Helping people improve. That’s my job. But how do you get better? Let’s take a look at three basic strategies that work in sports and on the job.
Assess Where You Are
I’m always interested by the circumstances of my sports training. I pay attention to fluctuations of energy, conditions, and timing. Is it recuperation time after two marathons? What is my body calling for? I have to look at the whole year and know when I’m going to train and push hard and when I need to slow down and recuperate. If you have ever failed to achieve a goal, you know you may have needed to do something different but you may not know what that something is.
So the first step in getting better is to stop and assess where you are. If you lead an organization, you might ask: What is the zeitgeist of the time? What is the organization facing externally and internally? What does it mean for me and for others? Where do I need to focus in the coming year?
Select Meaningful Training
With these new insights and understanding, you will be able to choose the right goals for yourself and how you will get there. I did not get in the lottery of the Chesapeake Bay swim this year. Instead, will I tackle an Olympic triathlon this year? How do I get ready for it? Is this a year dedicated to form? To endurance?
Atheletes often drill, repeating certain movements again and again to improve. In business, too, you must train. If you want to be an effective leader, what skills must you practice again and again? In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talked about needing 10,000 hours of practice to develop mastery. Mastery isn’t only a matter of practice, but it’s an important piece. Then measure your progress. The more you practice, the better you get.
Challenge Yourself By Moving the Bar
Climbing higher, always climbing. If you want to maximize your potential, you must continually reset the bar. After all, once you achieve a goal, it’s done. You can plateau or set a new goal. The clients I coach usually focus on 3 goals at a time. They also revise their goals once met and look forward to seeing what might be their next level goals. Leaders help their direct reports do the same. Every year is different because every year the context changes. My clients change, their circumstances change, sometimes their supervisor or peers change, and many times the company changes. All of this affects the goals for the year.
Our world is changing at such a rapid pace that we must continually cycle through this process of assessing where we are and what matters. What goal is next for you? What skills must you develop to get there? Once you’ve achieved mastery and attained the goal, how do you challenge yourself? If you are ready in 2019 to keep learning, growing, and deepening your leadership, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org visit my website at www.desormeauxconsulting.com.