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executing Goals

by | Jan 8, 2022 | execute, Goals, KISS

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As I was starting to realize, execution is all-consuming, and if you don’t have something else to focus it on, IT becomes THE Goal.  How do we use our Calendar FOR us, and not constantly just executing for others?

Is execution a legitimate Goal, or a verb?

As I was leaving, I turned to my wife and said, “Today is going to suck.” Not the most empowering stance I know, but something that I had gotten used to saying particularly of late. She inquired, “Do you have a lot of meetings?” “Actually no – I have NOTHING on my calendar – which means something is going to blow up.”

… just doing SOMETHING. And as a leader, that is almost always a bad thing. Assuming you have clarified the direction, have the right Team around you, they are busy actually doing it, leaving you with nothing to execute. One of the greatest leaders I worked with said it best: “ Leadership is about being lazy.” It has taken me – well, my whole life – to at least understand what that means – and still I can’t execute it. In fact, you are literally seeing this – we changed the whole look, feel, and approach to these articles – just executed it … without explanation. That is classic Mark 1.0.. and I know better…

As Goals are achieved, what executes can be Destruction…

🎵 The unifying Goal of KISS was…. Exactly. What was it? As I write about often, most Teams jump right into “doing” the work – the FIFTH of seven stages of forming a team – without actually thinking about Why are we a Team, Who are we each individually and collectively, What are we attempting to do, and then How do we commit to doing it? They never made it to High Performing or Renewing, the last 2 of the 7 stages… They did spend a little time on the ‘Who’ with their personas and Roles within the band. As they were traveling the globe, selling out stadiums and top venues, the ‘Why’ was becoming less clear. Particularly as each member’s Success Goal was partially achieved, the execution paths started to diverge. Like the Beatles, within less than 10 years, they were destroyed.

🖋 Executive Coaching had helped me realize my most important Goal was to focus on developing leaders. And – the How of that was what I was in the midst of. However, the “go-to” skills and rhythms of my previous “problem solver” melody was in the wrong key, wrong tempo, wrong instruments, even minor vs major. And – notice this sentence is even still framed negatively. 15 years later – the “problem” focus of my Goal is still executing… on autopilot…

… unless you use your Calendar to execute offense…

… and incrementally, better. I know I can at least catch it easier, faster than before, and I also understand how to better use Goals to help me. It involves filling up my Calendar FIRST with what I want to achieve. You will also hear people refer to this as the “Big Rocks” theory – put those into your glass before letting all the little urgent things crowd out the important things. It seems to align with the KISS principle for sure…

… except few of us really understand what those Big Rocks actually are – for US. Others – easy. Helping others execute goals is much Simpler, and gives you the additional dose of both adrenaline and endorphins. And this leads us back to the chords for the music – what is the key you want to set for this year, the 3 chords that hopefully you have been thinking about for this New Year? And, how will those show up on the one thing that never lies about your Goals…

… your Calendar. In one of my go-to instruments now, the Ideal Work Week establishes what you want to accomplish – for you. Before you put everyone else on there, your own Goals, your own wants, and priorities like family, friends, fun. Interestingly, these last 2 years FORCED me to practice doing that work, and start to actually do what I talk about with others. Not Perfectly (next week..) but better. Incrementally, each year has gotten more balanced, more intentional as I have had to more carefully consider the key and chords.

.. and this is where you come in. One of the most important things that Teams do for each other is accountability. Not the negative “you didn’t” phrasing, but the major key tonality of “Wow I saw that you fully did this thing you had set out. Well Done!” Sadly, most of us then simply dismiss that – because our minor key voice starts up. I constantly command people (not a gentle coaching stance) to say “Thank you for noticing”… Which eventually starts to happen, first begrudgingly, then comically, and eventually naturally… mostly.

… can I help move from execution to Goals that are more empowering?

What are your Goals – your chords – for this year? One of mine is to get a dialog going with more of you. I respond to email if you reply to the posts, and would love to catch you hitting the right notes in this New Year, or simply listen to your melody. Either way, I am going to ask you next week to execute something for me, which often is an easier thing for people to do. And… maybe that will help us both do something important in the New Year – focus on what will be different. And to Shout it Out Loud.

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