The profound and prolific Stephen Covey said it best, but how many of us follow his simple suggestion? Whether it’s business or personal, can we “get there” if we don’t know where “there” is? Can you get to any new travel destination without your GPS or some form of direction? When you get out of bed every morning, how do you start your day? Of course you have your regular morning routine, and then it’s off to or into the office, with many working remotely these days. But where are you going, and how are you getting there? Do you wake up at 64 and say “I’m retiring next year, better get started on that game plan for life after 65”? While my comments seem like simple common sense, how many of us can answer all these questions in the affirmative?
Why is it that we go through life on autopilot, dodging the proverbial bullets life throws at us every single day without a clue how to safeguard ourselves, our families and our associates against them? Would you bake a cake, build a house, buy a suit or groceries without knowing what to look for, what you want and need? And yet we muddle through life-altering, earth-shattering, course-changing decisions every day. We send our children to school, our sales force and administrative teams out in the field, without any sense of direction or intended long-term goals. We live for and in the moment.
In his bestselling 2007 book, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” Marshall Goldsmith describes how successful people become more successful. The wisdom imparted can be applied to personal growth as well as professional growth. How much more effective would you be if you broke down your goals into daily, weekly, monthly, yearly increments? How much more focused, productive, happy, and grounded (not to mention less anxious) would your associates and family be if they not only knew what was expected of them but were armed with the specific tools to get them there?
There is no magic here. It is, like anything else, a process. Let me give that process so you can get started now, today, tonight – tomorrow at the latest! Have that family or employee meeting to say “here’s what we’re doing, and this is your role.” Everyone gets their job with clear-cut direction, expectations and measures of accountability. I discuss this in my “Who’s On Your Team” talk. Play to your strengths and delegate your weaknesses to someone on the team for whom they are strengths. GE Legend Jack Welch says in his Big Six, “Don’t manage, lead.” If you follow these simple rules, I guarantee your success. Your associates and family will be less anxious and more productive if they are not wasting time trying to read your mind! Do it now and watch the results lower your blood pressure and increase your bottom line, whatever that might be!
To your Success and everyone else’s peace of mind!