The work you do every day as a leader matters and it impacts all of your stakeholders, for better or for worse. Besides having performance goals raised every year, creating high performing teams, recruiting and grooming new talent, all while growing the bottom line – you’re also asked to have high emotional intelligence and social skills! Oh, and let’s not forget the important requests coming from your life outside of work.
The intensity and demands my clients face while striving to deliver excellence and accomplish their goals is not for the weak of heart! Being a leader requires a commitment to the vision, aligning the team with the mission and championing execution of the strategies required to achieve the company’s and your own goals. Anyone who says business is not personal is – in my experience – completely disconnected from reality. In 20 years of coaching high performing executives in financial services companies, key partners of top law firms, and leaders within high growth companies, I can share stories from every one of the 1000’s of leaders I’ve coached about just how personal business can be (but I won’t, because it’s confidential). I have been witness to anger over broken promises about upcoming job promotions, distress over a valued employee’s betrayal, frustration over getting close but missing a goal that would have delivered a team bonus, dread about difficult reorganization choices, and the list goes on. On the flip side, I’ve seen immeasurable joy while celebrating hard-earned team wins, immense pride resulting from coaching individual contributors into high performing teams and the ultimate reward of being known and recognized as the leader that everyone wants to be on their team, just to name a few.
Here’s what I’ve found…all high performers want to achieve their own and the goals of their stakeholders. They plan on accomplishing this in two ways 1) sheer will 2) by bringing the best version of themselves to the workplace and also at home 3) putting winning systems and processes in place. As Charles E. Hummel famously pointed out, the biggest challenge leaders face is letting the ‘tyranny of urgent things crowd out what is truly important’. You know what I’m talking about, unexpected fires to put out, people continuously asking if you’ve “got a minute”, a long to-do list not sorted by priority/importance/deadline, endless unproductive meetings popping into your calendar and only so many hours in a day. Without a system, the tyranny of the urgent can stealthily overwhelm even the most focused, committed and vigilant leader.
That is where Goal Guardrails come in. Goal Guardrails is a bonus included in my Blueprint for High Performing Leaders program. In 4 simple steps, the Goal Guardrails formula will help you quickly identify, and actively manage your goals in order to keep yourself and your team on track to achieve your best selves and year.
Here are the basic tenets of my Goal Guardrails plan:
- Get clear and specific on what you want to achieve in your personal and professional life. Write it down! Only 4% of the American population has goals and write them down. Just 1% look at those written goals daily.
- Identify what is most important to you about each goal. Why does it matter? Why bother putting in the extra effort? Getting clear on the “why” sets you apart from everyone else and your team ahead of the competition.
- Get an accountability partner and plan to meet regularly to review progress on your goals. Research from The American Society of Training and Development (ATD) showed that team members who shared their goals with someone on the team achieved 95% of their goals!
- Set up your environment to support your success and new habits. Put in place specific support systems that make it easy to do what is required for you to stay on track and accomplish your professional and personal best. Don’t leave your ideal future in the hands of sheer will power, it’s been proven time and again to be a terrible strategy!
Today on the Leadership Journey Podcast we dive into each of these four Guardrails, why they matter and what you can do to make them work for you. Listen today to get started – you will accomplish so much more personally and professionally than if you leave your goals and dreams to chance!