26 Oct Achieving Goals
AIM for the Goal — EMBRACE the Process
“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Smart executives and managers know what professional Coaches understand: you must recognize there is more aliveness available in the process of moving toward a goal than in achieving the result itself. Employees and followers experience more learning and fulfillment as they embrace the quality of their journey – even with its ups and downs or twists and turns along the way.
The paradox of being successful is this: you can’t have a process without setting a goal.
For example, my client Barry wanted to make a million dollars in his first year at mortgage lending. Suspending my judgment, and believe me I had one, I said, “OK, let’s go for it!” In truth, I had no way of knowing what Barry was capable of.
In the process of going for that goal, Barry could call himself forth powerfully, leverage his innate strengths, learn new skills, and build effective practices for his success. By the end of that first year he could possibly exceed that million dollar mark he was inspired to achieve.
The Possibility of Limiting Beliefs
Another possibility was that he could be slowed down or stopped by his own limiting beliefs, mental patterns, or emotional blocks. Also, circumstances beyond his control (i.e. financial meltdown, family crisis, natural disaster) could get in the way or derail him. Thus his final result could be less than a million.
What I knew for sure, was that Barry’s passion and commitment to achieving the goal, his accountability to himself, and his ability to embrace his learning process could transform who he is being in relationship to that goal, and for whom he is becoming in life and his career.
The Power of Process Thinking
Leaders who recognize this “both/and” principle of possibility thinking will create an empowering business culture that values the learning process and commits to making clear goals. Employees appreciate a greater sense of safety to bring more of themselves to the goal achievement process.
In the measurement world, we set a goal and strive to achieve it. In the universe of possibility, we set the context and let life unfold. – Benjamin Zander
This week, to develop the habit, may I suggest that you pause at least five times a day and ask yourself or others, “What are we (the team) learning?” “What am I learning?”
A good leader must be open to the unexpected so that your employees can too. If you doubt your employees, they will doubt themselves. If you believe that they can achieve, they will believe as well. Welcome what shows up, evaluate for learning, and be willing to revise your plan or your goal, based on your discoveries. The path may be seem circuitous at times, but the end result will ultimately be richer and more rewarding.
P.S. You are wondering what happened to Barry, right? Unfortunately, he didn’t make his million dollar mark. He didn’t make it in the field of mortgage lending. He did not have the mental strength or willingness to develop the success habits necessary to get past his emotional barriers for making sales calls. It’s rarely a straight line to achieving a goal. It almost always requires a learning process.