Management Lessons

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If you would create something, you must be something. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ● A Jason Caldarera website

Achieving Success by Writing It Down

One of the most important lessons I ever learned in life was to achieve success by writing it down—writing down whatever I wanted to achieve.  It’s very similar to the lessons you hear in the technique of envisioning your success.  With most of these “vision” styles you learn to make a goal a reality by seeing it being accomplished.  If you want to lose weight, begin with a vision of yourself the way you want to be; see yourself in that pair of jeans that just won’t fit or walking on the beach proud of your success. 

Writing it down takes the concept of starting with the end in mind and adds the frame work of accountability.   

For instance, if your goal is see an assistant manager promoted to an associate or store manager, write it down: “Sally Q. Manager will be promoted/promotable by March 1, 2008.”  Now you have a focus or an idea of the “big picture”.  I see every goal as the reward at the top of flight of stairs.  Once we climb those stairs, we achieve our goal.  And we to be successful we don’t simply write down what is at the top of those stairs, we must also write down what each of those stairs represents.  Every step gets us that much closer to the top or the accomplished goal.  And each step, to be most efficient, must be taken one at a time.  Don’t skip a step; just follow them to the top. 

So then you have to ask yourself, “What does Sally need to do in order to be considered promotable?”  These answers are your steps.  Make steps actionable and measurable.  Broad generalizations such as “show a level of competence” in a subject matter are not your best bet.  How will Sally show you she’s achieved this competence?  What measurable action can Sally perform that will show you her competence?  With every step of your plan, every stair to the goal, you must ask yourself “is this something I can quantify? Can I explain to Sally how she will show me she’s achieved this task?”  If you cannot easily answer this then your goal, your step isn’t a good one.  To set Sally up for success she must know what is expected and how to achieve what is expected; she needs to know what accomplishing this step will look like. 

Once you have this on paper you have a vision of the accomplished goal, you have the framework to achieve it, and you have steps that allow you to not only hold Sally accountable but hold yourself accountable.  You will have a better idea of how to determine if Sally is on track if you’ve already planned how she will get there. 

This idea has many options.  I myself set a goal to finish 2007 with $0 in credit card debt.  I started with the realization that I could achieve this goal.  Then I set mile markers or steps that will not only get me to my goal, but also give me an opportunity to celebrate smaller successes along the way.

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Filed under: Business, Inspiration, Life, Management Lesson, Motivation, News, training

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