Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them. – Jack Canfield
I learn something from every person I meet. Nobody has all the answers, but many people have different pieces of the answer. Here are two quotes or aphorisms…I don’t know the source of either quote:
Perfect is the enemy of good.
F. O. C. U. S. means Free Of Clutter and Unnecessary Stuff.
Wise ideas. Leaders constantly struggle with getting things done. One dynamic is spending too much time perfecting strategy before acting on that strategy. One truth discovered by Napoleon Hill when interviewing great leaders and defining common traits in Think and Grow Rich is the ability to define a specific outcome and to move toward that outcome immediately without having the perfect plan. There’s a tension between enough planning and too much time planning. Knowing the difference is the wisdom of leadership.
Additionally, leaders struggle with multiple tasks and typically have too much to accomplish in a defined period of time. Envisioning an outcome does not mean that it should be pursued. Once a priority of outcomes is established, then it’s important to lay down the “railroad tracks” to the end result. Staying on track depends on having track, so to speak. Create the pathway (track) and then develop the discipline to keep on track.
Here are specific accountabilities for creating tangible outcomes:
- Define the Long-Term Objective: Develop a statement that defines the business, personal life, or other enterprise at the end of 3 – 5 years. Define the situation in specific and measurable terms and express it in the present tense. Back to the research of Napoleon Hill…he found that successful leaders were able to define their purpose. Having too many of these statements can create conflict in strategy. Too many options is a challenge for any leader. I suggest combining all desired outcomes under three umbrella statements. Typically, these can be grouped under topics such as Financial, Systems, and Products and Services. Additionally, the leader might have a personal objective that will empower these organizational objectives.
- Create Short-Term Goals: Break down the long-term objective into what can be achieved in one year or less. This is in incremental steps to the major purpose (objective).
- Identify Monthly Milestones: Life happens in 30-day increments (bills are due, financial reports are processed, etc.) so setting monthly measurements is important.
- Build Action Plans: If there are others, then create these plans with the team. When the team is a part of creating the tasks and agreeing to accomplish them, it means that they own the plan. Define the task, responsible person, and critical dates (start date, action date, completion date, etc.). Define weekly completions during the month.
- Implement Daily DVDs: Daily Valuable Deliverables are daily “to-dos” with purpose. These are not activities. These are deliverables – completed tasks. Identify 3 deliverables for each day. This provides 15 completions weekly and 60 completions each month. Ensure that the daily deliverables can be accomplished the day scheduled. If the task is on the calendar, then it must be completed. Make sure that these items are doable. These are merely “baby steps.”
Success depends on measurable results. Have an accountability partner, coach, or mastermind group for support.
The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM
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