People with goals achieve more and are more successful — a lot more successful — than peers without them, whether they’re scientists, students, or corporate execs. Organizations whose employees are actively engaged in goal achievement have 3x greater operating margins in any given year than companies with lower engagement levels.
Leadership is a personal quality and behavior, not a role or title. And it’s an increasingly important capability in large enterprise as distance between people increases. In addition to physical distance between people, there is an even more fundamental and growing gap between people and their jobs and goals. While it’s always been important for senior managers and executives to lead, it’s never been more important for front line managers to do so.
During this time of year, it is traditional to reset personal goals and dream up new ones: What do you want to accomplish? What steps and actions will you take to achieve your goals? How do you want to engage with team members and colleagues? Use this free weekly framework for building new leadership habits to achieve your goals.
Work stresses people out — fear of failing, pressure to achieve, having to reply on others for our own success, overload, self-doubt and more. These 4 tips can help you achieve more success and keep your balance, even when things get stressful!
The formula for achieving goals is straightforward: apply team, time and budget to the specific work needed to reach the right results. Very successful people achieve goals faster and with fewer resources than peers; their execution velocity is high, which raises their career velocity. Their capacity to execute is focused on achieving clear goals so they need less time or resources to get from point A to point B; great business and career results follow.
Over 70% of employees think their performance would improve with more feedback and the vast majority say that recognition is more rewarding than cash. This presents a tremendous opportunity for both managers and team members. While feedback on what we do well is gratifying, feedback on what we can do better helps us improve — it’s an essential ingredient in career growth.
Work can push all our stress buttons: the need to achieve, fear of failing, reliance on others for our own success, overload, self-doubt and more. Ironically, how we respond to these stressors has a direct impact on our success and failure. When we react reflexively, the impact of our actions is often worse than the initial stress trigger. And while too much stress isn’t good, the sensation of stress is an important business signal — it can help us identify what needs our attention.
It’s Friday and you’ve probably had a long week and a long day. Maybe you're ready to call it a week or you're bogged down in how much work you're going to take home for the weekend. Either way, NOW is the perfect time to experience gratitude. It’s the ultimate win/win: we feel great when we experience gratitude and, when we share it, other people feel great too.
What do the US, Canada and Lithuania have in common? We all celebrate Boss’s Day, according to Wikipedia and Hallmark anyway. So managers, cheers to you! Study after study has shown that when you’re great at your job it turns into high employee engagement, which in turn leads to higher profits, better customer service, and happier and healthier employees.
Can you be a leader and an entrepreneur? In this interview, Dr. Maryann Baumgarten of Lit Up Leadership asks how Workboard CEO Deidre Paknad has built success as both, and how you can too.
At your next set of performance reviews, what are you going to talk about with your employees? You may discuss what goals were met, next year’s objectives, or where their performance needs improvement. But new research suggests that more than fixing flaws, managers should be concerned with building on strengths.
Millennials are the first generation in history to be blessed with instantly-accessible information. An unprecedented one third of those aged 20 to 29 have graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Reading about world catastrophes, Millennials grew up believing in the power of their own volition and mistrusting people in power (only 19% of Gen Y believes others can be trusted, compared to 40% of boomers, according to a Pew Research Study).
Ask most executives and managers if they are great leaders and you’ll hear, “No, but I have every intention of becoming one!” Aligning time, skills and effort to the intention to build leadership skill and capacity is not easy, but it is more important than ever.
Two-thirds of corporate recruiters say their organization has a difficult time managing millennials and a similar number of executives give millennials low grades for work preparedness according to Deloitte – alarming because they comprise a third of the workforce. While it’s common to call them out as "different" or "difficult", they may not be either of those things.
Two days before Yolanda’s performance review, she sent a 26-page PowerPoint deck intended to summarize her accomplishments for the year. She’d clearly spent hours on the deck, perhaps more than a day packaging and positioning accomplishments. She’d even asked four colleagues to write emails lobbying for her promotion. Although she’d only been on my marketing and strategy team for 18 months, Yolanda had been in the same role at the same level for more than 5 years.
Stephanie Leffler, the dynamic, mission-driven CEO of CrowdSource, carefully controls where her time goes. For years, she’s kept a thorough action item list against her goals and priorities and keeps her old lists — in fact, she looks back at them to see where she spent her time and assess whether time spent produced value for the organization.
High performing teams seem to generate their own energy and elevate everyone on the team to their full potential. Despite achieving more, work on these teams seems less taxing, the workday shorter and less frustrating. In contrast, low performing teams are plagued by dysfunction and produce more frustration than progress.
There is nothing quite like the sensation and satisfaction of being on a high performing team. I’ve had this luck and pleasure a number of times in my career, but it’s rarer than I’d like. High performing teams seem to generate their own energy and elevate everyone on the team to their full potential.
It's a great time to self-assess accomplishments on last quarter's goals and double down for great execution the rest of the year. Beware three behaviors that undermine goal achievement: 1) too many goals to come anywhere close to achievement, 2) too little attention to goals after they're set, and 3) inability to compare the value of goals set with new requests and opportunities that arise.
In a particularly creative working session with a young product designer, we arrived at what seemed like a terrific idea with a novel implementation. We’d had one of those brainstorms where ideas built naturally on each other and with them, momentum to a conclusion. We quickly “locked and loaded” on our result and she set off to detail it for development. Luckily, it was a Friday and the weekend created a natural simmering period.
There is a tremendous engagement and execution gap in companies today. According to Gallup, only 13% of employees are actively engaged in their work ; 60% of employees don’t understand their organization’s goals and priorities and just 10% of executives sustainably achieve those goals according to Bain & Company’s Chris Zook. In fact, disengaged employees may actively undermine the value created and customers acquired by their more engaged peers – whom they far outnumber.
There is a lot of discussion about productivity, but I’ve always preferred the term velocity. I’ve found that my velocity to goal determines my career velocity. By that I mean the speed and efficiency with which I achieve my goals determines the speed and degree of career growth I experience. If I use half the time and half the people, capital and other resources to achieve the goal as planned or as a peer, there will be career reward and recognition. And of course, the reverse is also true … taking twice the time and resources is bad for you and the company!
In many ways, setting goals is similar to dreaming of success – goals are desired outcomes. But achieving goals (and with them, success) is infinitely harder and more complex. While many things on the road to success are beyond your control, how you apply your energy toward success is something you have a great deal of control over. Consider these four tips for using your energy and capacity to achieve greater professional success.
While annual planning and performance reviews are very structured processes, most organizations don’t have structured models for managing execution and goal achievement between plan and review. How are your planned outcomes versus actuals monitored week over week and how much does your approach vary over the course of the year? Without a consistent execution framework, it’s easy to lose time and hard to achieve ambitious goals.
In my first job out of college, a senior VP – a man I admired – would occasionally come by my desk at the end of the day and say, “Hey kid, you want an opportunity to excel?” In fact, there wasn’t anything I wanted more than that! These opportunities were special projects outside of my normal responsibilities; I always jumped at the chance to learn, build skills and get guidance from him.
It's a good time to consider our roles as managers in helping people achieve their potential. In addition to assessing what they've done, take the time to consider what you've done — and can do — to help them achieve what they might. Excellence requires opportunity for it as does skill building; this is one of the greatest gifts you can give people. Use these three tips to cultivate high team performance and create opportunity.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of conversations with leaders on goal achievement. Some of the discussions are triggered by their goal setting efforts for Q2 and the realization that it’s been far too long since they looked at or assessed progress against their Q1 goals. They and their teams have been working hard, but they’re deeply concerned about what everyone is actually working on…. And whether that will matter in the scheme of what they want to accomplish this year.
On its face, this is a ridiculously high standard, but in practice it’s the most rewarding and resilient way to build a business. Working with and for customers that love your company — rather than hate it or couldn’t care less — is simply a more satisfying way to spend the 60% of your adult life that is work. When they're crazy about you, they’re generous with ideas, perspectives, praise, and referrals. They’re resilient when you come up short (as you surely will) because one problem rarely empties a deep well of crazy love.
Our verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar. Try these three magic words to im-prove communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity.
Time is the greatest lever we have to achieve business goals, yet most leaders don’t measure how it’s spent or manage it as scarce capacity. When time is viewed as an infinite resource, it sets up employee engagement challenges and fatigued thinking. This week, give closer attention and intention to how you leverage time with these 3 practices.
We all know failure isn’t the end of the world, but it is not easy to embrace. Without clear thinking, fear of failure and failure itself can undermine our leadership styles, performance, judgment and even our happiness. Here are three tips for embracing fear and failure and getting value from them.
Objectives and Key Results or OKRs have helped hyper-growth Internet companies like Google achieve phenomenal success. They combine ambitious, qualitative goals and quantitative success measures with weekly execution and accountability cadence. When teams institutionalize OKRs, they enjoy clarity of purpose, fast-paced progress, and can achieve game-changing results. Use OKRs to embolden your goals, define how success is measured and achieve execution excellence.
Congratulations, you’re a manager! Your performance, hard work, and commitment made you great at your job, but now your job is managing a team. Rather than relying on yourself, you’ll need to work with and through your team coordinating, prioritizing and delegating work to achieve results. You will need to articulate strategic and team goals as well as ensure your team completes its deliverables.
It's goal setting time and many of us are also self-assessing accomplishments against last quarter's goals. Q1 can be a hard quarter, but there are two things that exacerbate that: 1) too many goals to come anywhere close to achievement and 2) too little attention to goals after they're set. A lot of readers have shared how hard it is to keep goals visible week over week and how seldom they review goals once set. After a few quarters, this cycle makes the goal-setting process seem fruitless and work less fulfilling. Achieve more next quarter with these 3 tactics.
Author and blogger Michael Hyatt recently released a podcast on "How to Discern Your Calling." Hyatt lays out three essential ingredients that turn a person’s vocation into their calling. You must love what you do, you must be talented at what you do, and you must be able to make a living doing it. His definition is spot on, but predicting the place where your passion, proficiency, and profitability intersect is no easy task.
Long before texting brought us LOL, BTW, CU, and TTYL, organizations used acronyms as communication short cuts. Unlike the text substitutes for benign greetings, laughs and sign offs, corporate acronyms tend to substitute for the fundamentals: Names of products, initiatives and departments. The very essence of “who, what and why” in business! Although organizations use acronyms to speed up communication, here are three ways they undermine it and how to break the habit.