What was the last lesson that you learned that you wish you didn't need to learn?
Learn isn't always fun. But, if we take the time to reflect on what we have learned, it CAN always be useful. Like that time as a child when I put my wrist on a hot stove. I had a scar for years, but I never did THAT again.
Or that time when I yelled at an employee in front of customers. It felt necessary at the time, but I soon realized that it was not productive and that it impacted the other team members and I've never done THAT again.
We need to learn. And the more we stretch ourselves, the more likely we are to learn things we hadn't planned on, some of them uncomfortable. Learn anyway. Grow.
Learn constantly, even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts.
Have you ever worked on a goal that you didn't even really care about?
Sometimes they are assigned to us by our bosses. Sometimes we just seem to drift into trying to meet someone else's expectations. But, goals that we don't truly embrace don't really give us what we want, do they? They're just as much work -- in many cases even more work -- without the happiness payoff. Silly, isn't it?
Let's do this instead: let's work on goals that we like. Let's work on goals that we truly care about and embrace.
You don't have to agree with a goal to achieve it, but how will that make you happy?
Does your environment remind you which goals you are focused on? Does your work station organize your work in ways that allow you to do what matters most, first?
I'm working on that. My own work environment wavers somewhere between carefully structured and creative clutter. I need the creativity -- it's the clutter I work to get rid of. It's not a one-and-done effort. If you're creative, you know. Organize, prioritize -- the two go together.
Just like achieving your goals and success go together. Get one, get the other as a bonus.
Goals are not neutral. They respond according to the environment we create.
When you're working on an important goal, it's worth asking that question. The journey toward achieving that goal could be littered with little problems, big problems, nasty problems. Things come up. What's your risk strategy for dealing with those problems when they do?
Do you have a plan B? (which in this case might be another goal, perhaps calibrated a little lower.) Do you have help in the wings ready to rescue you if you need it?
Expect problems, because expecting no problems is a problem.
Many of us spend years (yikes, decades!) of our lives working in doors, in little boxes. It often cannot be avoided. I seldom could ever tell my boss that I was just going to work at the beach or out in the woods or up in the mountains. And yet, so much of my best thinking takes place in nature. If thinking is part of your job, how often do you get to think outside?
Even when we are inside, it we can create environments that help us achieve our goals by having the right tools nearby. You can also improve your own productivity by listening to the right music (you decide what the right music is.)
Create an environment conducive to achieving your goals.
Many leaders take great joy in their sarcastic responses to questions and requests. It communicates a type of cynicism. Meant to be funny, but usually the only person who actually thinks that a sarcastic comment is funny is the person delivering it.
It's not that everyone is too sensitive. They just don't appreciate sarcasm.
As leaders, let's be careful to say what we mean, instead of verbally insulting someone else.