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Announce Your Goals

Are your goals a secret? Whenever I keep a goal a secret, it gives me instant anonymous forgiveness to not achieve it. Who knows? Who cares? Whenever I TELL someone about a goal I am far more likely to achieve it. I don't ever want to explain why I didn't achieve a goal. The accountability factor multiples my efforts and increases my chance of success. Secret goals are seldom useful. Secret goals don't engage others, mobilize commitment, or bring about change with the energy of collaboration. Announce your goals. Tell people about them. Increase your chances for success. What's your goal for today? -- Doug Smith

Get Creatively Busy

How many goals are you working on? I'm not saying that you should have too many goals. A hundred should be plenty. (OK, you can pick yourself back up now, I don't actually expect anyone to list a hundred goals.) Creativity likes to be busy. Creativity likes idle time, too and if we're idle long enough the creative mind gets busy. Your goals stand a better chance of achievement when your creativity is cranked way up. So keep your creative mind busy and your creative impulses, ideas, notions, and results will multiply. The creative mind is always busy. We just need to pay attention. What is the creative side of your mind telling you right now? -- Doug Smith

Garden or Laboratory?

Where do you test your best creative ideas? Not all creative ideas are the same. Some require a sort of close inspection with careful boundaries and controlled conditions, otherwise they will become impossible to work with or change into something we hadn't counted on. But not all creative ideas are like that. Some creative ideas benefit from a quick planting and careful observance to see how they're doing but are left to grow on their own. We tend to them, we remove obstacles and aberrations, but we let them grow naturally. Some creative ideas need a garden and some need a laboratory. If no one can get hurt, if you you've got lots of time, and if you want the unexpected to be welcome, plant your creative ideas in a garden like atmosphere of freedom and spontaneity. If the risks are high, the conditions are dangerous, and the talent is exposed to sudden change keep a laboratory-like grip on your creative conditions. Focus your attention on them but don't let

Values Should Help, Not Hinder Collaboration

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 value

Keep Moving

When it gets tough, I'm sometimes tempted to stop. Forget about it. Quit. Move on to something that's not as hard. Do you ever feel that way? Sometimes it seems like the goal is too big. The resources are too small. The time is too short. But what good does it do to stop? I won't know how far I can get if I stop moving. Do you know what the biggest wall in front of me is? Me. How about you? What's your biggest wall? Who's putting the brakes on your biggest goal? If it's you, let's both agree to cut that out. Let's keep moving. -- Doug Smith

Do You Have Enough Goals?

Well, do you? Many people are overwhelmed with too many goals. It keeps them from achieving anything important because they're always doing small things. But for some people there are too few goals. Too few goals that motivate them. Too few goals that energize them. Too few goals that promise to make a real and significant difference in the world. It's possible to have too many goals but most people have too few. Do you have goals that move your forward, that drive you, that spur you on, that help you grow? -- Doug Smith

Make The Effort

Are you working on any goals that just seem too hard to achieve? That's probably a good sign. You're stretching your skills. You're growing. Maybe you don't know how you will achieve that goal but with by acting relentlessly on your carefully drawn action plan you will get there. You might need to change the deadline. You might need to ask for help. You might need to get more training. But, with the right focus and action you will get there. The most important goals usually take the most effort. So make that effort. Achieve that goal. -- Doug Smith

Rethink Goals That Don't Serve Your Mission

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? -- Doug Smith

Increase The Odds

What are your odds on success? If it were a matter of truly gambling, we'd need some expert help on setting the odds. But, what good would that do you? Fortunately, it's not a matter of gambling. I control what I do. You control what you do. When we work on carefully established goals with an assertive and relentless action plan our chances of success raise considerably. It's how to succeed. Success is only improbable if you don't work on your goals. Who would ever want to take that approach? I'll be working on my goals today. How about you? -- Doug Smith

Goals Change Us

Do your goals change you? I think that the big ones do, and sometimes the little ones as well. When we set noble and ambitious goals, with enough stretch in them to cause us to grow, our goals change us. When we pick the right goals, that change is positive and contributes to future success. The best goals keep us growing. A goal doesn't need to change the world to change you. Not every goal is massive. Sometimes goals that matter the most to us matter very little to anyone else. But because they do matter to us, they can change us. I'm working on some goals right now that will definitely change me once I have achieved them. Some of them aren't even business goals, but they are just as important and the change will be just as profound. Are you working on goals that will change you? -- Doug Smith

Helping Others Helps Us

How much time do you spend helping others to achieve their goals? If you work for an employer, that is likely a lot. Much of our day is spent in helping our team members, in doing assignments for our bosses, in meeting the needs of customers, and all kinds of things that have little to do with our own goals. But all that IS directly related to our own goals. We build relationships. We improve our skills. We gain experience. The more we help others achieve their goals the more we are able to achieve our own goals. So don't resent the time you spend helping others with their goals. It's all an investment in your own success as well -- Doug Smith

Forgive and Keep Your Focus

Do you ever have someone stand between you and your goal? Does it ever sometimes seem that the actions of someone were an intention attempt to thwart your progress? Maybe, like me, you were over thinking the whole thing. People do things that we would not choose or pay for. People surprise us. Our job, as centered high performance leaders is to keep our focus anyway. Centered leaders forgive without giving up the goal. There's no success in revenge or in keeping resentment. Success is in remembering your mission and acting relentlessly on your goals. With that kind of focus, with that kind of passion, even people who at first seemed opposed to your efforts may find themselves eventually strongly attracted to them. And if not, why not forgive them until they do? -- Doug Smith