Goal Setting

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Making the Leap Toward Top Performance

When it comes to leadership lessons, stories using frogs continue to “hop up.” There’s no doubt that making these frog lessons part of your everyday practice will lead to improved performance.

Three Frogs
I believe it was Harvey McKay who told a story of three frogs, two of which decided to jump from their lily pads into the water. The question is asked – how many frogs remained on the pads?

The answer is three, because even though the frogs decided to jump doesn’t mean they took action.

Two Frogs
I’ve previously shared my derivation of a derivation on frogs — Begin each day “eating a green frog” or two first thing in the morning. Your green frog is what you’ve been putting off that is draining your energy or negatively impacting your focus. If you “eat” the frog in the morning, you’ll accomplish an important task or goal and free up energy for the rest of the day. (This is especially helpful for those who have an MBTI preference for “Perceiving.”)

Leadership Lexicon
These “frog habits” lead to two words to include in your leadership lexicon: “intentional” and “deliberate.”

WHATBeing IntentionalIf you need to jump off the lily pad, prepare for your best jump.
Congratulations! You are setting intentions to be the “best possible you” at work.  Now, what do you need to be intentional about? A few questions you might consider answering:

  • What are you doing well, and how can you do more of it?
  • What barriers are keeping you from working at your best, and how will you remove or overcome them?
  • What specifically do you need to apply energy to in order to improve your performance?
  • What is one thing you can do to help an employee move forward in a meaningful way?

First the WHAT, then the HOW

HOWTaking Deliberate Action – Make the jump! Eat that frog!
Now that you’ve set the intention to make positive changes in specific areas, what do you need to do to put that intention into action? Research shows the more specific you are, the more likely you will be to succeed.

Below is a sampling of “hows” that come up regularly with my clients at every level. Simple, but not always easy:  

  • Start with a plan for each day or week
  • Create a daily frog habit – be diligent about eating the frog
  • Don’t check email before making your plan for the day
  • Schedule meetings with yourself on your calendar, and keep the meeting as if it’s with someone else
  • Set boundaries and expectations to remove distractions that keep you from accomplishing your goals

Without a doubt, these “frogs” can help you improve your performance. Now, jump to it!


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Wanna Change It? Just Tweak It!

Okay, here’s a throw back for all you Brady Bunch fans. Of course you remember the “pork chops and apple sauce” episode, but what about the episode that dealt with Peter’s voice changing? The kids, adults, Alice the housekeeper and the whole neighborhood went down to the local recording studio so the kids could make a record. About Peter’s voice. Kind of. The record was all about change. Hmmm.

Just wanted to mention that here because even though that episode is a bit of a “golden oldie” now, the song had an important message that I find applies today.

When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange who you are and what you’re gonna be

There’s no shortage of talk about change, is there? Change is hard. Change is inevitable. Change is us!

So what do we do with that knowledge about change? 

Read more

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Don’t Keep This A Secret!

Acclaimed financial advice guru Dave Ramsey was a millionaire in his 20s. He was in that wonderful 20-something decade of life – healthy, happy, and “living the life.”

Until he wasn’t.

He and his wife lost everything they had because, as he says, “we mismanaged our money and lost control of our lives.” They declared bankruptcy, and found out what it meant to be in deep debt and deep do-do, at a time when the journey should have just been beginning for them.

Learning for Living

Fortunately for most of us, we have not had to face the challenges in our 20s that the Ramsey’s did (or likely look back at that age and say we were millionaires either). Still, we can learn a few things from Dave that will help us in our daily lives.

I’d like to share one in particular. Read more

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Happy At Work

I’m involved in a happiness survey project right now. I get an email twice a day with a short series of questions that ask me things like how well I slept, if I’m interacting with anyone, and how I feel right now. I don’t have the result yet, but by in large, I’m a pretty happy person, and feel extremely blessed.

So the question comes – Do you ever take the time to check your emotions, level of satisfaction or happiness during the day? How do you feel in the middle of a challenging day, or at the end of the day?

I ask, because there’s most likely an opportunity to amplify your happiness, or help your employees biggie-size their own happiness. Read more

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Lessons From A Warrior

It’s all Lisa Kaminski’s fault. The link to the Warrior Dash race was in an email she sent to me. I clicked on it, and sufficiently intrigued, I decided it was time to become a warrior!

And even though I love being outside, and being active is a given for me, I’ve never seriously considered running because of the arthritis in my right knee.

However, with the opportunity to jump over fire, walk a plank and make my way through a mud bog, I cast concern for my knee to the wind.

Normally, in business, I would start asking questions like: Read more