For many people, the reason why they can’t seem to realise their dreams and goals is a lack of effectiveness. It is not the lack of goals that is the problem.

Wishful thinking is only for Christmas

What is missing is specifying the goal, making it precise, to think it through, letting it sinking into your awareness and your subconscious. That’s why many people stay with wishful thinking instead of setting goals. Whenever you hear yourself thinking or saying “I wish…”,change that into “I will…”. Don’t stop there. Explain why you will achieve this or that. You can find one that in a blog posting number 5 – find out what you really want and how to achieve it. In this posting will focus on making things happen.

Build on key strengths– or: why it is not effective to fix weaknesses

Know thyself is the core message here. Far too many people try to eliminate their weaknesses, which is not very effective. Rather they should know and use their key strengths and at the same time find a way to manage their weaknesses. You want to build up a retail chain, and you know that you are very good at dealing with customers, but not necessarily with figuring out the numbers. Because he knows that, he finds someone – a friend, a former colleague, for instance – who is particularly good with numbers and Excel sheets. So she delegates the task of creating reports – on key topics that she will still define – to that selected person. She will return the favour by, say, helping that person with his sales efforts. The friend or former colleague will be highly motivated, because it is his patch. The leader’s weakness is effectively managed through delegation, and the overall results will be far better. With Peter Drucker : to make sure that your plans are built on your key strengths – and not on your weaknesses. The latter should be managed, so they become irrelevant.

Sometimes it’s better to take it the other way round

If you have problems to define your goals, sometimes it’s better to take it the other way round. Try to think what you want to avoid. Try to think what you don’t want. Peel it off like an onion, and the core that will be left is what you want to do. Try to envision the goal: What will it be like, what will it feel like to have achieved that goal? What is your reward? For creative minds, sometimes it helps to draw a little bit. Paint a picture about what it is going to be like. From there, try to deduct but will lead you there. What kind of resources what kind of support do you need? Define the main steps to go there – these are your milestones. Then drill down into more detail activities. You can find further details on the main blog topic “4. Become more effective and make your plans happen”.

You have all the time in the world

Particularly, if your goal is require a longer effort, you will be dealing with project management. A lot of tasks will be required that may be depending on each other. In this situation, it is vital not to focus on time management, but rather on priorities stop before you work out how to complete a task in the most efficient way, first ask yourself: what are the main steps, the milestones that I need to achieve in order to complete this project successfully, how can I make it happen?

For what and from whom do I need I need support? How can I communicate in the most effective way with the ones who are supporting me? Who do I need to involve and how can I do that? If you are selective with the key steps to make, and diligently work out how you proceed with them, then time will not be the big issue that it often is. However, time will inevitably run out before reaching the goal line, if you did not take the time in the beginning to plan properly. But be careful: don’t think too much as outlined before. Not the point when to act. You do have all the time in the world – if you plan properly ahead and set clear priorities.

Seeing is not believing

Don’t be surprised, if many people we were in touch with will not be over enthusiastic about your plans. In fact, be very careful and selective whom you share your plans with. Why? Very easy: how can others know what’s going on in your mind? If you share your project plans, your goals, your ideas… how could others possibly share your enthusiasm? They are not in your shoes – always remember that. Having said that, more often than not you will notice that many people will ask for “evidence”. There will be asking you for results you have already achieved, for anything that they can actually see – even in a virtual way. Some magazines suggests, for instance, that if you want to go abroad that you should “ask around” who has made what kind of experience and then make a decision for yourself. What nonsense! In instead of orienting to yourself outwards, asking other people, rather go inward: ask yourself seriously whether you believe that this goal is worth all the effort. Whether you believe that you can achieve it. Write it down. And when the going gets tough, check back on your notes and remind yourself why you are doing this and why indeed you can achieve it. If you don’t believe in yourself – who can?

I will elaborate further on this main topic further in the following blog postings of this series. If you are interested, please do feel free to register to our executive education series.

Would you like further information? Do you have questions or suggestions? We look forward to your call, email or letter. You can contact us via the following methods:

Jens Moeller Consulting Ltd.
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