Tag Archives: goals

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best energy

Best Energy, It Just Might Be Hope

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Where do you get your best energy? Is it from your food, a good night’s sleep, or from feeling inspired?

All of those may be important.

One often forgotten source of energy or motivation is hope.

Start a new job or get a raise or promotion, you might feel excited and have a boost of energy.

Have a relaxing evening or a great weekend, and you may be able to regroup to tackle what is needed today or tomorrow.

What about hope?

Best Energy

Hope is often the carrot that keeps you moving. It’s the horse in front of the cart, pulling, not pushing, compelled by the opportunity that lies ahead.

People with physical or emotional injuries, often find the ability to move on, go forward, and grasp opportunities based mostly on hope.

They hope for something new, something different, and something connected to their future vision.

This is especially true when the odds are stacked against them. It is especially true when others suggest they can’t, yet they find a way.

It may seem magical and cause disbelief. Impossible for some just might be possible for those with hope.

It is a game changer. An opportunity and a chance to do better work, achieve a higher status, and to learn more about the difference between difficult and impossible.

When someone suggests there is no hope, all opportunities may be lost.

Your next breakthrough may require extra energy. A dream come true often uses hope for fuel.

It’s not too late.

Don’t give up on hope.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace appreciation

Workplace Appreciation, Are You Getting Enough?

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It is a great discussion point. It starts with a question. Are you getting enough workplace appreciation?

People come to work every day. If they aren’t going to a physical shared location, they are doing it from a home office, a makeshift kitchen countertop, or a small nook near their bedroom. Some might believe it is a café or a picnic table in the park, but these are unlikely.

In addition to the paycheck, what brings you to work? If your response is, “Nothing.” Then there probably is very little appreciation and there certainly is not a connection or sense of pride with the work you perform.

For everyone else, and I’m hoping that is you, your work matters. Even what appears as the lowest or dirtiest job has a reason and meaning because without it, the organization is not complete.

Beyond the paycheck, appreciation is probably the most important aspect of your connection with your work.

Is there enough appreciation?

Workplace Appreciation

You might be self-motivated, but for what cause? Why are you self-motivated? Are you building something for yourself or for someone else? What compels and drives you for customer satisfaction? If no one appreciates your work, will you still do it?

Some things are done for you. That isn’t selfish, it’s healthy. Sometimes you do things for other people that provide something in return for you. Something beyond a paycheck.

Everyday people are jockeying for position. They are jockeying for position on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. A post, a comment, and a like on LinkedIn may seem appealing for business connections.

Is it social? In some regards, yes, in other regards it is action that seeks position.

If getting one click or like feels good, ten is better. If you get ten, can you get 25, 50, or 100? And so it begins, the effort becomes the trick of the trade to get more. The level of satisfaction may actually weaken because the reason behind the effort may have shifted.

It shifts because the economy of scale becomes more important than individual impact.

This is why doing the work that matters and being appreciated for it is something special. It makes all of your work feel more important and valued. Certainly, you want many people to appreciate the effort.

Real appreciation is not about a chasing numbers or riding the algorithm wave.

When you realize the difference, everyone who contributes will be much more engaged.

They’ll care, and so will you.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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project push

Project Push and Pull Should Work For You

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Have you jumped in with both feet? Are you working from a project push or is it more of a project pull?

Distance runners tend to like the wind pushing from behind. Facing it, and running directly towards it is an opposite force and one the burdens the runner.

It is true for throwing our kicking the football, it is true for gas mileage, and it is especially true for the project you are working on right now.

Much easier, is having the wind at your back.

When the customer requirements are supported and embraced, and it is a known dynamic, the wind is at your back. If something else is driving it, such as a new government regulation the wind may be blowing directly at your forward motion.

Project Push and Pull

Getting the people on board. The designers, the engineers, the widget makers and the sales force all matter. The team members involved in keeping your project moving are more engaged when they are pulled into the process.

If you try to shove a naysayer, you typically get more resistance. It’s the donkey sitting down with its hoofs dug in, trying to stop any motion in the direction you are pushing.

On the other hand, when there is something attractive, a point of interest, or a recognition of something that lies ahead people will typically be eager to get there. They are pulled or compelled to push themselves for the opportunity.

A project in motion, with a team that is being pulled, attracted, and compelled to reach the objective gets an enormous boost when the wind is blowing at their backs. The opposition is less, there is not as much resistance, and their motivation is strong.

The key then, is gaining the benefit of attraction which creates the pull and then supplementing it with a little bit of a push.

Paddling with the current is always easier.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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fluid approach

Does a Fluid Approach Seem Like a Good Path?

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A plan and a goal always seem to make sense. Are your goals rigid or do you use a more fluid approach?

Are you a little bit more of a perfectionist or do you scribble outside of the lines?

Most pathways start with a vision. It is a plan, of sorts, with directions, timelines and milestones. Spoken or sometimes unspoken they are all part of the plan.

Plans are designed to work. They are expected to achieve outcomes by going through barriers, leaping hurdles, and most certainly against all odds.

Some people identify with a system, a structure, and a protocol. It might be similar to a flight plan, a rocket launch, or a thousand-mile road trip.

Not everything fits inside the plan, and that is when the plan becomes even more important. The what if’s, or what to do when, are all expected to be part of a really good plan.

Have you budgeted for fluidity? Does a fluid approach make sense?

Fluid Approach

Sometimes people call it a backup plan. Plan B is often suggested for execution will all else has failed during plan A.

Those committed to the plan are hesitant to jump off plan A and switch to plan B. They may insist that plan A has not been exhausted yet and staying the course is most important.

Leadership requires resilience in the face of adversity. Plan A or plan B, both might contain a pathway for success.

When you plan for fluid approaches, it doesn’t necessarily mean one pathway must close in order to access another. It also doesn’t mean that one is right and one is wrong.

You still have a choice with your goals.

Stalls, delays, or dead-end stops are likely not as good as study movement.

When time matters, and it nearly always does, a detour around the block, and then right back on the original trajectory is probably much better than waiting for the traffic jam to free itself.

Leadership keeps things moving and makes way for a reason or logic to embrace a shift. Belonging often means safety, security, and a sense of accomplishment.

When getting there is the objective.

A fluid approach may be your best path.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace reach

Workplace Reach, How Far Can You Stretch?

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How far is your workplace reach? Are you navigating stretch goals or really just cruising within your comfort zone? What does your boss, the investors, or your valued customers expect?

Have you ever received motivational advice?

Shoot for the Moon.

Reach for the Stars.

Buck the odds.

Does it work?

In marketing efforts, a common perception is that more is better. More email messages, more website options, more visitors, and more sales. It only seems logical that having a great reach will yield greater results.

It’s popular for news casting television show hosts to write a book. They may mention their book once or twice on the air. Viewers are in the millions of people. Likely, it becomes a best seller. The numbers are in their favor.

Not everything always works with large numbers though. Large numbers can be a distraction.

Mailing a postcard to every household in your county might seem like a good idea. However, if its swimming trunks in Alaska the response might not be favorable.

Going hunting on a one-hundred-acre game preserve probably increases your odds. Going hunting on the open range of two-thousand acres, not so much.

Your reach often determines your results, yet more reach isn’t always better.

Workplace Reach

It’s a good idea to have stretch goals. Going big or going home seems somewhat inspiring in certain situations.

What would you sooner do? Cast a wide net into the ocean or use a hand-held minnow net in a 5-gallon aquarium?

There is a parallel to this for your success. It may be metaphorical, but it applies.

Focusing on specific items you know will please the boss may be a much better strategy when compared with doing a whole lot of things and counting on the idea that your boss might like at least one of them.

It’s true for customers too. You can add ten options to your product, yet that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll sell more. Add the one feature that is many agree is missing and it’s a big hit.

Your ability to stretch matters. Your ability to focus on the one thing that matters the most will probably yield better results.

Don’t waste your time or get caught up in more is better.

Often better, is better.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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wishful thinking

Wishful Thinking In The Workplace Is What You Need

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Wishing someone to “get well soon” seems helpful. Depending on the results, wishing for sunshine instead of rain, or warm weather instead of bitter cold may also feel good. Does wishful thinking change the outcomes in your workplace?

You may want to start with consideration for the reality of the wish. Wishing to lose weight while consuming several donuts and a sugared-up tall coffee may not make much difference.

It may not be realistic to wish for a winning lottery ticket, for someone to do your household chores, or that all the traffic lights will be green when you approach the intersection.

Wishing for someone to have a great weekend, a happy birthday, or a happy anniversary is a generous act. It is a kind gesture and it feels good.

Does wishful thinking help create business success, or is it really only for feel-good cheer?

Wishful Thinking

In the workplace, it may be beneficial to make wishes count. Certainly, far-out wishes that are unrealistic are not useful. In fact, they may even be counter-productive.

Wishing that sales will increase is a dangerous game without a strategy and tactics to pursue it. It’s similar to wishing that the quality will be good, customers will be happy, and that everything will go exactly as you expected.

If you don’t have a good plan, it is likely that very little will happen.

Wishing is not a plan.

It’s an act that provides focus, gives people something to look forward to, and may change future outcomes.

When there is a stretch goal, wishing for it to be achieved makes it much more likely than denying it as a possibility.

When others see the potential outcome as possible, team momentum gains strength. When people remove hurdles, go around customer satisfaction roadblocks, and strive to deliver the very best, positive things will happen.

Does wishing change outcomes?

Changing Outcomes

You aren’t going to change the weather, purchase the winning lottery ticket, or magically lose weight with a wish.

On the flip side, when you have a well-thought-out and well-executed plan that includes the necessary resources, one of the best things you can do is wish for great success.

A wish may be all that it takes to make others believe that it can come true.

Wishful thinking creates focus.

Focusing on the plan may be exactly what you need.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Getting certified

Getting Certified and the Hiring Manager

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Getting certified is more meaningful as a reflection of the experience, not the end product. Do you agree?

While some will quickly jump at this thought and agree, everyone should be conscious of the focal points.

The certification is the proof of attainment.

One person buys a car, either through a loan across many months or perhaps many months of saving their earnings. Another person just simply writes a check, easy money.

In both cases, a check (of sorts) is written, the final moments of the transaction happen with the validation of money as an exchange.

One person had a long time to think about the car, the car has a more significant value because the journey to attainment was different than just a quick transaction.

It’s true at the amusement park, the big coaster attracts attention. People are excited to share that they rode the “monster ride” yet the ability to say you rode it is not the experience. The experience exists in the ride.

A two-month road trip in an RV around parts of the U.S. sounds appealing to some, but the same spots could be visited faster via airplane. In either case, mission accomplished, yet the experience is much different.

Getting Certified

For the hiring manager, and for the job seeker, attainments mentioned on a piece of paper or cleverly highlighted on a digital record should not be proof of job competence. Job competence is likely better reflected through the journey of attainment.

When experiences and character matter, and most hiring managers will suggest that they do, the focus needs to be about the journey not the documented proof of the journey.

Being able to create an Excel spreadsheet is an accomplished skill. Likewise, welding, carpentry, and computer network management may be connected to skills attained.

Proof of skill attainment is not proof of character. It is not proof of workplace behaviors, integrity, or how a person performs under pressure. It is likely not proof of attendance, being punctual, or being willing to put in the extra effort.

Most of the things we enjoy are not about the proof that we did it. It is about the experience of doing it.

Getting certified and the proof of attainment is much less valuable than understanding the experience of attainment.

What you focus on, is what you’ll get. It is true for the hiring manager and it is true for the job seeker.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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focus approach

Focus Approach, What Has Your Attention?

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Do you have a focus approach? Do you decide what to focus on or do you allow it to simply unfold? Is it the squeaky wheel kind of focus?

Loud noises (or voices), shiny objects, and the things that are overdue. All of them may capture your attention. Are they all the most valuable areas of focus at the moment or are they distracting you from your goals?

Many people are conditioned to pay attention to the noisiest item in the room. Is that you?

Change often means discomfort. It is scary, it makes you nervous and afraid. Because of the heightened awareness, it causes you to focus on it. It is a good thing when the change is positive and can blossom from your added energy.

What about the things that never seem to change?

Focus Approach

Often the bad boss doesn’t get better, he or she simply garnishes more reinforcement that their behaviors are what gets the job done.

There are cliques at work. The drama king or queen, and those who seemingly escape the pain of effort while others suffer in silence.

What about the traffic at the intersection? The driver who turns to the left just before making that sharp right turn, or the people blocking the isles at the grocery store and causing you more frustration while seemingly wasting your time.

You may have your own list. A list of pet peeves, the things that really annoy you and yet they attract your attention. Your energy is spent on negativity as you look on with disagreement or frustration.

Do you have enough in your reserves to keep your goals in sight? Are you able to avoid the squeaky wheel that shouldn’t get the grease?

Instead of spending your energy on the co-worker with bad habits, or getting upset about the news media’s spin on a subject you feel strongly about, keep your own focus.

What if you worked harder by staying invested in the emotional labor of not being distracted from your true goals?

Whatever direction you are looking is likely where you’ll end up.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Continuous feed

Continuous Feed is Persistent and Attainable

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Popular in the 1980s, continuous feed forms for computer printouts kept the information flowing. Your work and what you’ll achieve is a practice across time. It flows, one page linking to the next.

Do you realize what your cable and internet bill will cost you across the next five years?

Have you considered how many hours you’ll spend surfing eComm websites for things you’ll buy and the amount of money you’ll spend?

Have you calculated how many hours you’ll put into your craft by 2025 or 2030?

Some people consider that in every career there are dues to be paid. Across time the effort and hours stack up, costing more and more until finally a milestone is achieved.

Yet onlookers often have a different point of view. They believe that you just hang a shingle, start a podcast, or simply get lucky and success is achieved overnight.

Luck often plays a role, but how you manage luck and what happens next will have more to do with long-term outcomes than any single luck event.

Most success does come with a price. It is the price of continuous feed.

Continuous Feed

Moment-by-moment and day-by-day the persistent process of stacking one piece on top of another adds up. It is the single drop in a bucket repeated so many times you’ve lost count until eventually, you fill the pail.

What you want to attain is not so far away. You just have to feed it a little bit each day, repetitively, across time.

One other aspect of continuous feed, just like thousands of pages all connected with a perforated tear, unless you rip it apart, you’ll always be able to see where you came from.

Don’t lose track.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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greater expectations

Greater Expectations Change The Distance

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Expectations always condition the results. Lofty goals can be a distraction as much as an inhibitor or motivator. Should you have greater expectations?

When people expect a lot and get less there is a feeling of being let down. It impacts the perceived value or quality of the product or service.

Should expectations be lowered?

The customer with lower expectations is easily delighted. The provider with higher expectations tends to deliver more.

When you flip those around a customer may never feel satisfied or the provider may always under deliver.

In a social climate (or workplace culture) that honors and recognizes serving others, how should you position yourself?

When you want to give your best effort or position yourself for longevity and future advancement, what should your expectations be? Should you aim high or low? Should it be for the short-run or the long-run?

Greater Expectations

It often feels rare for employees to be committed to fully serving the greater good of the organization. People talk a good story, yet actions and behaviors seem to feel individualized.

When each individual chooses a path and commits to it, they become a role model for everyone else. Those with long-term commitment or the fast-trackers are often observed by others. They are being watched for clues on the culturally accepted behaviors.

That means your individual positioning matters. Regardless of your rank, longevity, or history, what you do next becomes a part of the culture and will determine your future.

What should your goal be?

When you set expectations higher for your own personal contribution, you’ll delight more customers. The customer may be external, or it may be the boss, co-workers, or the organization.

When you want to go further, set higher expectations for yourself. It brings out more of the best in everyone.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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