A Critical Doer Is Committed to Thinking and Acting
Lots has been written about the concept of thinking and acting. I believe even more has been written about setting goals to get individuals and organizations to commit to thinking and acting. Why then do organizations and individuals still struggle to consistently achieve and sustain optimum performance? One of the reasons could be that the goals are not worthy goals.
Let’s look at the anatomy of a worthy goal and see what makes it special:
- A worthy goal sufficiently challenges individuals and organizations so that accomplishment breeds confidence. One of the biggest mistakes in goal setting is to move beyond the “comfort zone” and provide a challenge to strengthen belief that a greater level of performance is possible. In fact, what many often refer to as a “realistic” goal is in reality a “safe” goal. As a leader, there is no greater vote of confidence you can give your people than a bold goal and a way ahead. This statement of “I believe in you” will eventually translate at the individual level to “I believe in myself.”
- Demand performance that drives individual and organizational growth. This is where the critical doer trait of character becomes very important. A bold challenge doesn’t come easy; setbacks and failures along the way are inevitable. When these occur, you have two choices: retreat from the “bold zone” to the “comfort zone” or stay the course with solutions and encouragement to achieve a breakthrough. With a worthy goal, you not only accomplish something significant but everyone involved becomes better through the effort.
- Produce something that matters. At times, we’ve all felt like we were doing something classified as “busy work”, meaning there was doubt in our mind if anyone would be affected if we didn’t accomplish the work. Generally people are motivated at the thought of benefitting others. The words…“in order to”…are an important communication tool to make that connection. It’s not enough to have a lofty goal if it’s not connected to a purpose. Make it a worthy goal by communicating the “in order to”…in order to unleash the full creativity of your organization to do what matters.
- Increase the family of winners. One of our culture’s biggest thinking flaws is “zero sum” thinking…the idea that in order for someone to win, someone has to lose. What we know from the practical world however is that our potential to grow is more often the result of building teams and partnerships. Critical doers use worthy goals not only to accomplish a great deed, but to posture for the future and making those who work with you winners as well. Purposefully plan for everyone who contributes to a worthy goal to come out a winner…ending in a better position than when they started so they will want to work with you again and again.
I challenge you to employ these four steps in creating worthy goals. These steps are consistent with the philosophy of a critical doer…committed to thinking and acting. Worthy goals have sufficient thought for successful action in the short terms, and increase capacity along the way for the long term.
Find one thing, personally or professionally, and transform your approach into a worthy goal. You’ll find yourself accomplishing more and build the capacity to do even more in the future as you gain partners who benefit from associating with you.
It’s what a critical doer would…do!
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