Thursday, December 31, 2009

3 Simple Questions to ask in preparing for 2010

As 2009 comes down to the wire, I hope that you have had a chance to reflect on the past year.  I have enjoyed reading some other blogs about preparing for 2010 so I felt compelled to share my own preparation techniques.  This technique doesn't just work for New Year's goals or resolutions, but solving many problems you may face.  This is a tool introduced to me by my coach, Raymond Gleason of Building Champions.

To achieve the new goals you set, I ask myself the following 3 questions, in this order:
1)  What do I need to KEEP doing? - What are those things that you have done that have worked?  Be as specific as you can.
2)  What do I need to START doing? - Maybe there is something missing from your process that you need to add.  Again, be specific.  If you have a goal to lse weight, it doesn't help to say that "I need to start eating better."  It might be better to say: "I need to start packing my lunch three days a week to reduce fast food intake."
3)  What do I need to STOP doing? - Maybe the most important question to answer.  Because we only have 24 hours in a day, if we want to START doing things and don't STOP doing things, then we will become overwhelmed and likely not succeed.  Our KEEPs will suffer and our STARTs will be ineffective.  So, what are those things you need to STOP doing (even though they may be good things) so that you can achieve your goals.  The Law of Sacrifice says it best:  "You have to give up (STOP) to go up (Achieve goals)"

KEEP, START, STOP - It really is simple...and effective.

So, what are you going to KEEP, START, and STOP doing to go higher in 2010?

I wish you all the best in 2010.  I hope that this blog continues to add value to your life.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How are a Gas Balloon and Leadership alike?

I have been wanting to write about this for a while.  I recall sitting in my office early this year and drawing on a napkin a picture of a helium balloon with the sandbags on the side.  The science of a gas balloon is such that to fly higher," the pilot throws out ballast—like sand (sandbags)or water".  The picture for me included the sandbags on the side of the balloon.

To me, this science is very similar to a leader's desire to 'fly higher'.  While gas balloons need to let go of some of the weight (sandbags) to fly higher, so must leaders.  I know that there are many times I allow 'sandbags' to keep me from flying higher.  These manifest themselves in some of the weaknesses recently pointed out to me by my friends when I asked them directly for feedback:

1.  Creates self imposed limitations due to historical situations.
2.  Expecting too little of others
3.  Can get seduced by the "good guy" and lose sight of the impact on the overall vision
4.  Allowing others to take advantage of my time and my desire to help them succeed.
5.  Unjustified lack of self confidence

These self-imposed sandbags are ones that I vow to 'let go of' so that I may 'fly higher' in 2010 as a leader and so that I can have an even more powerful impact on those around me.  I would expect that my choices (and my blogging) in 2010 will support this desire.  I encourage you to ask me and challenge me on how I am doing with this goal. 

So, what are YOUR 'sandbags' that you carry around that keep you from flying higher?