How To Really G-R-O-W As A Leader In 2018 By: Jones Loflin
If you’re like 62 percent of the population, you have already ditched the New Year’s Resolutions and have returned to maintaining the status quo, wishing things were different, and beating yourself up for all the things that aren’t getting done. If you’re in a leadership position, however, this inability to improve isn’t just limiting your success. It’s preventing your team from delivering their best work. What’s the solution? My suggestion is to get growing!
Coaching For Performance was originally published 25 years ago and is currently in its 5th edition. I first read the book a year ago and found the comprehensive model for performance improvement tremendously effective for me, even before using it as a performance coach to those in leadership positions. And because the model correlated so well with my book, Always Growing, it’s become another way to help my clients plant those “seeds of improvement” and harvest something better. See how G-R-O-W might work for you as you seek to become a stronger leader this year:
Sir John Whitmore, the author, writes that goals must not just be SMART (Specific/Measurable/Agreed/Realistic/Time phased), but that they must also be PURE (Positively stated/Understood/Relevant/Ethical) and CLEAR (Challenging/Legal/Environmentally sound/Appropriate/Recorded). Choose one of your leadership goals for this year and evaluate it using SMART, PURE, or CLEAR. If it doesn’t pass the test, what needs to change? If it’s hard for you to explain, communicate, or manage with your already busy schedule, it will go the way of that New Year’s Resolution to not eat lunch at your desk… or skip lunch altogether.
Put simply, this is where you seek objectivity about what has brought you to your current state as a leader that you wish to change with a goal. It’s about becoming more aware of the attitudes, choices, people, or circumstances that are contributing to your current reality with yourself or your team. Having a strong understanding of these factors helps you sharpen your goal and also begin to move to the next stage in the process. Failing to take this step exponentially increases the likelihood of failure and returning to the status quo.
Whitmore writes, “The purpose of the options stage is not to find the ‘right’ answer but to create and list as many alternative courses of action as possible.” If you feel limited with options, ask yourself “What if…?” questions to jump start your thinking. Questions like, “What if I had 15 minutes of free time each day to interact with individual team members?” or “What would my day look like if I created better boundaries for myself?” Once you have your options, you might begin to evaluate the overall cost and benefit of each one or rank them according to their perceived impact on achieving your goal as a leader.
This is where all the thoughts developed in the previous three stages turn into action steps. Some key questions to ask yourself at this stage include:
I know what you’re thinking… “This is a lot of work!” You’re right. But in those moments when you are tempted to give up and settle for the status quo, remember the phrase, “When you’re green you grow and when you’re ripe… you rot.” What’s your ultimate goal for 2018?
Jones Loflin is a global keynote speaker and performance coach, offering innovative strategies for leaders who are struggling with too much to do. He is the author of several books, including Always Growing and the award-winning Juggling Elephants. Jones is well-known for his solutions for individuals, groups and businesses with a desire to improve their leadership development, work-life satisfaction, or their ability to change.
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