Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Are goals like New Year's resolutions?

We have great intentions but often a goal or resolution is only a concept with no plan. Sometimes it is a goal that is so large it is overwhelming or unrealistic.

I had a goal to run every day this summer. I had no plan. I had no thinking around how to mitigate the risk of bad weather, achy tummies or working long hours. I was absolutely determined to run every day and that's as far as I got because it seemed like a reasonable, attainable goal with a few missed days notwithstanding.

At the end of each week, I reasserted my desire to run every day.

Here's what I should have done:
·         Decided what my minimum standard of running would be vs. declaring EVERY day a running day
·         Looked at possible risks/impediments and figured out mitigations
·         Evaluated at the end of each week if I met/exceeded my minimum steps towards my ultimate goal of a daily run

It's the same for all goals. I may say I'm going to clean my whole house this weekend but we all know that's not possible. What needs to be cleaned this weekend? How will I know I've achieved the minimum? How will I plan to eventually sweep through the whole house? What stands in my way of getting the house clean?

And – perhaps most importantly – how will I celebrate the steps I took along the way towards the bigger goal?

I think we love New Year's resolutions because we have a party at which we're celebrating our resolve.
Maybe it's time to add the celebrations at the week or month mark of the steps towards those big goals & intentions. Maybe it would motivate us to stay on track? To plan and evaluate better in order to reward ourselves along the way?

I know I'm running four days a week and I'm seeing improvements. I have a long-term goal but I'm very pleased with my progress and the steps along the way. I wish I'd approached some other goals the same way…

Monday, October 27, 2014

Governance can be fun!

If you were asked to make up a new swear word, how would you approach the challenge?

Like many, you might start by asking questions:
Why make one up?
Who is the audience?
When do you need it by?
Is there any funding?

All good questions but not necessarily in support of building a good swear word - or the right swear word.

This is where governance can help. Asking about and understanding the principles of a good swear word can support better ideation and execution. Principles are guidelines (though some are hard/fast rules too) that ensure the basic design principles are understood and can be effectively executed and consistently measured.

Governance, effectively applied, can speed the process instead of stalling it. Governance is not all artifacts and forms (which are a record of your application of the principles). Governance can help you imagine the next great swear word!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Do you apply for jobs you want or for which you are overtly qualified?

It's not an issue unique to women but we are the main audience for the message.

I was recently offered a chance to apply for a job.  I listened to the description at the meeting, immediately pointed out that I did not have what I perceived to be the core skill set (vs. asking what they saw as the main skills for success) and offered to send them more qualified candidates from my network.

<grin> They offered me the job any way.

Do we put more diligence against allowing ourselves to go for assignments we want than we do in being self-aware in other areas of life? e.g. as a parent, a spouse, a driver… all influential and important efforts too

What holds us back is often personal and unique, though collectively women don't apply as often for stretch positions. Why are we turning down jobs we haven't even been offered yet?  If we have the support and sponsorship of our communities, we should allow ourselves the reach.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mottos to live by

In email signatures, on posters, on post-it notes... mottos can make us laugh, think, groan or grow.

Having a philosophy and being able to articulate is part of being self-aware. But the small sayings and mottos that crop up in our profiles don't have to be a complete life-statement. Often, a line can provide an insight into how to approach a new(er) relationship by showing a shared belief, a thoughtful idea or simply a great sense of humour.

My latest one liner is: I'm here to comfort the disturbed and disturb comfortable.

Previous favourite lines - which can make great Twitter posts - have included:
- I'm the keeper of fingers in pies and poker of holes in dams
- Don't tell me where I'll land, show me how to fly this darn plane
- I'm proud to be upright and showered today

As ever, I'm indebted to Ray Bradbury for the line I've used my whole adult life: "Thrash them with licorice whips till they cry "mercy"!