Have you ever caught a glimmer of how wise and remarkable a person you truly are? The experience can be disorienting, upsetting, humbling or awe-inspiring. It shows up in your work, your play, your leadership, truly in all aspects of who you are. And yet, there is such temptation to downplay what skills, talents and values we bring with us.
Perhaps your distractions are really upriver
There were two men sitting by a river when they saw someone float by in the water thrashing and calling for help. One of the men jumped in and saved the person. Next thing they knew, another person floated by thrashing and screaming for help. Again, one of the men jumped in and saved this person as well. To their great surprise and consternation, more and more people coming down the river and needed help. After both men were catching their breath after saving these people, one man turned to the other and said, “We better get some help if more people come down the river.” The other man replied, “We better go upriver and see who is throwing them in.”
Loads of data to analyze and competing ideas to include in your business goals
It’s easy to get caught up in ideas or wishes of how we want things to be. There are so many priorities and distractions that we may forget to go upriver and see for ourselves. For yourself, you can use a Wheel of Life (WheelofLife PDF) which allows you to rate all aspects of your life. If you want to rate your performance as a leader of your business, you can use the Management/Leader Wheel (MgtLdrWheel PDF). These tools are great ways to get a snapshot of where you are in your life.
For your business, you can do a SWOT analysis, PESTEL analysis or pore over your financial statements with charts and graphs galore. And you should. Otherwise you may as well be shooting darts at balloons. The key thing with getting the right information is checking out what is real.
What does wisdom or trust have to do with it?
It doesn’t have to be any fancy woo-hoo stuff to be wise. Consider how many times you follow a “feeling” or trust your instincts. When you’re leading during times of great change or just facing a challenging set of circumstances, it isn’t always clear what is your best choice. If you have a team to help you design a strategic plan, you already have a separate set of eyes and ears to interpret data with you. However, you still have to trust yourself (and them) to steer the business in the “right” direction.
3 tips to access your wisdom while goal setting
1. Know what you do and don’t want. Sometimes it’s easier to identify what you don’t want. Negativity is easy. The more interesting list here is what you do want. Go on, what do you really want?
2. Your wisdom needs affirmation from hard cold evidence. When outside stuff challenges us, it stirs up our inside stuff. Make sure you include some way to measure the progress of your goals. If you plan on increasing your revenue by 25% by year’s end, write it down and check it regularly (quarterly is good). This will remind you that you know what you know.
3. Don’t go it alone. As the leader of your business (and your life), it’s a tough environment to do business in. It may be tempting to isolate or get busy with day to day stuff among other things. Use your team. They are an internal resource of your design. Having a confidant, mentor, coach or mastermind group can keep you in touch with your wisdom.
So, what’s up your river?
What suggestions do you have for accessing your wisdom when setting goals for your business?
*Join us on the Twitter chat, #kaizenblog this Friday, January 6th at 12pm ET/5pm GMT/9am PT as we have our 2nd annual Goal Setting Convo. We’ll be exploring the topic of goal setting and declaring our top 2012 goals to one another.