Conway Daily Sun, January 9, 2012
By Michael Kline
In our last column of 2011, we talked about four ideas behind making 2012 the best year it can be. Almost half of the first month is already over, so how’s it going so far?
Don’t beat yourself up too much. Yet. We have more than 11 ½ months left to get something done! Perhaps we make it sound too simple when we write these end-of-year articles with tips for a better new year. Real life requires far more than can be written in a quick-tips column, but that’s why they’re called tips. They aren’t the complete, everything you need to know and do answer book, they’re just tips. Your job, if you want to achieve your goals, is to figure out how to implement them in your real life.
My four top tips were about what to do, how to do it, cash flow and having the right people. Basically, to make sure you have the right people doing the right things and being able to afford to do them.
I bet you have lots of goals. You’ve probably done the work of clarifying your goals and putting them in writing. I’m willing to bet you have the talent to do what you need to do and you probably know what you should be doing. Assuming you have the cash to do these things, why are you not achieving every personal goal or fantasy you have?
The big missing element would be follow-through. Most people who are creative enough to get this far in goal setting, scheming and planning, often lack the self-discipline to stick to their plan and do the hard work of executing their plan. Or, they rely on others to do the work to their high expectations, and fail to get the results they want from others. This is called failure to execute and it’s not pretty.
Fortunately, “failure to execute” is curable. The cure involves three-pronged approach of goals, data and rhythm. First, you and everyone around you must clearly understand your top priority. We call this focus and alignment and we have lots of tricks for achieving it. Next, we need to know what metrics matter most – how do you measure progress? What are the indicators of trouble? What do we monitor and strive for? This is the data element on which all eyes concentrate. Thirdly, you need a rhythm to keep the energy and discipline going. We teach that your strategic plan is written annually, modified quarterly, monitored weekly and pulsed daily. Never, should you have a work day where you don’t know what you should be doing. Using this formula properly can drive your productivity to levels you’ve never experienced before. This can be an exhilarating and scary ride and is not for the faint of heart. Many people need to work for someone else to be this productive. When working for oneself, there is no outside accountability to which we must answer. All the brains and all the planning in the world won’t help without the commitment and accountability to the system that drives success. I dare you to ask me how to create the accountability – go ahead, just ask me!