Have you ever seen someone who is so flexible that it's hard to know where they stand?
There have been times when I felt that way myself. It feels free, but then limits because it's so hard to make a decision. How do you choose? What's best?
I've since learned that it helps in making decisions to rely on a solid set of values, a strong sense of purpose, and a committed set of goals. Everything else, from projects to past times, falls in line with those three things. When you add your sense of faith to your values (or as one of your values) it becomes much easier to see when it's necessary to be flexible and when it's necessary to remain firm.
High performance leaders maintain flexibility without losing focus. They know when to be flexible and when to be firm.
Have you noticed how much your performance depends on your focus?
Whenever I am clear about my focus, and steady in my attention, my performance improves. It can reach the level of flow, where I'm no longer even aware of time passing or skill execution -- but that only comes after mindfully keeping my focus on the here and now, on what I'm doing. How about you?
When you start with your focus, do you achieve better results? Are you goals easier to achieve?
Even when our mission is clear, we need to keep our focus on identifying that mission and bringing our actions to the front of achieving our goals in service of that mission.
Your performance starts with your focus.
Do you want to improve your performance? Improve your focus.
Have you ever had to work with someone who does not share your values?
In all honesty, I think we all do that all the time. Our values are important, and we strive to live by them every day, but not everyone shares those values and yet we do need the help of people who have different values.
It IS so much easier to work with people who share our values. Shared values build trust. Shared values build understanding. Shared values build collaboration.
But sometimes we have to be a role model for those values and hope that our demonstration of our values in action will show their merit. By being a positive example of our values in action, we might just encourage other people to embrace those values.
And by showing our willingness to work with people we disagree with we can show how we facilitate, rather than force, our way of living.
It's harder to collaborate with people who don't share our values -- but not impossible.
Who have you been avoiding because of their values? What if y…
Do you check each goal that you take on to make sure it serves your mission?
It's a practice that I'm working on, because I've discovered that any goal that does not serve my mission probably detracts from it. Maybe it's not a direct conflict, but any goal that consumes time is using time that could be used on work that is aligned with the mission.
How else can we achieve our mission? If it's ambitious, challenging, and important that mission will take considerable effort, growth, and learning. It will take the relentless application of our action plans to achieve those goals that focus on the mission.
It's worth rethinking any goal that doesn't serve your mission.
Maybe it fits. Maybe it doesn't. What about all those goals that DO focus on your mission? When will you work on those?
Having been a manager, supervisor, and project leader for many years I've had to evaluate team member success in many different ways. We usually focus on performance that is connected some how to customer happiness. Sometimes, that's not as important in our metrics as profitability. It's easy to lost track of why we're doing what we're doing if we don't measure the right things.
I learned as a supervisor that if you're not careful about what you measure and how you reward performance that people will achieve the metrics you want even if they have to game the system to do it. They can miss the whole point of the exercise and instead worry about getting the reward.
We shouldn't do that to people and we shouldn't let them do that to us. We should use measures that tell us how we are doing about our financial performance, yes of course, AND also how we're doing at meeting our mission. Are we serving our purpose? Are the a…
Bigger than career advancement, bigger than obtaining things, bigger than learning a new skill -- are you working on something that will change the world?
I know that it's important to achieve little goals because they encourage us, they propel us forward, and they lead us to bigger goals. It's also important to keep in the plan some major life-changing goal. Some noble purpose that will construct your legacy and (more important than that) improve life for the generations who follow us.
Does what you're working on have the potential to change the world?
If not, what can you add to it that will? What should you be working on?
Imagine a book written with you as the central character. What do you want to be known for? What is your mission? What is the theme of your story?
And, most importantly, what's your next step?
-- Doug Smith
If you're interested in taking that next step contact me about attending or scheduling my webinar How …