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In Part 3 of the series we are going to brief on the subject of clear goals and priorities…
You cannot Hit a Target that You do not Have
This was an interesting exercise for me; thinking through what I would share today. So many angles you can take with the subject of goal setting from the process of identifying, reward systems, etc. In the spirit of brevity and clarity, I settled on were the follow three things:
At some point, every self improvement guru, management consultant and business coach in the world starts and or introduces the subject of goal setting. Wether they call it strategic objectives or just objectives or more simply – goals. They talk about them. And, they do so because they are critical to both your personal success as well as your business success.
If you think about it from a multifamily leadership perspective, budget numbers are goals. We set them at the end of every year for the year to follow and then we work like wild maniacs to ‘beat the numbers.’
The simple point is that how ever you go about getting them – go do it and do it today. Pick your guru and system and get them on paper or in an electronic format.
Business Coach Chet Homes author of the famed book: The Ultimate Sales Machine trumps the statement Pig Headed Determination and Discipline with every point he makes in his book and otherwise. I reference it as a premise for point number two. You have to get pig headed about reading your goals every single day without fail.
The great Napoleon Hill writes about Think and Grow Rich. He makes the point of reading them before you go to bed at night and again when you wake in the morning. His posit; while in slumber your mind works out ‘the how’ as it relates to getting your goals accomplished. My posit; ‘read them’ and the rest will take care of itself.
What the Mind of Man Conceives and Believes and ACTs on he Achieves
Napoleon Hill penned the above absent the italicized piece – I added that for good measure. My epiphany with ‘action’ came in the early years of my management career. One of my absolute favorite mentors in the business – Jackie W. – wrote me a letter than contained the following statement. All the best intentions in the world are worth nothing unless followed through with. It hit me like a Mack truck in high gear headed down the open freeway. More than an Ouch!
Meaningful Specific or Wondering Generality
Let’s close with a good question; it comes from Zig Ziglar; “Are you a meaningful specific or a wondering generality?” Goals insure that you run with the former part of the question.
Your PHD&D contributor,
In his Oscar acceptance speech for his role in The Gladiator, Russell Crowe famously said, “…dreams like this seemed vaguely ludicrous and completely unattainable. For anybody who’s on the downside of advantage and relying purely on courage – it’s possible.” It is true that most of us won’t win an Academy Award. We are each one nonetheless capable of stretching towards a destination that seems impossibly out of reach. Somewhere between where you are today and your impossible dream lies a journey filled with incredible lessons and stories worth sharing around the firepit.
In the quest to achieve your ambition, I offer you a few nuggets to keep, use, or toss along the way.
Failure is Inevitable
You will fail. Not completely – failure is only complete when you decide it is. From a quiver full of arrows, only some will hit the mark. The rest could be called failures, but I prefer to think of them as practice shots.
Set your Big-Hairy-Audacious-Goal. Then set some more – realistic near-term goals. If your goal is to win that Oscar, you can’t get there without attainable, actionable goals. I wrote about this topic ten years ago in this series. Even Russell Crowe had to start somewhere. Take an acting workshop or class. Volunteer at your community theater. In the world of multifamily, that could mean signing up for classes wherever you can find them – Internal L&D departments, LinkedIn Learning, or in any of the countless free webinars made widely available by vendors across the industry.
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Embrace nervous anxiety. Lean in to it. Greatness was never found hiding in the blanketed cocoon of comfort. Willingly put yourself into uncomfortable situations. Reach out to someone you don’t know to ask for a call or video chat to talk about your project. You may be surprised by how often people who have achieved success are willing to share their time and stories with others on the way up.
Be True to You
Be accountable – to yourself and to someone else. There is a reason people hire personal trainers or life coaches. It’s because those people hold you accountable to your commitments. It’s incredibly hard to duck out of a 6 am workout if you know your trainer got up early to meet you at the gym. Accountability is key.
Repetition Builds Muscle Memory
Put in the reps. It can feel boring or pointless at times but in every endeavor, practice the reps that build up your skill, strength, and confidence. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a teenager when he started lifting weights and learned the fundamentals of completing and marking the reps. From Mr. Universe to Governor of California, the practice of repetition served him well.
Measure and acknowledge your progress. It feels like fuel in your tank to have reached even the incremental markers of progress towards your bigger goal. Dave Ramsey has a debt snowball philosophy that helps people get out of credit card debt that involves paying off the smallest balance first. It feels good and it frees up cash to put towards the other debt. Celebrate your progress. Tell the world. Share it on your stories. It’s powerful stuff.
Celebrate the Win
When you achieve your big goal – take it in. Breathe the moment of accomplishment. Then – set your next goal even as you turn around and help someone else who is just getting started on theirs. For every person who heard you out, cheered you on, and celebrated the markers with you, pay it forward.
Congratulations – you’ve reached the upside.
For more than a year now people across the globe have been focused on their health or at a minimum thinking about not getting sick. The COVID-19 pandemic made us all hyper-aware of every sniffle, sneeze, or cough which made allergy season tricky for a lot of folks. However, we expect that life will soon settle into a style of normal that feels a little more familiar even as we incorporate some of the pandemic lessons into that newer normal.
But, once the coronavirus isn’t at the top of mind and we begin to spend some form of structured time alongside team members, I think our attention may turn to those other wellness threats in our working lives.
Bob Chapman at the Aspen Ideas Festival brings his perspective on Truly Human Leadership in business. He says, “Organizations in this country are the direct cause of the healthcare crisis. The biggest cause of chronic illness in this country is stress, and the biggest cause of stress is work.”
Bob cites research from the Mayo Clinic showing that a person’s immediate supervisor at work has more impact on health than the same individual’s primary care physician. Monday mornings have a 20% increase in heart attacks as people go back to work.
That’s an eye opener. You can feel the joy get sucked right out of the people who work in places where they don’t feel valued and the toll that takes on their wellbeing.
The issue at its core is the difference between management and leadership. Management is focused on the coordination and administration of tasks to achieve a targeted goal. Did you see anything human-centric in that definition? When managers view their employees as chess pieces on a board, humanity is removed from the equation and with it, the motivation and heart of those very HUMAN resources.
Leadership on the other hand is an art form whereby people are motivated to act towards achieving a common goal. Leaders recognize the humanity of their team members, support their goals, and celebrate their successes even when their careers lead them away from us. Leaders are focused on the people.
Whatever thing or service your company produces, your core product is the people who work with you.
Mission – Why we exist
Values – What is important to us
Vision – What we aspire to be
Goals – What are our measures of success
Key Strategies – How we intend to kick ass
Tactical Actions – Who is doing what? When?
KPIs – Scorecard
Beginning with the end in mind was popularized by the late Steven Covey in his wildly popular book – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The principle is extremely useful when it comes to setting goals both personally and professionally.
Covey uses a powerful story to set the stage for building ones life aim. Morbid as it may sound he suggests imagining yourself attending a funeral.
He suggests that you quickly come to the realization that the funeral is your own. He then suggests you imagine for a moment that four people are lined up to speak on your behalf. One from your professional life. Another from your family. One from your church or civic organization. And lastly a close friend.
Knowing the four people that you would like to speak on your behalf Covey then asks you to write your own eulogies. All from those respective points of views.
The over arching premise is to help you define what you truly value in your life and how you want people to remember you. And knowing that; you can work backwards to develop a plan to live by.
I think the same applies for any business that is trying to scale. They first must have the end in mind. They first must know what they want to be a decade from now, 20 years and 50 years from now.
Organizations must understand it from the point of view of an employee, a vendor, an investor, and a customer. An organization must hypothesize their own organizational eulogies.
And once they understand their underlying values then and only then can they work backwards and set the mission, vision and strategy to build the business by.
Organizations are set in place to serve the people that serve it. They are set in place to build character in others and the default of that investment is a business that builds itself.
Mills Properties will embark on this journey in 2015. I’m not 100% sure what the journey will look like or where it will take us but I will be writing about it along the way. And a decade from now I trust we will arrive at this very place and see it anew for the first time. Not because the fundamental landscape will have changed but we as people and professionals will have grown.
You’re looking forward to the space between Multifamily Maniac,