You’ve probably taken the time to reflect back on 2018 to consider your accomplishments. You launched a really cool campaign, successfully rolled out a new product or initiative, or even squelched a potential crisis, saving your company’s impeccable reputation.
You had a great year, right? You were the star of the show. Now it’s time to become the superstar you were meant to be.
Unfortunately, time often gets in the way of you taking your game to the next level. If only you didn’t get so many dang time-wasting, hair pulling, ridiculous requests from out of left field:
- “I created a brochure for my department. Will you distribute it?”
- “We need a marketing plan.” (You have one.)
- “I NEED this information in a prominent place on the home page of the web site.”
- “I need a giveaway for an event that happens in a week.”
- “Can you send me a logo?”
- “The reporter got it wrong. Will you please call?”
- “We need to market this program.”
- “Will you please put this article in the company newsletter. Feel free to re-write it.
- “Can you fix our phone listing in Google?”
- “I need a tri-fold brochure by this Friday.”
A couple of years ago I read a book called, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Setting Your Wildly Important Goals” by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling. It made me see that there are way too many time wasters, as well as vague and incoherent goals, that prevent us from achieving greatness for ourselves and our companies.
In other words, we need to master the art of saying “no.”
The disciplines are backed by years of research. Here is the basic overview:
The first disciplineinvolves setting one or two goals, max, that you can focus on. Any more than two, the authors say, increases distraction and results in mediocre effort. If you set four to 10 goals, you’ll achieve one or two of them; and if you set 11-20 goals, you likely won’t achieve any of them.
The second discipline involves focusing on lead measures that are predictive … they lead to a goal. These are things we can influence and create change. Lag measures measure the goal. Always focus on the lead measures, if that makes sense.
The third discipline is to keep a compelling score board, so everyone knows where the team is at with regard to the goal. In health care, we know that scoreboards compel action. Without it, energy dissipates and you are back in the same routine.
The fourth discipline is accountability. Everyone needs to be held accountable for the lead measures.
Time wasting work can be maddening, but it can also be an easy and convenient excuse. Winning is never easy, but it is much easier with a well thought-out plan. We need to be constantly looking at our goals and figuring out how we are going to achieve them, so we can be the superstars we were meant to be.
The 4 Disciplines is a good read. I encourage you to check it out at your local library. It’s also available on amazon.com.
Best wishes for a happy and successful New Year.
Mike Wiltse is associate director of marketing and communications for Journey Mental Health Center in Madison. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 608-280-2533.