Well Suited: A Practical Approach to Understanding Personalities

By Kostya Kimlat

Kostya KimlatWe’ve been dividing people into four personality types, styles, or patterns since the time of Plato. These days, online personality tests are everywhere. After a number of fun questions you can discover which animal, shape, color or celebrity you’re aligned with. Or take a serious personality test to help identify your management, leadership, or communication style.

If you really want to get to know yourself, you can take a more scientific assessment that not only tells you who you are, but what drives you, motivates you and how people can best work with you. You’ll get thirty-five pages of autobiographical information, which can help you understand yourself.

And that’s great, but when you’re meeting someone for the first time—as you’re exchanging greetings, smiles or handshakes, paying attention and being present—it’s rather difficult to identify them and put them into one of sixteen categories off the top of your head.

And no one ever brings you their thirty-five page assessment and hands it to you like a manual and says, “Here’s who I am and how to deal with me.”If you’re in sales or customer service, reading your audience is critical to your professional success. Click To Tweet

If you’re in sales or customer service, reading your audience is critical to your professional success. This ability has long been a secret of the magician’s success. Magicians are astutely skilled in the fine art of perception and recognizing the individual personalities that comprise their audience.

Next time you watch a close-up magician, pay attention to the audience members and see how they react. There are generally four types of reactions:

  • There’s the excited participant, ready to be blown away by anything.
  • There’s the passive viewer, who is enjoying the show, hoping that they don’t get picked.
  • There’s the take charge A-type that wants to take control of the situation.
  • There’s the skeptical know-it-all who has to figure out the secret.

Now think of the four suits in a deck of playing cards and what images they bring to mind:

  • The Diamonds are shiny and exciting; they yearn to be seen and recognized.
  • The Hearts are compassionate and loving; they wish for everyone to get along.
  • The Spades are quick and strong; they want power and control.
  • The Clubs are very specific; they require attention to detail to be right.

The four suits perfectly align with the Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Merrill-Wilson and the Helen Fisher systems:

  • Diamonds are: Expressive, Explorer, Influence
  • Hearts are: Amiable, Negotiator, Steadiness
  • Spades are: Driver, Director, Dominance
  • Clubs are: Analytical, Builder, Conscientiousness

Once you know which four personality styles align with which suits, you’ll want an easy system to identify which person is exhibiting the behaviors of which suit. To do that, you just need to pay attention to a person’s speed and temperature.

The Speed and Temperature of Suits: What’s amazing about the four suits of a deck of playing cards is that their color and shape connect to a person’s speed or temperature.

First, think of the color of the suits—red or black. When you meet people for the first time, if upon introducing yourself they are open and engaged, they are most likely a red suit—a warm Heart or a Diamond. If they are reserved or withdrawn—acting colder towards you—they are a Spade or Club.

Next, think of the shape of the suits. The Diamonds and Spades have sharp and pointy ends—they move fast and talk fast, just like their edges are fast to draw. They go for the straight line of the situation; they get to the sharp end of the point! So if someone you meet is moving and talking fast, they are a Diamond or a Spade.

Hearts and Clubs are round suits. These people can’t be rushed or pushed to making a decision. They need time. The best way to remember the Clubs is that this suit is very difficult to draw; it requires attention to detail to do it right. So people who are critical, detailed and disciplined—people who require being right—are Clubs.

See how easy it becomes? Just pay attention to how fast/slow and warm/cold someone is. With two questions you’ll have a strong sense of which suit best describes the personality.

  • Warm and Fast? Diamond
  • Warm and Slow? Heart
  • Cold and Fast? Spade
  • Cold and Slow? Club

If you’ve studied other personality evaluation systems you can overlay the four suits over the terms you already know. The four suits make memory recall easier, helping you speed up the entire identifying process. They are a shortcut for your mind.

Depending on your own personality, you may think that this is amazing, or this is all obvious to you. Maybe you’re curious how this will affect others, or maybe you’re ready to put thoughts into actions.

What Hand Were You Dealt? Reacting to the Unique Traits of Suits: If part of your life involves meeting new people, and you want to connect and communicate with them for business or social reasons, there’s nothing better than paying attention to people’s personalities. It provides the groundwork to approach and understand someone. No matter your type, here’s how you can give the people you encounter what they need:

  • If you meet a diamond, provide recognition and attention.
  • If you meet a heart, provide support and approval.
  • If you meet a spade, provide opportunities to take charge and make decisions.
  • If you meet a club, provide opportunities to be “right.”

A great magician provides each of the personalities exactly what they need. For example, he allows the to analyze whether it’s a regular deck of cards. He then lets the decide which card to select by authoritatively shouting “stop!” And he invites the on-stage to receive the attention and credit for seemingly making the magic happen. All the while, he leaves the alone to take pleasure in watching others enjoy themselves.

Once you’re aware of what each suit needs, you, too, can provide each person the right opportunities to thrive, just like a magician.

Shuffling It All Together: Many people have taken personality tests to tell them who they are. But very few people can instantly assess the personality style of someone they meet. Thanks to this magical system, you’re now equipped to do just that.

You don’t have to rack your brain to search for the right word to describe someone. The magician’s method of four suits is simple to learn and easy to use in the real world. When you’re in the trenches of a presentation or negotiation, meeting people and trying to understand them on the fly, utilize the four suits to identify personality types quickly and easily. And then, give them what their suit needs.

The goal is for you to eventually be able to identify the personality styles without even thinking about doing it. Mastering this skill will enable you to be more adaptive to your audience—just like a magician. That will go a long way to help you build that relationship or close that deal.

Kostya Kimlat is a keynote speaker and corporate magician who fooled Penn & Teller on their hit TV show, “Fool Us”. Kostya speaks to businesses about how to Think Like A Magician™ to improve sales and customer service. For more information about Kostya Kimlat, please visit www.TheBusinessMagician.com.

4 Ways to Improve Inter-Generational Decision Making

By Jill Johnson

Making decisions is always difficult. It is hard enough when the decision needs to be made by a group of like-minded peers; but the hardest type of decisions to make are those in which there are multiple generations involved in the process. So what do you do? Bringing out the best in the generations impacting your decisions requires four critical approaches to ensure their decision-making involvement stays on track and is focused on moving to a decision outcome that matters.

1. Don’t Assume Everyone Has Enough Insight: Decision making does not get a participation trophy. Just showing up is not enough in today’s fast-paced business environment. Careful consideration of the available decision options is important. Frequently, the assumption is made that everyone at the table has enough insight and information to participate effectively in the process. All too often they don’t.

Make sure your inter-generational team has enough information so they can be more mindful in evaluating your options. Established professionals can get grounded into a black or white point of view that makes them hold fast to historical assessments of potential options. Younger participants can have a limited viewpoint about possible options and consequences. This is not because they are incapable of complex thought; it’s just they often don’t have enough experience to engage in a more nuanced deliberation.

Prepare them for participating in this process. Do they need advance reading material, such as an article about the critical issue you are going to address? Write up a summary of the critical elements of the issue and why a decision needs to be made. Set the stage at the outset by doing a comprehensive presentation at the first decision making meeting. Provide them with clarity about how the decision relates to your organizational business strategies and why this is an area of concern. Don’t assume they understand this; consider this an educational opportunity.The hardest type of decisions to make are those in which there are multiple generations involved. Click To Tweet

2.Clarify the Decision Parameters: Keeping an inter-generation group focused is a challenge. They will careen from issue to issue unless you frame things up clearly for them. Establish a framework of what must be considered and the boundaries for how far they can go with the decision options. Set limits. If there are budget or staffing limitations, say so.

Make sure to clarify the boundaries of the group’s role in the decision-making process too. Are they the decision maker, serving in an advisory function to others who will decide, or an influencer with critical insight into key decision options?  Put this in writing so no one can say later that they misunderstood or did not hear you say there were limits to work within.

It is easy to defer to a group of enthusiastic young professionals, but unless you stay on top of them, they can go way beyond the appropriate parameters. This can result in very treacherous consequences; both in them going too far and in you dampening their enthusiasm for participating again. Have tons of interim check points and keep re-directing the discussion as needed. It is also easy for younger team members to defer to older professionals. Of course, they are seasoned and have experience. But they can also fall into the trap of only thinking within a box of historical options that limit consideration of new approaches to solving problems. You need the insight of all generations at the table. But it has to be effectively channeled.

3. Manage the Decision Discussion: Don’t abandon your team to work without your involvement. You don’t have to be there for every workgroup conversation, but you still need to manage the discussion. Most importantly, encourage candid dialog. Clarify for everyone the stakes, the resources of information you need, and begin discussing the decision parameters.

Have them walk through the potentials outcomes of the options under consideration. Require them to discuss the pros and cons of each option. Encourage them to ask questions of each other to explore the consequences of the ideas being suggested. Challenge them to ask if there is an element of this option that could be combined with something already reviewed to make a stronger option.

Approach this in a respectful manner. Carefully manage how the group communicates so those with strong voices do not drown out innovative ideas from more introverted participants who may lack confidence in speaking up in the group. If you get each of your participants deeply involved in the discussion, they will develop mutual respect and learn from each other. This enhances inter-generational communication and encourages a more collaborative decision dialog.

4. Manage Expectations: With inter-generational teams, also manage their expectations about how much influence they will ultimately have on the decision-making process. It goes back to the role they play in the decision. Will they get a vote in the decision? Or will they be influencing how you decide? Carefully managing their expectations at the front-end will help manage angst at the back end if you are the final decider and go a different way than they recommend.

Make sure you develop feedback loops and mechanisms for follow-up. You will lose your younger team members if they don’t get periodic follow-up on the decision outcome. If possible, continue to involve the decision team in reviewing the progress of the decision implementation. Then they can help you adjust and adapt your decision strategy based on the evolving outcomes.

Inter-generational groups can provide you with significant ideas beyond options you initially considered. When you can do this effectively with inter-generational teams, they bond more effectively and can learn from each other. They can also find unexpected approaches linking possibilities in powerful and sometimes unexpected ways that may create amazing results.

Final Thoughts: If you effectively manage your inter-generational decision making efforts, you will create a team dynamic that is powerfully focused on resolving issues. At the same time, they will be building critical thinking skills and learning how to work together for future decision making.

What are the ways you can strengthen your inter-generational decision-making to get better results?

Jill Johnson is the President and Founder of Johnson Consulting Services, a highly accomplished speaker, an award-winning management consultant, and author of the forthcoming Bold Questions series. Jill helps her clients make critical business decisions and develop market-based strategic plans for turnarounds or growth. Her consulting work has impacted nearly $4 billion worth of decisions. She has a proven track record of dealing with complex business issues and getting results. For more information on Jill Johnson, please visit www.jcs-usa.com.

OMG! Office Management Guide: Four Keys to Run Your Company with Confidence

By Janice Janssen

Janice JanssenStatistics seem to be against the likelihood of even half of new businesses staying open to celebrate their fifth anniversary. According to Small Business Trends:—“A bit more than 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first four years.”

This could be troublesome news to anyone with a dream of owning their own business, however, you merely need to read further into the statistics to realize that half of the businesses survived and continued to thrive. It is possible and it absolutely can be profitable to own your own business.

There are four keys to maintaining a successful business. Some require more immediate attention, and others must remain top-of-mind all of the time.Your systems determine how you want your business to run. Click To Tweet

1. Systems—Protocols—Processes: These are words that are thrown around often when referring to the function or operation of a business. You often hear “The business isn’t successful because there are no systems in place”; or “Not everyone is following the proper protocols.” Many times when speaking to employees, they state that they didn’t know that there was a protocol in place, or they weren’t trained on the rules.

  • Your systems determine how you want your business to run. The process is the step to get it done.
  • Creating a system of accountability means that each team member understands what the job is and who is responsible for making it happen.
  • It is recommended that each and every process be written down; it may seem overwhelming, yet it will be so helpful when training a new team member. The final thought on this step is to review your processes often. The world is ever-changing and so is your business.
  • Know Your Numbers—Know Your Business. What does it cost to open your doors? Is your payroll within normal limits for your industry? This may seem like a no- brainer, however: many of the businesses that failed did so because someone else had a better handle on their numbers than the owner.
  • What numbers are important? The obvious answer is your income and expenses. Looking a bit deeper, make sure you understand what is coming in and what is going out at all times. If there is something suspicious, ask and make sure that you are comfortable with the answer.
  • The Tricky Art of Marketing. The purpose of marketing is to let people know that your doors are open. You have something that they need, that could make life easier, faster, better. It’s not enough to just open your doors and expect the masses will come flooding inside.
  • What is marketing? To put it simply:—everything is marketing. There is internal and external marketing.

2. Internal Marketing is customer service and office décor. It is often said that a client or customer loves the storeowner but can’t stand dealing with staff, or vice versa. The look of the office from the moment a customer gets out of their car, is marketing. Is there trash they have to step over, or might there be a strange odor in the office? An interesting exercise is to walk through the office, with customer’s eyes, from the front door until a customer’s business is typically concluded.

Here is an interesting exercise: take a look at your office from the viewpoint of your customer.

3. External Marketing is how you tell people about you throughout the community. Ads, website, billboards, Facebook, community events, etc., are all forms of external marketing. Customer attraction and retention must be a constant focus for the health of a business. You need to be aware of how you are getting your new customers based upon what you are doing and determine the return on investment for everything you do. At the same time, have a method for customers to let you know if their experience in your office did not meet their expectations. This would require a post-visit survey, suggestion box or even a follow up phone call.

What does your front door look like? Is there something that is unsightly enough to turn someone away? The marketing of your office is much more than magazine ads, website design, or asking for referrals. It begins with appearance of your office. You want to put your best foot forward from the very beginning and for some that may be driving by. Seeing the peeling sign or overgrown shrubbery, could be a negative enough to decide to drive on; or worse, your competition down the street is attracting customers with their newly painted sign.

4. Communication: We all know how to talk, but do we all know how to communicate? Effective communication is much more than merely transferring information. It is not always easy due to the circumstances. There are two ways to communicate—verbal and written.  Each is important and has their place in any business.

  • Written includes not only formal contracts or return policies, yet also, offer letters for hiring, performance reviews and counseling memos. Additionally, the written processes mentioned above have a strong value in their ability to thwart any barriers from providing excellent customer service. Anything that is discussed outside of the normal business processes should be documented to protect the business owner and the employee or customer.
  • Verbal communication with employees can be directives that take place at team meetings. It is through these meetings that the team understands the vision of the business and what the owner expects of their participation as an employee. These team meetings are a fabulous way to review processes, to ensure that everyone is completing tasks the same way. Updates determined as a team, are then put into the processes book. This keeps everyone on the same page.

Communications with customers are just as important to document, to avoid a ‘he said—she said’ type of event. If a promise is made, it should be written down.

The number one frustration in most businesses is the lack of communication. This frustration can lead to good employees leaving or poor performance due to not understanding the role.

Owning a business is the dream of so many people, and it can continue to be a dream that is achieved on an on-going basis. It is important to understand where your business stands and that the team in place has the owner’s vision with each ingrained in their actions.

Janice Janssen, RDH, CFE, is the co-founder of Global Team Solutions (GTS), business consultant, and highly-regarded professional speaker. Her acumen in the area of office management solutions makes her a real asset to her clients across the country. Janice is the current treasurer of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC), and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). For more information on Janice Janssen, please visit: www.GTSGurus.com.

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Why Training Means a Lot to Millennials

By Evan Hackel

Evan HackelWhen baby boomers took their first “real” jobs upon entering the workforce, their demands and expectations were ridiculously low by today’s standards. On their first day on the job they got an employee handbook that they took home and scanned while eating dinner or watching TV. Company training, if there was any, was minimal.

For the most part, they accepted the idea that it was normal to feel ignorant and unskilled in the first weeks or months on a new job. They expected to “learn the ropes” by making mistakes.

When it came to promotions, most boomers were equally willing to proceed by trial and error. Nobody told them, “Here is just what you need to do to get ahead in our company . . . here is the next position we’ll be considering you for.” One day in the hazy future, they hoped that their bosses would call them in and say, “We just gave you a promotion . . . you may leave early and take the family to dinner to celebrate.”

Was there feedback? Of course, there was. There were quarterly, semiannual, or yearly job reviews that usually followed the script, “Here’s what you’ve been doing wrong, here’s where you need to improve—so do it, session over.”

In short, many baby boomers were happy to toil away in black boxes, learning jobs and building careers in a loose way that would seem absurd to the members of today’s younger millennial workforce. Training is the place to build millennial productivity and retention. Click To Tweet

Millennials Have Far Different Expectations and Demands: Boy, have things changed. Today, most millennial workers would object strenuously to the same kind of conditions that baby boomers (and members of the generation that preceded them) thought were normal. If today’s millennials start new jobs and discover conditions like those in a new workplace, they are going to start looking for new jobs in a matter of hours.

Ample research documents that millennial attitudes are different. One major study from Gallup, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” reports these findings:

  • 60 percent of millennials say that the opportunity to learn and grow on the job is extremely important. In contrast, only 40 percent of baby boomers feel the same way.
  • 50 percent of millennials strongly agree that they plan to remain in their jobs for at least the next year. That might sound like a big percentage, but 60 percent of members of all other groups plan to stay in place for at least a year. Baby boomers and others are planning on sticking around, while millennials are weighing their options.

Learning and Training Are Key to Retaining Millennials and Maximizing their Productivity: Findings like those—and you can easily find more—document that millennial are more likely to be engaged and to stay on their jobs if they have opportunities to plan their career paths and learn.

Here are the trends:

  • Millennials like to feel capable and confident in their jobs. Millennials do not like to feel like rookies. Many think of themselves as leaders—or as leaders who are waiting to be discovered. They want to look good, and thrive on being able to confidently contribute from the first day they arrive on the job. The right kind of training—both for new and current millennial employees—makes that happen.
  • Millennials are usually skilled students. They like to apply the learning skills they built while they were in school. To them, learning feels as natural as eating three meals a day. As the Gallup study found, they are eager to learn. In contrast, getting baby boomers to believe in training can be a harder sell. They tend to view training as a burden, something they have to endure. Millennials say, “Wow, when can I start?”
  • Millennials are tech-friendly. Most of them love to be trained on their mobile phones and tablets, which are the most powerful training options available to many companies today. The result is better knowledge transfer, even to groups of employees who work in multiple or far-flung locations. Baby boomers, in contrast, are more tech-resistant. They are likely to freeze and resist when they hear they are going to be taking company training on their smartphones.

Training Is the Place to Build Millennial Productivity and Retention: A lot of training focuses on teaching needed skills. It should. But training can accomplish a lot more than that, if you use it to establish some of the following things that many millennials are looking for:

  • Mentoring relationships with their supervisors. Gallup found that 60 percent of millennials feel that the quality of the people who manage them is extremely important. With that in mind, your training for new employees can set up mentoring, not reporting, relationships between them and their managers. Explain how often check-ins and job reviews with their managers will happen, and what they will cover. And schedule frequent check-in rather than “on the calendar” pro-forma reviews that both managers and the people they manage find boring, or worse.
  • A sense of belonging on an energized and innovative team. This is a bit of a contradiction, but at the same time millennials think of themselves as individualist entrepreneurs, they also expect to be part of an interesting team. Letting millennials get to know their teammates during training, and fostering a sense of team/group identity, can help convince them that they have joined the right organization.
  • A well-defined career path. Consider creating a personalized career development plan for all new employees (the exception being seasonal or other short-term workers who will probably not remain with your company for long). Another idea? Enroll new employees in management training programs from their first days on the job. In retail, for example, you can enroll them in training that will enable them to manage their own stores in two years, or after another stated period. Millennials like to know their next steps as they build their careers, and training is a fine place to explain them.

Yes, training is important to millennials. They are the most energized, skilled and capable generation ever to enter the workforce. Train them well and they will become your organization’s brightest future.

Evan Hackel is CEO of Tortal Training, a firm that specializes in developing and implementing interactive training solutions for companies in all sectors. Evan created the concept of Ingaged Leadership and is Principal and Founder of Ingage Consulting, a consulting firm headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts. To learn more about Ingage Consulting and Evan’s book Ingaging Leadership, visit Ingage.net.

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Abandon Your SMART Goals

6 Reasons Why SMART Goal-Setting Does Not Work

 By Lei Wang

You’re probably familiar with the concept of SMART goals. SMART is commonly defined as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Organizations use these goals with two primary aims in mind. When addressing each aspect of the initials in SMART goals, the anticipated result is a clearly—defined direction for employees, and a well-set timeline to overcome procrastination and motivate employees to stay on track.

It is easy to see how you could expect SMART goals to work best when you are trying to reach a well-defined concrete target under a steady-state situation. Where you can see the target as realistic and the progress within your control, they are great for providing short-term direction and planning progress toward a long-term goal.

But when should you abandon them?

It is dangerous when SMART goals are blindly applied to every pursuit. For people who are aiming for big dreams that venture into new territories, or organizations that want to truly achieve ultimate greatness, especially in a dynamic environment, SMART goals are often inadequate, and sometimes detrimental.

To avoid such mistakes in applying SMART goals, it is helpful to know where and why they do not work. There are six primary problems inherent with SMART goals.

1) Focusing Too Narrowly on a SMART Goal: Fixating on a single SMART goal, it is easy to fall into the trap of seeing it as the only goal. Looking at the SMART goal in the context of the competing and contributing goals will likely influence your actions regarding the single goal.

2) Using SMART Goals to Measure Success and Failure: SMART goals need to be specific and measurable, so you can objectively evaluate if you have reached the goal or not. It is effective in managing progress when working on projects in a controllable environment. However, if you apply the same criteria to measure success or failure, it can motivate people in the wrong way, and when the situation is dynamic or extreme, it can even be dangerous.

When success is measured by a SMART goal, people end up pursuing that goal for a narrowly-defined success, and letting that exclusive target take over their identity. Failure to meet a SMART goal can make employees feel as though their lives are meaningless. They only see losses, unable to appreciate what they have. What drives them to success when things go well may send them into a tailspin when they do not.SMART goals need to be specific and measurable. Click To Tweet

3) Sacrificing Long-Term Success for a Short-Term SMART Goal: Turn to any business or market news channel, and you will find a big portion of daily news is about how much the stock price of companies rises or falls because they beat or missed their quarterly earnings target or market expectations. To an outsider, earnings appear to be the most prominent metric for a company’s performance. Because of the likely severe market reaction for missing their earnings target, firms commonly take extreme measures to meet earnings projections, even if it means sacrificing long-term growth or manipulating their accounting. Such companies operate as if the world ends every ninety days.

They put meeting the quarterly SMART goals set by Wall Street at higher priority than their customers and their long-term success. Eventually, that strategy will be fatal for business.

In more extreme situations, when your competitors are engaged in unethical tactics, and you are at risk of missing your financial target or losing your ranking in the field, what do you do?

4) Giving Up Too Soon, and the All-or-Nothing Approach: A SMART goal can be discouraging, either before or after reaching the goal. Have you ever heard yourself saying, “I don’t have time,” when excusing yourself for not doing what you had planned for that day? Time management is one of the most popular applications of SMART goals. When you think about allocating time to do a certain task, it’s often in terms of all-or-nothing.

SMART goals are viewed as a complete entity, and when you are unable to do everything as planned, you can become discouraged and give up the entire goal.

When a SMART goal is the sole focus you work so hard for, it often becomes a negative incentive. When all eyes are on that SMART goal, you lose sight of the achievements and fulfillment of the journey.

5) Failing to Realize One’s Full Potential: Even when people reach their SMART goal, it may not be a real success.

There are plenty of examples of smart people starting a company based on a great idea or product. They work hard to bring their dream product to life or to take the company from private to a public offering to attract investment money. Once they reach their SMART goal, they relax and the company’s growth curve dramatically flattens. They could have built a great company with many brilliant products, but instead they rested on their laurels.

While working toward SMART goals can motivate you along the way, they can often operate like a stop sign that makes you fall short of your full potential. Setting goals that are too easy will not move people to achieve more than the minimum they are capable of, they miss the opportunity for growth, and they will never know what they might have achieved if the goal had been more challenging.

6) “Realistic” and “Achievable” Can Be Misleading: When you are pursuing “realistic” and “achievable” goals such as your next promotion, next higher sales numbers, next award, you should pause for a moment and question, “at what cost?”

People who are so self-driven have a tendency to overload themselves with too many high priorities. An item is number one for a reason, so with too many number one priorities, the number becomes meaningless. Something has to be number two, number three, and so on.

When you look at each goal in isolation, it’s seen as realistic and achievable within a certain time frame. The tendency is to be overly ambitious, thinking, “I will figure out a way to fit it in!” But “realistic” is a relative term, not an absolute term. It is not just considering, “Is this goal realistic considering my capability?” but also, “Is this goal realistic considering all my other goals?”

Pursuing a lofty dream and fulfilling your greater purpose requires a broad vision, one that goes way beyond the immediacy of the next SMART goal. SMART goals can serve as checkpoints in your long journey to keep you on the path toward success. It is important to measure progress by growth and effort as well, because it is the growth and learning along the way that are of the most value.

Lei Wang is an internationally-recognized adventurer, motivational speaker and author of After the Summit: New Rules for Reaching Your Peak Potential in Your Career and Life. The first Asian woman to complete Explorers Grand Slam (climb the highest peak on each continent and ski to both poles), Lei channels her experiences to convey a message of perseverance and steadfast determination that her audiences can use at work or at home. For more information about Lei Wang, please visit www.JourneyWithLei.com.

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