Recently I was listening to an interview with a college football player; he had led his team to a big win over a long-standing rival. His school had now beaten that rival for eleven straight years. When asked why he thought his team had such a dominant record over their rival, his response was that they prepare for that game all year, that they were already preparing for next year’s game.
As someone who coaches executives in “winning the game” they are playing in business, I was reminded of the coaching we give our clients, that all results are a product of action. In this current period of uncertainty, you might feel paralyzed, unsure of what action to take, your normal accountabilities and routines disrupted. However, it has never been more critical to take action every single day to ensure your business will not only survive but recover from the crisis stronger and bolder.
What would happen if people acted on their goals every day or every week? How often do some goals go unnoticed or suffer from a lack of action until your quarterly review is approaching? If you are acting regularly, how often do you stop and reflect on whether the actions you are taking are the right actions, or are you being effective in your actions? How often do you create a game plan of action and regularly adjust that game plan to be sure you achieve the result(s) you are accountable for in your goals?
Creating and following a game plan leaves you in the driver’s seat of achieving your goals. As we settle into our new normal for an unforeseeable amount of time, set aside a moment to create your game plan to develop goals that will have a powerful impact on the current situation. Include in them these elements:
- Specific and Measurable: Make sure your goals are clear, specific, and measurable. How would you know you were successful in achieving that goal?
- Timeline: Set specific time-bound milestones, quarterly or even monthly, that will tell you if you are on track to reach your goal.
- Foundational Elements: Do you need to study, learn, or practice a new process or skill to achieve your goal? Do you need to get the alignment of others in order for you to deliver on your goal?
- Predicting Barriers: Knowing what you know about yourself, your team and your organization what barriers can you predict right now? What might get in your way of achieving your milestones and keeping you on track? Be sure to include actions to remove the barriers in your plan.
- Action Plan: Following the wisdom of that college quarterback, what will you do every day or every week to ensure your success? If someone was to observe you being successful this year, what would they see you doing?
This work can be done at any time, so whatever you or your organization is dealing with at the moment, stop and create and implement a game plan. Looking forward to hearing what your ‘big game’ is during this period and what actions you took to achieve it.