What would you do if success was guaranteed?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

If you knew that you were at the top of your game and would succeed at whatever you set your mind to, what would you aim for this year? 

Now that most of us are back in the swing of things after the holidays, I thought it would be useful to take a moment to pause and reflect on our objectives for this year.   We can’t control the external events exploding around us but we can control how we respond to them: with rational thoughts and effective actions.  Here’s a five-step process to raise the bar and make this the year you achieve your full potential. 

 1.   Recalibrate your Goal

If you knew you couldn’t fail, what targets would you set yourself?  What’s stopping you from aiming for this now?  What would outrageous ambition look like?  Why not try it? Don’t just daydream.  Write down your goals, breaking them down and diarising the milestones and metrics.   Goal research has shown that success is far more likely when goals are recorded and then shared with a supportive friend, peer, partner, coach or manager who will make you accountable.

2.   Walk the Talk

You are now the person who achieves at that level.  Do you need to reinvent yourself in any way?  How do top performers in your profession look, behave and think?  What do you need to change in order to have the same impact? If you want to be promoted then you need to demonstrate you have the bandwidth to take on extra responsibilities.  Is this the impression you make or do you already seem over-burdened? 

3.  Focus your Time

Does how you spend your time reflect what you want to achieve?  Where should you focus your attention in order to have the greatest contribution?  Spending time on unimportant tasks does not make them important.  Choose what you do carefully and don’t confuse efficiency with effectiveness.  Make 2017 the year you are less busy and more effective.   Manage your inbox.  Say no to unproductive internal meetings too; if there is no agenda, it’s a chat, not a meeting.

4.   Value yourself

What support do you need to achieve your goals? One of the characteristics of successful people is that they ask for what they want, both from themselves and from others.  Learn to have difficult conversations and don’t be frightened to blow your own trumpet a bit more.  Has self-deprecation become a habit?  Do your managers, peers and clients know how good you are?  Don’t let people make assumptions about you or put constraints on your growth: speak up and articulate your achievements and ambitions.  Other people put the same price tag on you that you put on yourself, so control their perceptions.

 5.  Manage your Mind.

It is inevitable that there will be some obstacles to derail you on the way to goal achievement.  We aren’t machines and sometimes our own minds can be our biggest stumbling block.   Develop your resilience by learning to challenge those mind traps (I must be perfect, for example) and reframe them so you can move forward (It would be great if I could spend an hour with all of my reports each week but if I get a focused 30 minutes with each of them that will still make them feel valued and on track).

This article was written by Executive Coach, Zena Everett, www.zenaeverett.com