This three-part series looks at the ins and outs of setting goals.
- Part 1: Start at the end and you can get anywhere
- Part 2: S.M.A.R.T. goals get finished first
- Part 3: The goal is to have one
My coaching client came to me with what she deemed a huge problem: Her corporate execs believe their events are not providing enough ROI and are wondering whether meetings are a good use of funds. She’s afraid her job might be eliminated.
A colleague is developing a new product and trying to narrow down the endless list of options for where to sell it. She’s paralyzed by the scope of choices. She told me she needs more time before going to market.
A friend is redoing her store’s decor. She just decided to delay the grand reopening because she’s behind schedule. She can’t decide what colors to use, what decor to choose and what kind of “vibe” to create. She has spent hours with designers looking at paint and fabric swatches and, after three weeks of searching, has gotten nowhere. The more research she does, the more confused she becomes.
These scenarios might seem disparate, but each person has the same problem with the same solution. Chances are, whatever your largest obstacle is right now, you, too, have the same problem needing a solution.
Challenges tend to stem from not having a goal or having a goal without a well-defined action plan. Everything you do is done to achieve a goal. Even mundane tasks are goal-driven: Each time you put gas in your car, you’re achieving a goal. So, why do we forget this essential step when tackling substantial issues?
We become fixated on obstacles and lose sight of why we started the journey. That creates inertia, confusion, frustration and self-doubt. All too many of us give up, thinking the problem is insurmountable. The reality is the problem isn’t actually the problem. The problem is that our focus is on the wrong thing.
Identifying the true goal is the first step to success. Doing that is sometimes more challenging than we think. We often oversimplify or overcomplicate process.
Oversimplifying: You’re drowning at work, putting in late nights and weekend hours. You can’t work harder, but you simply can’t get it all done. You’re exhausted and frustrated. The solution is an assistant, right?
Maybe not. Further analysis may reveal that you’re a terrible delegater. You may feel out of control when you aren’t in charge of the entire process, which is unrealistic, bad for the team morale and can diminish the final product. Or perhaps you fall into the ‘It’s faster to do it myself than show someone what I want done” syndrome. That’s a never-ending cycle that only you can change.
If you’re focused on the symptom (exhaustion from all the hours you’re working), you may be unhappy at work, exhausted and short-tempered, resentful and ready to demand a larger staff. Shift your focus to learning the art of delegating and suddenly things change. Not only do you have more time and a happier team, you’ve let go of the self-induced and misplaced work frustration.
The bottom line: Nothing works without a plan. As event PLANNERS we’re expected to have a plan. Event STRATEGISTS always start at the end, and build from there. Want to learn how to do that, too? Wednesday’s column will show you how.
Let’s continue the conversation. Please leave your comments, questions and concerns in the box below and/or find me at @SMEChristy or at firstname.lastname@example.org