Day 5 - Captain's Log 05.01.2016 - A Single Guiding Principle

steer towards your goals

5 days into 2016 and the year lies before us. Are you on course for a superb year? Do you have a plan? Is it a case of back to the grindstone, or more of an opportunity to be and become more of who you want to be?

For many, the new year brings a sense of hope and opportunity, and inspires plans and resolutions. Ever wondered why so many people set and yet do not keep resolutions, and how you might keep more of yours? I see 2 key reasons - Lack of clarity in setting the resolution and, mainly, a lack of fully understanding why these goals are important and attaching that to a core value.

I often state in training sessions “Consciously or unconsciously, our values determine all of our decisions and actions.” I have the privilege of working with a lot of focused, engaged and committed people - the common factor among them is a real clarity on why they do what they do; which has the added bonus of then fueling a passion to do more of the same. Conversely, when people are disengaged, frustrated and apathetic they often lack a reason for working, are unclear on how they make a difference or even what is expected of them and there is often a clash of personal values with perceived company values.  

This is a truth I have found:

“People need purpose. People need to know that they matter and that they make a positive difference.”

What would you do in this situation?

You have told your 15 year old daughter that you will come and listen to their music recital at school - it starts at 5:30pm. Knowing it will take 20 minutes to get there, you let your staff know you will be leaving at 5 o’clock sharp, then at 4:52pm your A+/ platinum/largest single account client walks into your office needing to talk as they have just secured a huge contract and want to discuss supply.

The year is going to bring opportunities and challenges like this and many more. Some of you will reason that your daughter will understand when you miss her concert or arrive late. Other of you will have clear boundaries and tell your client you only have 8 minutes and will set up time to discuss more details the next day. Some people will have created a team that can manage the client's needs.

I don’t know what you would decide, so let me add this twist - what if the 5:30 deadline was the latest you could check in for an international flight? Would it be easier to excuse yourself from the client? Would you risk missing the flight? Is catching a plane more important than your daughter?

The example might be a bit extreme or a bit close to home, but it highlights how a values determine choices and actions. What choices and actions will you make this year?

Know what is important to you. Be clear on your core values. Set your goals based on these and you are far more likely to succeed.

Of course all the other goal setting criteria apply - be clear, break big plans down into milestones, know how you will be held accountable, have great reporting and make time for review and restrategising. If this is going to be your best year ever, then decide what “best” means to you? If you are starting the year from a more challenging position then still plan - fundamental principles do not change. Clarity = Action so know your final destination and break actions down into clear simple steps.

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”  ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich