLY on the ones that you believe you can offer extraordinary value to your customers and either ditch the rest or find a way of outsourcing that to someone else. This focus will make your systems and teams increasingly better, which will keep adding value and keep growing profits.
2. Not thinking long term sustainability
A business is not or at least should not be in the game of beating its competitors (unless it’s a sports team) It’s not about the competition – it’s about sustainability.
Business owners that focus on beating the competition simply do not understand the game they are playing. In sports, the game has a defined time limit, a defined set of rules and a referee. Your business has continually changing competition across the world; there is no time limit; there are no clearly defined rules and certainly no referee.
A business is in an infinite game where the game is really – To Stay in Business. You lose the game only if you go out of business.
If you want a long-term sustainable business, you have to start with the intention of growing a long term sustainable business not simply beating the competition.
Think long term. Build the best you can now and apply the Kaizen principle – Continuous and never-ending improvement.
- Keep your best people long term and keep helping them to improve.
- Build your systems for the long term and keep improving them
- Improve your products and services continually
- Build your financial reserves against a rainy day
- Protect your intellectual property – the way you do what you do
3. Not working on your personal development
Every business is a reflection of its leader or leaders. The way you think determines the culture and actions of your teams and ultimately what your business does and how it does it.
Working on your business is like adding extra apps to your phone. Very useful and certainly adds value if the apps are good.
Working on yourself as Leader is like changing the operating system from a mobile phone which simply makes calls to the supercomputer you probably have in your pocket right now.
Working hard and getting coached on your personal development will change how you think, your life and business strategies and how you interact with the world. Growing personally will inevitably change your life for the better.
4. Not working on your business culture
Your business has a culture irrelevant of what you do. Your culture is how you, your teams and your business behaves. The question is – How effective is your culture in winning your business game.
In the 1960s Douglas McGregor wrote a seminal business book called the “Human Side of Enterprise” about Theory X and Theory Y companies. – Google it to learn more
Basically, theory X companies work on command and control – They believe people need to be controlled, told what to do and how to do it.
Theory Y companies believe people are generally good, self-motivated and self-directed and want to produce a good job. They prefer the autonomy of being allowed to work to the best of their abilities.
Both methods can produce excellent results. It’s just one is much more fun to work in, less stress for the business owners and potentially is more sustainable in the long term.
Today in a fast moving and ever more complex world, the most talented people are increasingly mobile and well connected. They know their own worth and are only attracted to companies where they feel valued and can work with purpose-driven highly capable teams. It’s not just the money. In the first five years of Google, nearly everyone who worked for them took a salary CUT to join them because they were excited to work in a high performing autonomous culture.
You cannot hope to run a great business by yourself.
Building a great culture to attract extraordinary people who will help you grow your business with more fun and less stress is essential in today’s world.
5. Not measuring team members performance properly
You can make every effort to employ the right people and build a great culture, but still, some people will underperform. You or their team leader may feel that underperformance in their guts but its really hard and time-consuming to pin down. If you or a team leader gives a person a bad appraisal, that person can simply dismiss that appraisal as the “Boss is just a ********! – He /she doesn’t know what she is talking about. They then carry on regardless, doing the same as before or worse still simply paying lip service to the feedback.
So what’s the answer?
360 Degree anonymous reviews for every person in the company and especially team leaders and the boss from at least five other people who work closely with them. The results should produce average scores against a whole range of criteria.
It’s easy to dismiss parts of your appraisal because the boss is a ******** but practically impossible to do so if it’s all the people you work with giving you an average low score in a particular area of your performance. It does not matter what you think. Whether you think the score is fair or not is irrelevant – the fact is that other people who work closely with you believe this is a correct indication of your performance – so nearly everyone will take more notice of the results.
It’s essential that a 360 review system is put into place to help people develop because hopefully most of your people want to do a good job. Most of us are simply blind to our weaknesses. People should want to know how to improve otherwise, why are they working with you?
Following that 360 appraisals, a personal development plan should be agreed with every employee and regularly discussed and progress tracked by team leaders.
A team leaders MAIN job should be to get the best from his/her team
This regular feedback and tracking to help low performance in certain areas are essential for everyone. Across your company, this will produce extraordinary results. Across the board, low performers can be moved to other roles to give them a chance. Ultimately, low performers are likely to deselect themselves as it is very difficult to continue work in a team when you know everyone thinks you are underperforming. You will either strive to improve, or you will leave or the company.
Sometimes the company will have to “ask” some people to leave.
If you have to go through the correct disciplinary procedure with a few people who underperform you are protected. Its very difficult for them to claim unfair dismissal when a whole team of their peers are stating in their records that they are underperforming in key areas.
For your good people – they know they are doing a good job. As such they really want to know their lower scores (which they may well be blind to) and how they can up their game.
Measuring performance fairly across a range of key criteria and following it up properly will produce high performing and happier teams
What gets measured gets managed.
6. Not enough focus on attracting, identifying and engaging great people
Many companies boast about how great their training programs are. If you spend more time energy and resources on attracting, identifying and engaging great people you can spend a lot less on training. Great people are self-motivated. They will identify their weak areas and self-train without the need for much help from you. Smart, engaged people can learn how to do most things well provided there is someone to teach them.
In my opinion, there is NOTHING more important than doing everything you can to employ the best people.
Until you are certain you have a fantastic team of HR people with a highly systemised and proven record of employing great people do not leave it to them.
How can you be certain?
Develop scorecards and questions to determine the attributes you want for every prospective employee. Your performance management system should be checked back against the scorecards produced when that person was engaged. Were the scores in line with the actual performance the employee produces?
If not adjust the employment process and questions asked to improve your engagement process to only hire world-class people.
It’s currently x10 harder to get a job with Google than it is to get into Harvard business school. That’s not because they are a highly successful company now. They are a highly successful company because they work extremely hard to get the right people and build a culture for those people to perform well.
7. Not building systems for everything
Great people are essential, and they can even get around bad systems, but why should they have to?
Everything in the business should be part of a system with strong checklists.
You should have the attitude of: To err once is human to err twice on the same thing is stupidity.
If something goes wrong and you have a system – the first thing you should do is blame is the system – most bosses blame the person when in fact the error is probably the fault of the boss for not having a proper system. If the system is at fault talk to your people on how to improve the system, so the fault does not happen again.
Does this mean all your people become robots? Absolutely not – their role is to identify exceptions to the system, faults in the systems and have the authority to act accordingly without fear. They should also be architects of improving the systems and therefore will be engaged in making it work.
With great highly engaged people constantly looking to make 1% improvements to the company systems, the company continually improves to win its game.
8. Not having a coach
All of the above points take a lot of time, energy and resources.
All great performers have great coaches, and I believe it’s almost impossible to perform well without one.
A great coach will question your beliefs and thinking from which all your actions and results are driven. They will hold you accountable to drive forward when things get difficult, and you wonder if you will ever fix big problems. They will remind you that all big problems can be resolved with a good strategy and hard work even if it takes years.
A good coach keeps you in your business game and helps you win.
Enjoy the journey
Do you want a new computer?
I had got so used to my old one that it took someone else working on mine to make me realise that I had got stuck in a rut of habit and had no idea how inefficient I was managing my computer, and anything linked to it.
Therefore, you need a coach. You can not see how you are performing. It takes others with a trained eye to help you relook at the stuff you have habituated and got comfortable with.
Unless you have more than your own perspective, you can’t possibly compare enough or load up the
a new way of working.
Our skills as social animals help us in so many ways. When you are running your own business, it is easy to think you have everything working well enough to keep growing and be competitive.
If you let a skilful observer give you feedback, you can enhance what you are good at, and this helps you grow in ways you hadn’t thought of already or were blind to. Practice being sociable about how you manage you.
Take stock, analyse and request feedback.
Let those that you trust, give you constructive criticism. Be open to suggestions, new ideas and even allow others to do things for you for a while. You’ll be amazed at how much you can quicken your processing.
My new computer is so much faster. Slicker, smarter, and I now love it. The change suggested to me was difficult to allow because I had got used to how it all worked. I managed the time it took to do certain tasks and was pleased to consider myself as efficient. Looking back at it now, I was stuck in a poor cycle of doing things the way I knew how rather than the way I should do them.
Thankfully, I allowed my PA to bully me into changing. It now takes me much less time, be more accurate and suffer much less stress.
Let a coach into your life, your business, your gym, your relationships, your study methods, your home, your….. anything, and you get that shiny new computer feeling I had today.
It takes courage, it takes to change, and you must be open and trusting. Is it worth it? Oh yes!!!!!!
Are you setting yourself up for failure?
So you are a strong goal setter and high achiever?
You already know that by setting goals, well you can convert your dreams into reality.
You ensure you do all the right things.
You consistently look at your long term goals and break them down into shorter-term goals to move in the right direction.
You make sure that the goal is SMART. Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time deadlined.
You make sure that before you set it that the goal is aligned with your life purpose (You have already got that written down right?)
You make sure you have a big WHY behind the goal as to the reasons you want to achieve it
You allocate regular time in your diary if required to do the actions
You look out for obstacles that may get in the way of the goal achievement
You promise yourself a “present” to celebrate when you achieve your goal and if you are brave a penalty if you fail
You make sure you start small, so you get positive reinforcement by making small steps in the right direction
You read relevant material or get lessons if more knowledge is required
In short, you do everything required to set yourself up correctly to achieve your goal
You start with a bang and yet a month or two later something has gone wrong – you are no longer making progress in your goal, or you have given up entirely
You start again and follow all the above steps building in what you have already learned from your failure to date, and yet one or two months later the same thing happens
- Are you useless?
- Do you simply have no will power or determination?
- Is it just current circumstance?
Have you set yourself up for failure?
If you recognise this process for many of the goals you set yourself – You have probably missed one of the biggest and most important steps to making sure you hit your goals (almost) every time
Whatever happens, this one additional step significantly increases your chances of hitting your goal.
What is the magic step?
In a word – Accountability!
Appointing a good accountability partner to help you achieve your goal is huge.
When you appoint an accountability partner, who reads your written SMART goal and independently checks your measurable results ( you have to set it up that way) the difference in results can be astonishing.
Sure your accountability partner does not judge you as everyone knows how difficult it is to achieve goals. They simply ask:
- How did you feel about your progress toward your goal this week?
- What action are you going to Start, Stop or Continue to take next week to move towards achieving your goal or Building a habit?
That’s it two questions to make all the difference in the world.
Nobody (in particular high achievers) likes to be seen as incongruent – saying one thing and doing something else. As such you will take the actions you said you would. Sure you will fall back some weeks by not doing what you said you would, but almost nobody can do that consistently.
This simple action can make a massive difference in your life. It stops you from setting yourself up for failure
I am lucky enough to own and run my own coaching company, and so I pay one of my coaches for an hour to ask me these two questions weekly.
Without a doubt the best investment I have ever made!
All my team have a 20 -30-minute weekly meeting with their Team Support Officer to help them with their goals.
Stop setting yourself up for failure
Try appointing one or more accountability partners yourself – if you are brave enough.
At Compass this accountability is built into our training program by appointing everyone an accountability buddy. You are accountable to your Buddy, and he or she is accountable to you for moving the needle on your declared goals. It works.
Enjoy the journey
A Coach for all. Your purpose identified. Live a great life benefiting others. Get Happy.
I have a purpose to help as many people as possible engage in the process of being coached.
There are many types of coaches — Fitness, Financial, Business, Motivational and even spiritual.
Overall though a coach should be about helping you find a path that works for you, heals your failings, builds you up and engages you to find your passions. It doesn’t need to be a specific type. We are all very capable of achieving so much once we find out what it is we truly want and discover how to use that passion for a greater good or purpose.
If coaching can be boiled down to its basic elements, it would include being an encourager, a guide to a better you and a lifter of spirits.
Not all will see it this way yet in essence, if you find a new desire you hadn’t explored before, and that desire is helpful to others and makes a difference, this is something that can be infinitely rewarding and beneficial.
I remember helping a young man follow his dream to be a teacher, and the hurdles were big, the subject complicated, and, as is often the case, seemed impossible or too hard to achieve at the time. He later went on the fulfil that dream, and the catalyst for his drive was the vision of what difference it would make to others rather than to himself. The fear of failure was high. The probability was against him, yet once he’d grasped the idea of the impact it could make, coupled with even if he didn’t fully achieve his dream, he would have made a big difference. He was so determined, he did, in fact, achieve his desire.
A good coach brings out the possibilities, the motivation and the ideas that may not have been obvious on the initial analysis. This can be achieved in any field and for any person.
Schools should have life coaches. Universities, homeless centres, addict charities, the health service. ALL could benefit. ALL should have access.
My passion is helping others be the best they can be. This doesn’t need to be limited to a business, it can be for anyone. The YOU, that sits inside, that is awaiting the spark and has incredible potential for positive change, is there. It may need coaxing out or releasing, but it is there.
Some have already found it and love their lives and live according to their skills, desires, passions and purpose. Do you want to join them? A good coach will help you find that power and bring it out into the open. The how to achieve will take care of itself, once you find the true desire and drive you have for the things you wish to do. Once you find your uniqueness.
Inspire, save, unlock potential, create a big impact, enrich and many other types of descriptions come to mind. A coach is for all types of people for all reasons. A coach is a coach no matter what the subject.
What businesses are going to be the best in the future?
I was asked this at a business meeting last week, and although I thought I knew an answer, the number of different answers around the table made me question if I had even really considered it at all.
I work in a paper-heavy business and we are going through scanning 30,000 large files, to walk towards being paperless. Nothing new I hear you say. The obvious conclusion from that is programmers and scanners that relate to the many businesses that are paper and file dependent will have work for the foreseeable.
Looking through the costs and set up fees for the right scanner, software, training and servicing, it is easy to think that being in one of those is going to produce work for many years to come.
Yet the salesperson still had to contribute an understanding and interpretation, enough to help me get to grips with what I was signing this new lease contract for.
Would I be setting myself up to be trapped by the software provider, what about the scanner, after I have scanned the bulk of my files?
This thought led me to realise that the information we can find online is infinite, but the interpretation of how it works with each business is another.
One Will drafter was concerned that Wills would become digital in the years ahead. I do believe that to be so. However, the content of the electronic Will, video, signature, placement, style and even exclusions, will all need to be interpreted and structured or it can’t work.
The real work in the future is guiding. Helping people make decisions, reflection of goals, interpretation of facts, extrapolation of outcomes and even moral conjecture. These are difficult to digitise. I’d even say impossible.
The emotive foreplay before a decision is best seen through the eyes of others. Sharing ideas and weighing up the outcomes are often referred to as facilitating. This is something a coach does best.
The businesses of the future that will unlikely be replaced are creativity, coaching, teaching and motivating. Sooner or later we will find much of what we do replaced by computers. I know though that I shall be struggling to work big ideas or projects without the consultancy of wisdom from others.
I know that I rely on others motivating me and that I can get motivated by encouraging others. I’m amazed that 1+1 ideas often equals three ideas. That sharing problems halves them.
We all concluded that talking, listening, extrapolation, guiding, being a moral compass and even just asking the right questions, will all be currency of the future.
How does your business stack up to this? Is it congruent with your purpose and ethical stance? Does it fit your lifetime goals as being necessary or just wanted?
Just ask yourself, does your future look brighter knowing this?
- The 7 year itch
- Directions on the path
- I am curious
- Your ideas and story
- Anti – testimonial
- Key people in your company and life.
- When is losing really winning?
- Holidays vs Time out
- Eight biggest mistakes of business owners
- What is bothering you?
- Do you want a new computer?
- Are you setting yourself up for failure?
- A Coach for all.
- What businesses are going to be the best in the future?
- Begin with the end in mind
- Letting go of the past
- Promise Keepers Rule Ok!
- The high road or the low road?
- Should I put a hammer through my TV? – The power of rituals
- Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts