ANDY MOUNCEY, Speaker, The Academy for Chief Executives:
Ladies and gentlemen, in my world, when we're talking about goals, we don't talk about smart goals, we talk about goals that really grab you. You got to really, really want them.
And the reason we do that is this: because training, practice, preparation, that's all pretty task-orientated and physical stuff. But performance - the motivation and the skills to step up and deliver for ourselves and the people we serve - that's emotional.
If performance is emotional then the difference is how we feel. Now the only question that's worth an answer is this: how then, do we choose, plan and design, to feel how we need to feel in order to do what it is is we want to do?
A starting point is to set goals that really grab you.
The first feature, the first part of it, the first characteristic is: we write it in the future or present tense. In other words, we imagine what it's going to be like when we get there, or we put ourselves into the future present where we're already successful.
The second component is the 'don't think of the blue tree' rule, or the pink crocodile, or the black fishnets or the green helicopter or the spotty elephant.
So again, we write it the way that we want it. We think it the way that we want it. We imagine it the way that we want it. Positive generative.
The third component, it's got to be big and scary, it's got to be challenging, it's got to be stretching because we all know the route the personal pride is through being challenged or stretched.
The fourth component is that there's got to be a bunch of words and phrases relating to specific measurable outcomes. There's also got to be words and phrases relating to the quality of the journey. Because in my world, ladies in gentlemen, you can have your cake and eat it.
There is also lots and lots of goals on lots of multiple levels. There's always something to go for, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, Plan E, Plan F - all equally compelling so if we do get caught in a cul-de-sac or a blind alley, there's still something else to hang your hat on.
It's got to come from the heart. It's got to matter, it's got to mean something, it's got to be personal. Which is a real issue when we are in an employee role and we get given somebody else's targets or we inherit somebody else's goals. How do we make somebody else's stuff matter to us?
Final two elements: We need to have the answer to the question: 'Why am I doing this?' Why am I in this role? Why am I setting this goal? Why oh why oh why? Because when it gets tough and interesting, in my experience those people that stay the course not only have the answer to the question What, they also have the answer to the question, Why?
And the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle is what happens when we are successful? How do we bridge from one success to the other? Otherwise we go....because there is nothing. How do we keep the peaks and troughs evening out so you get a continued success?
Present/future tense. Big scary. Don't think of a blue tree. Outcomes. Journey. Multiple. From the heart. Why? Bridge. Now all you've got to do is go out and get them...but that's a whole new workshop.