Tag Archives: goals

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will you arrive

Career Advancement: When Will You Arrive?

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Finish school, go to college, do an internship, get a starter job, and be persistent. That is the advice of many. It isn’t bad advice but when will you arrive?

What do many people who are serious about their career do? They follow the advice of others. They observe those who appear to align with their definition of success. Perhaps in some ways they attempt to mimic or follow a similar path. Will this lead you to the point where you will arrive?

Faux Arrival

I remember in high school when I thought I had arrived. I had a full time job with benefits before graduating at the mature age of seventeen. At the time, I thought I had arrived.

Within a very short twelve-month period, I realized that I hadn’t really arrived. I needed to do something more. I enrolled in a community college, attained a two-year degree, got a full time job in my field. At the time, I thought I had arrived.

Life continued. Chasing positions, titles, and ever increasing income. Each time I thought I had arrived. Each time later, I realized I hadn’t.

As a non-traditional (thirty something) student I pursued a bachelor’s degree and got it. I enrolled in a graduate program, pursued that degree and got it. For sure, now I had arrived.

Still after each successive advancement, I felt the arrival hadn’t yet occurred. I started a business, pursued my passion, had some incredible experiences, made some money, made some mistakes, but still felt I needed to arrive.

Do you see a pattern here? It has taken me my entire career of more than thirty years to both see and understand when people really arrive in their career. When will you arrive?

Define Arrival

For everyone who is pushing, everyone who is dreaming, those goal oriented unstoppable people who are pursuing more in their career. The answer is simple.

Just like the GPS device offers, there is always another journey. Another chance, a different direction, an alternative route, the route someone else chose, the detour, the storm, the straight road, high road, swampy road, and the one with the most curves.

When you arrive, that is it. You’re finished, but only for now.

As it turns out, for many, it has never been about arriving, maybe because there is still something more, something to pursue, a goal or a bucket list.

On the other hand, maybe it isn’t about arriving at all. Perhaps it is much more about the life you lead along the way.

Will You Arrive

You can relax more when stop asking yourself when you’ll arrive. Your career really is not made upon arrival.

Your career is made each and every day you continue to pursue the arrival.

The journey is more important. You’ll arrive at your final destination only when you stop.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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expectations control

Expectations Control Your Future

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Several times recently, I’ve chatted with friends and clients about expectations. Expectations really condition the feeling that we have about an outcome. Do expectations control your future?

Future Expectations

When we embark on something new, sometimes our expectations are high, the new restaurant, the new digital device, or even the new job. We often expect a lot.

Social media is an interesting example. Many people grab their phone, tap an icon and expect to be engaged by a post from a life they aren’t living. They may be looking to live vicariously.

However, social media just like many things in life do not always meet or exceed our expectations. Sometimes, or often, it is something less.

For many others their daily commute is too crowded, the internet too slow, and the weather often seems undesirable.

High Hopes

Hopes, faith, or some form of conviction, it keeps many people going. Yet nearly everyday someone will find a way to describe a dream that is shattered.

High expectations and high hopes can eventually drive a feeling of disappointment. Feeling disappointed people stop dreaming, they stop hoping and they lose faith in a favorable outcome.

Management Expectations

In management circles, workplace expectations drive goals and an outcome is produced. How is that outcome measured? Often it is measured against management expectations.

Do lowered expectations change the results? They can, but they can also shatter dreams.

Expect to Win

There may be a difference between the athlete who wants to make it to the Olympic Games and the athlete who wins. Often one expects to get there, for another, they expect to win.

We can’t lose sight though of reality. Reality is the brutal truth. It pinches us, and lowers the expectations of the dream. The feeling is disappointment, and it often goes unexpressed. It is the social media thread that only illustrates bad news, no good news.

Disappointment is part of life, growth, and ultimately a path to a happier place. Is it about expectations control?

Expectations Control

Expectations can satisfy or leave you wanting more. The trick then is learning to adjust your expectations to the reality of the situation.

You may believe you deserve better or the business goal may be too short sighted, but your expectations will help you determine what happens next.

Don’t give up on your dream. You deserve it, but the hope and faith that will keep you going is based entirely on your expectations.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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your performance review appreciative strategies

Finding The Truth About Your Performance Review

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The performance review process is interesting to say the least. Many organizations adopt a process of an annual or semi-annual review, despite the moans and groans that go along with it. Is your performance review honest, effective, and well managed?

Performance reviews are important and contrary to many supervisors opinions they are valuable if they are well managed. Management and human resources experts can attest to the value when the process is properly managed. The biggest problem is that often they are not well managed.

Mismanaged Reviews

I can provide dozens and dozens of stories and examples of how the process is mismanaged which ultimately leads to the belief that performance reviews are a waste. I have to admit that if they are not well managed, they probably are not very valuable. In extreme mismanagement, they could even be detrimental.

Unfortunately, often the process is done at the last minute, or supervisors give employees who they favor accolades while blasting someone who did something wrong yesterday as if it represents an entire year of wrong doing. All of this is of course, wrong.

Do you want to know the truth about your performance review? Do you want to understand how to improve?

Your Performance Review

Consider doing the review yourself. Yes, this can be done, and if you manage it properly it can be very beneficial. You could also ask a few peers to provide some honest feedback.

To get started the best way is ask yourself some tough questions, here are a few to consider:

  1. What have I pushed myself to learn recently?
  2. What am I doing better at?
  3. Is my communication clear?
  4. Am I listening well?
  5. Have my sales skills improved (Hint: We all sell.)?
  6. What mistakes have I made recently and what did I learn from them?
  7. Are my goals appropriate (do I have goals?)?
  8. Have I met or exceeded goals?
  9. Who have I helped and who will I help next?
  10. What value am I bringing to my job role and how can I bring more?

One of the best parts about your performance review is that you can do it often, check back regularly, and provide yourself with honest feedback.

Certainly, you may have some blind spots and it may be hard to recognize the expectations of others but if you consistently review yourself you’ll likely bring more value to the organization.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Vague Customer Service

Vague Customer Service Guidelines

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Milestones and goals are always important. Many people stress how critical metrics and measurements are for the performance management process. How are you managing customer service? Do you have vague customer service guidelines?

When you attend a meeting, get involved in a committee, or volunteer to help steer the direction of a project you may insist on some goals. The funny thing about most of these endeavors is that they are built on one underlying, often-subconscious premise, keeping everything vague.

Customer Service Culture

Your organizational culture is developed from many things, including: brand, symbols, language, methods, and processes. Most of all, it is carried out by people, and is often intended to be role modeled from the behaviors of organizational leaders.

Is customer service part of your culture? Customer service shouldn’t be viewed as a department, in today’s economy customer service is about culture. Most leaders will quickly grab on to this idea, but as role models, they may leave some gaps.

Not Specific Means Vague

Positive language is often spread throughout the organization by role models, but it is often vague.

Here are a few examples:

  • Improve satisfaction.
  • Increase lifetime value.
  • Enhance the customer experience.

Anything that is vague is hard to measure.

What about the committee or project management team, how do they contribute?

Vague Customer Service

The committee will most likely leave some gaps when the leadership is vague about guidelines. Vague customer service guidelines leaves wiggle room. Wiggle room means the measurement will be subjective.

It is hard to do anything wrong in an environment with vague guidelines or goals. They’re vague, so just wiggle, but that also makes it hard to move forward.

Unfortunately, being vague is often the self-deceptive and unrealized output from the meeting, committee, or project team. What is worse, often the language is handed down and passed around. It is role modeled.

In most cases, it is not intentional. Everyone has good intentions, but vague allows everyone the opportunity to wiggle.

Wiggling isn’t winning. Vague customer service guidelines aren’t helping anyone, especially the customer.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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discovering customer service appreciative strategies

Discovering Customer Service More Than Once

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In a general sense, we are creatures of habit.  Discovery takes energy, lots of energy. Have you considered that discovering customer service must happen more than once?

Once you’ve read the book, watched the movie, or completed the academic class you are done, you may feel like you don’t need more right now.

Quitting Too Soon

Yesterday I watched a football player make an amazing play. After obtaining the football during a botched play by the opposite team, he ran for sixty or seventy yards, only to slow down in the final five yards before the touchdown. An opposing player caught him and the ball knocked out of his hands in the final five yards. How ironic.

Once we’ve read the book, watched the movie, or even obtained the degree, it often reduces our interest to work harder for more. After all, we’ve done it, mission accomplished.

Sometimes you think that you have everything completely under control because you can see the finish line, and so it may be OK to slow down now, but it isn’t.

Discovery is hard work, so is learning something new. People often believe that they’ve worked hard enough, and now they are ready for things to be easier. They’ve earned it, and they deserve it.

On the other hand, seeing the end can sometimes be motivating.  Only ten more pages to read, only twelve more college credits until I earn the degree, or I see the goal and I better speed up to ensure I get there. It may be inspiring to accelerate toward the finish.

Discovering Customer Service

Discovering customer service excellence never ends. The business or organization that always continues to work hard at discovering how to make it better isn’t cruising to the finish line. Their motivation is not for the pending relaxation, it is fueled by a constant desire to improve.

There really is no such thing as perfection because that may imply that you are finished. You can’t deliver just enough to complete a transaction, and you certainly can’t slow down when you see the finish line.

Discovering customer service repeatedly may require hard work, but the best are never finished. They are always continuing the effort to discover more. It isn’t a one and done.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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business roadmaps appreciative strategies

When Business Roadmaps Are Useless

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Processes are important. Systems designed to follow a standard, replicate quality, and improve efficiency are also important. All of these may be connected to a plan, a map. Business roadmaps aren’t always the right tool. Some people aren’t wandering because they lack direction.

You wouldn’t suggest using a map of the United States to help someone get across town, find the nearest gas station, or the best coffee shop. Better yet, you wouldn’t hand someone a globe at Central Park North in New York City and tell them to use it to get on the subway and go to Wall Street.

Modern technology has provided us with some easy methods to find our way from point A to point B. Many people have an electronic map, a way finder, and it is in their hand, purse, or pocket. It will likely even speak to you. Maps are useful but not for every directional purpose.

Business Roadmaps

Businesses and organizations are always trying to find their way. They go to great lengths to plan, design, and deliver a roadmap for employees to follow. They talk about timelines, milestones, and goals. All very important, but it might not help employees find their way or understand why.

Guiding the way with a roadmap is useful to those who already see the big picture and who are committed to it. Everyone else, those who are uncertain, not committed, or lack trust for the described outcomes really do not have use for a map.

Sometimes what employees need are not more directions. They don’t need more standards, a process, or a system. All of those things are useless when they don’t understand why they should go.

Pictures and Purpose

What they really need is someone to connect them with the purpose that leads to the big picture. They aren’t lost, a lack of direction is not why they are wandering.

Most people can follow a map, or have someone tell them when to yield, turn, or stop. The solution might not require more direction.

Productivity, efficiency, and quality really don’t matter that much when they aren’t committed to the purpose.

A globe doesn’t help much on the subway. Handing them business roadmaps won’t be helpful if they aren’t lost.

They’ll reach for the map when they understand why.

Have you answered the question about why?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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work together appreciative strategies

3 Ways to Get the Team to Work Together

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Are you working with a team on a project? Are you trying to start or launch something new, make a change, or simply make forward progress? How do you get the team to work together?

People have been asking the same question for years, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Answers to this question can be challenging. Finding mutual agreement in several key areas might help.

Discovering Harmony

Here are a few things that might help your team find harmony.

  1. Understand the goal. Sometimes co-workers lose sight of the fact that you are all in it together. It shouldn’t be this person against that person or this clique over that clique. Teams that can agree on the goal are a step ahead of the rest. You might have different ideas on how to there, but the goal is understood.
  2. Agree on measurement. Can you agree on how you will measure success? What are the timelines and milestones? If you can agree on the goal, you should be able to form some consensus on the measurement. What will you measure and how?
  3. Accept the facts. A willingness to search for and understand the facts might be critical. Evidence is often hard to disregard. At the same time, working too hard to prove the point isn’t necessarily the best approach. Consider facts to be tools. Use them as appropriate to help create effective measurement.

Teams that are on the same journey are the most effective. Those who can’t agree on the goal, measurement, or facts have additional challenges.

Work Together

We might need to accept that there is more than one way to get to the end result. Sometimes the process needs to be fluid, but the goal remains unchanged.

What would you do if you were ship wrecked? Most would prefer to cooperate and never crash in the first place.

Work together, it seems to make the most sense.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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tactics more important

Are Tactics More Important Than Goals?

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Developing and executing a good strategy is important. So is avoiding tactical firefighting approaches. What will get you to where you want to be? Are tactics more important than goals?

Strategy, Vision, and Goals

One of the most important concepts for creating individual or team success is to have a good strategy, a clear vision, and appropriate goals to get you there.

At the same time, it is important to recognize that having any of those, or all of them, won’t create the end result you’re looking for. You’ll need well executed tactics.

Ask three busy workplace professionals about their day and there is a good chance one of them will tell you that they were busy fighting fires. Fighting fires is a tactical approach to fix whatever pops up. This is a bad habit to get into, but you still need tactics.

When I help groups with formulating strategy we always develop tactics that will lead them to their vision or goal. Having a vision and strategy isn’t what gets you there, it is the tactics that get you there. This is not tactical firefighting though. There is a difference.

Here is how this breaks down. You have a vision or goal, where you want to be. Then you need a strategy for how you will get to that goal. Next in line are the tactics that you will use to pursue that strategy that will take you to the goal.

Sounds pretty simple right? The challenge might be that people often confuse the level of importance for goals as compared to tactics. You can have a fantastic goal. You can even have a fantastic strategy, but without the continued tactical pursuit, you just won’t get there.

Tactics More Important

Are tactics more important than goals? Think of tactics as your daily habits. A collection of good habits might be exactly what is necessary to get you to your goal.

Don’t slip into a habit of fighting fires and don’t have a vision and strategy without tactics.

Tactics might be the most important. Your daily tactics produce your results, with or without specific goals.

Reminds me of the fundamentals of computing, lesson one, garbage in, garbage out.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Coaching Yourself to Achieve Your Next Goal

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There are large numbers of people who chit-chat about their next goal. They have some ideas, talk about them, and perhaps give some fuzzy deadlines. Will coaching yourself work?

coaching yourself

Goal setting helps with vision. When you move forward step-by-step you are taking action. Action creates results, and you’ll need to actualize your vision.

Whenever you set a goal and actually put your body, mind, and heart behind it your chances of accomplishing something increases, dramatically. What sometimes stops people is that you also increase the chance of failure, setbacks, and disappointment.

Goal setting can sometimes be kind of funny. The bigger your vision the easier it is to make an excuse to quit. Better yet (actually worse yet) you might choose to just never get started in the first place. Sometimes people would just rather not face any disappointment and stay stuck.

Coaching Yourself

Here are a few points to keep in mind as you pursue any goal:

  • Make it realistic. What can you do to start the process moving forward? Monitor baby steps. Allow enough time.
  • Put time on your side. Disappointment often sets in because we hear about flash diets, short cuts, and quick fixes. There are none, be patient.
  • Be sincere with yourself. “I think I can,” is different from “I will do this.” If you want to program yourself to get there, don’t use wiggle words.
  • Focus on the next step. Sure you want to see the finish line, but you’ll never get there without the next step. If you only look towards the finish you leave room for doubt about the next step.

Talking about change or transformation is easy, making the pivot is harder. Often people find ways to talk themselves out of action instead of into action. If you’re coaching yourself you still have to pay the price of commitment.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Are You Driving For More Results?

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After all, results are what matters, right? Are you driving or are you just riding along?

get more results

Many people believe that they are creating their own path, making their own way, and working hard to accomplish their goals. However, often these same people are more interested in just riding along. They ride as a passenger, as a tourist or sightseer. They take in the views while someone else has the controls.

When someone shouts, “shotgun” it means they are claiming the front seat. They aren’t driving though. They are still just riding along. They are somewhat captive. They don’t really make the choices or even pick the destination.

When the driver gets them to the destination on time and without incident the passenger probably doesn’t really care whether they drove or not, in fact, being the passenger might be a whole lot easier.

If the driver doesn’t reach the destination, arrives late, or has a fender bender along the way the passenger has someone else to blame. They can just say, “Hey, I wasn’t driving.”

When you are driving though, it is a different story. You are responsible for your fate, there isn’t anyone someone else to blame and no one else can take the credit. You’re in control and responsible.

So are you driving or are you a passenger?

Here are a few metaphorical tips to help you drive for more results.

  • Know your destination. Driving without reason or purpose might take you someplace but it also might leave you stuck. Pick a target or a destination and understand your reason and purpose for going there.
  • Choose your path. A roadmap will help. Be sure that you pick the best route. The fastest or the slowest might not be as important as ensuring you arrive.
  • Use milestones. Mark your path with milestones or checkpoints. Have a plan, a timeline, and measure to it. If you don’t check-in along the way you might find you’ve arrived at the wrong time.
  • Budget for detours. No matter what you might encounter, smooth roads, roadblocks or detours. They might change your course but that doesn’t mean that they’ll change your destination.
  • It’s not over until you arrive. You might have to stop to rest, regroup, or refocus but your trip isn’t over until you arrive. Accept no excuse for not reaching your destination. If you’re driving there isn’t anyone else to blame.

Many people forget their career is finite until it’s too late. If you’re serious about achieving new breakthroughs and getting better results you owe it to yourself to drive.

Otherwise, you’re just along for the ride.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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