Friday, July 31, 2015

Focus on Achieving Your Goals

Even when you have a clear goal, do you sometimes find it difficult to achieve it?

I know how easy it is to get distracted. Urgent needs pull us away. Other people's goals come between us and our goals. Before we know it, our important goals can seem unimportant and end up not done.

Wouldn't your life be more exciting if you focused more on achieving your goals?

What if you acted as if your most important goal were your most important thing? What if you gave it all of your best attention?

Set clear and exciting goals, create an action plan, and then act relentlessly on your plan.

Because when we focus on achieving our goals, we do.


-- Doug Smith

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training




Thursday, July 30, 2015

Design Goals Worth Taking About

Do people talk about your goals? Do they get excited and share your goals with other people?

It's a good gage for vitality. If people talk about your goals they are stirring up interest and probably helping. They work on what excites.

Design the kind of goals that people want to talk about.

Goals that make a difference. Goals that bring about useful change. Goals that make lives better and happier.

That's what you're working for, right?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

High Performance Leaders Are Confident

How confident are you about solving problems and achieving your goals?

High performance leaders are confident. They bring their own confidence to the tasks ahead. They drive for results with the knowledge that through careful planning and relentless application they will achieve their goals.

Where does confidence come from? Results. Where do results come from? Focused attention combined with confidence. You have to create some level of confidence within yourself, set about the hard work, and then as success begins to reveal itself your confidence will natural rise even more.

Only you can control how much confidence you bring to the game.

Why not bring all you can?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Focus on the Big Goals

Do you have too many goals?

Sometimes I find myself in that situation - with so many goals that I can't remember them all and certainly can't complete them all in time. My advice on this is: don't do that!

Focus on the big goals. Keep your goals aligned with you overall purpose. Sure, it's useful to break the big goals down into smaller pieces but that's not the problem I'm talking about. Too many unrelated goals is where we go wrong.

Be careful about being confused by too many little goals. Focus on the goals that are aligned to you mission. 

The big stuff matters. The big goals matter. Start with that.

What's your biggest goal?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Learn Constantly

What have you learned today?

That's my favorite question. I once wrote a regular column and ended every piece with that question. I usually started each article with this phrase "what I learned from..." and my learning could come from the oddest and most unexpected places. What I Learned From Dunking A Basketball, What I Learned From Riding The Bus, What I Learned From Making Mistakes...you get the idea.

When we keep learning we can improve our performance. Learning allows us to grow, to adjust, to change. Learning keeps us fresh and creative. Learning is critical to our success.

If you want to achieve your goals, keep learning.

Learn constantly, learn deeply, and learn broadly. It's the best thing going.

What have you learned today?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Monday, July 27, 2015

Act Relentlessly On Your Plan

How's your goal achievement plan doing?

Setting a clear goal is great. Creating a masterful plan is brilliant. Acting relentlessly on your plan keeps you moving forward.

No slacking. No excuses. No side trips. No false starts. Relentless, persistent, motivated action.

If you want to achieve your goals, act relentlessly on your plan.

Without discouragement. Without delay. Bring your whole self to the game and move with all the power you are blessed with. Make those goals move and they'll move you with joy.

What's the next step on your action plan?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Energize Your Support Team

How motivated is your support team? Are the people you are counting on to help when help is needed fully prepared to do that to achieve your goals?

It's easy to lose track of our support team. Aren't they there to support us? The reality is that our support team also needs our support. We must keep them informed. We must keep them interested. We must keep them curious.

If you want to achieve your goals, energize your support team.

You do want their help, don't you?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Drop All Excuses

What's your excuse for not achieving that big goal?

Can you allow me to speak with a bit of an edge here? Can I be frank with you (and myself!) here? Nobody cares about your excuses.

People care about results. People care about people. People care about goals. But absolutely no one cares about your excuses.

Why not give them up? Why not take up residence where, as one of my bosses at Whole Foods used to say, "the land of no excuses"?

You won't miss them. You don't need permission to fail. You need power to achieve. You need to finish your goals.

If you want to achieve your goals, drop all excuses.

There. I said it. Thanks for letting me get that out. I promise I'll work to eliminate all excuses from my work. How about you?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals



Friday, July 24, 2015

Bring Out The Truth

Why do people lie?

It's aggravating. It's inconvenient. It's often easy to spot. And yet, we all do it. I'm not pointing any fingers here because I know that I've spun my own version of the truth sometimes. I'm working to stop that. The older I get the more I see the value in pure, unfiltered truth.

But truth is sometimes hard to take, and maybe that's why we sometimes lie.

Lies blur our vision. Lies bruise our relationships. Lies block positive energy and fill space with something much worse. We should tell the truth.

As centered leaders, problem solvers, and goal achievers we should also bring out the truth. We should create the kinds of spaces and places where people know that they are free to tell the truth - and more than that must tell the truth because we insist on it.

Every little lie creates a vast chasm.

Let's do better than that. Let's tell the truth. And, taking the next step, let's also insist on the truth.

What "truth" do you need to clarify today?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Do Better Still

Are you doing your best to achieve your biggest goal?

I know there is always more that I can do. It takes discipline. It takes persistence. And, it takes a willingness to stretch and grow.

I had a close friend who was fond of saying "I did my best" to get forgiveness for her failure. While I was willing to forgive (what's the point in withholding forgiveness?) I usually thought that she could have done best. If the intention and effort are both there, we can usually do better. We can do better when we've done well, and we can do better when we've missed the mark.

"I did my best" is seldom true. Your capacity is much greater.

How can you move from "I did my best" to doing better on your biggest goal today?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Serve Your Goals

What does it mean to serve your goals?

Setting a clear goal is a great start. Creating an action plan gets you moving. Acting relentlessly on that plan keeps us on the path to achieving our goals. Do we need to serve them as well?

Here are some ways to serve your goals:


  • Stay open minded - the needs may change.
  • Involve other people - the goal might be bigger than you.
  • Talk about your goals.
  • Work on your goals first. 
  • Revisit your goals before you finish the day - how are you doing?
  • Moving forward on those action items that seem to keep alluding you.
Serve your goals and they will serve you well.

What can you do to serve your most important goal today?


-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Open Up Your Creativity

Who judges your creativity?

Yes, we do need to analyze our problems and yes, we do need to evaluate our choices but when it comes to creativity we are better served to leave the judge behind - at least for awhile.

Have fun with it. Go wild! Let your creativity find its flow and go where it wants to go. Safely, of course. With some dignity, perhaps. But let it fly.

Creativity has no need of judges.

Analyzing has its role and I'm all for supporting that role when the time comes. When it comes to creating new things though, whether they are works of art, splendid performances, or evolved processes, creativity flies best unimpeded.

What creative work are you ready to open up today?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Monday, July 20, 2015

Keep It Fun

How much fun are you having working on your biggest goal?

I do best with the goals I work on that provide a sense of fun. Maybe it's the work, maybe it's the people, maybe it's the crazy commitment it takes, but big goals that engage my sense of fun move faster.

When it stops being fun it's harder to get done.

Keep it fun!

What makes a goal fun? Well, that's up to you! What's fun for me might be different than what's fun for you, but here are some indicators of a fun goal:


  • it's challenging
  • it creates the need to learn
  • other people smile a lot when you talk about it
  • you laugh
  • there's a sense of progress, maybe even score-keeping
  • as much as you want to achieve the goal you almost don't want it to end
  • it's filled with surprises that both challenge AND delight you
Yes, we should act relentlessly on our goals -- and we should have fun in the process.

What makes a goal fun for you?


-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Recognize Your Goal's Barriers

Have you identified everything that might slow down your progress toward your goal?

When it comes to achieving our goals, things that can seem neutral might actually be barriers. Things like a co-worker who doesn't care about our process changes. Things like a set of resources that are more dynamic than reliable. Things like shifting organizational goals.

Anything that doesn't contribute to your goal has the potential to slow it down.

Do you have a risk strategy for emerging barriers? Should you?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Provide Reasons to Support Your Project

Do other people understand and support your biggest project?

I sometimes take for granted that people who should care about my project do care about my project. It's not that easy.

People need to know about what's going on. They need to be involved. And, they need to understand the benefits to a project.

Just because you take your project seriously doesn't mean that anyone else will -- unless they have a reason to.

Do you know the reasons why people should take your project seriously?

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ask Curious Questions

What kinds of questions do you ask when you're solving a problem?

Do you stay curious enough to be open for whatever the answers are?

I've discovered that once we identity the problem, the best path toward solving it is to change that problem into a goal. What is it that we really want?

The next step is to identify the barriers to that goal. What's preventing us from achieving our goal?

Then I change those barriers to questions. It's a bit like using the classic problem solving tool of the "Five Whys" -- asking a series of whys to get to the root of the problem. In this variation, we're asking curious questions to figure out how to get beyond whatever is constraining us from achieving our goals.

Solving problems starts with asking truly curious questions.

What questions could help you solve your biggest problem? Are you ready to ask them?

-- doug smith

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

Front Range Leadership: High Performance Leadership Training


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Share Your Goals

How many people know about your most important goal?

Here's why it makes sense to tell more people about your goals:

- It helps find people who are eager to help you
- Talking about your goals gives you new ideas on how to achieve them
- Once your goals are known you feel more accountability
- People can help you figure out how to solve the problems you will encounter

It's safe to keep our goals to ourselves. That way, if we don't achieve them there's no one to ask what happened. But that way, we are less likely to achieve them.

Who needs to know about your goals?

Will you tell them today?

-- Doug Smith

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

Front Range Leadership: High Performance Leadership Training


What's Stopping You?

Is there something between you and your goal?

I can usually identify something that is working against my goal.  It could be a distraction, or it could be a valid concern like another goal or a persistent problem. Things pop up to stand in our way.

What we need to do is work through that. We need to identify our constraints and surpass them. We need to defeat the goal blockers and persist. We need to act relentlessly on our plan.

Find the barriers and break them down. Identify your impasse and get over it. Your goal is waiting for your motions to success.

-- Doug Smith

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

Front Range Leadership: High Performance Leadership Training


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Find What's New

Have you ever been stuck in a routine?

It happens to me sometimes - I get really comfortable doing things in a certain order, eating certain types of food (I'll never get tired of pizza) and working at certain jobs. These little ruts are comfortable but not where I want to live.

To live creatively we do better to break out of those routines. We need a change of scenery. We need to meet new people. We need to rock our own world enough to get off center long enough to know what our center really is.

But it doesn't need to be earth shaking. We don't have to turn our lives upside down. We could even be happy with the way things are. That still leaves plenty of opportunity to see new, hear new, feel new, experience anew what may have been right in front of us all along, but brings a breath-taking newness to our life.

There is something completely new about this moment in time.

It's unique. No matter how familiar it seems, we've never lived this moment before. Savor it. See it. Feel it. Know what it has to offer, without judging it. Breathe it in.

You can go back to your pizza in a moment. First, experience this moment.

Special, isn't it?

--- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: High performance leadership training

doug smith training: how to achieve your creative goals