Dr. Lynn Nodland’s
Seven Steps To Success, Achievement and Leadership
- Start with the End in Mind was said by Stephen Covey. When you know the goal and where you want to be, you will get there on a straighter path and much more quickly. You would never start on a trip without knowing where you were going. You would first decide your destination and then plan a route. That takes us to our next tip.
- Have an Action Plan. Once you know your goal, create a plan, your route to get there. Chunk out the steps even further into doable size steps so that you can avoid being overwhelmed and also so you can see progress happening. It is motivating to be able to check off the steps on your action plan list.
- Have a Time Frame. You will reach your goal because you have put boundaries on the time it will take to get there. Yes, sometimes unforeseen obstacles pop up and your time frame has to be extended; but if you have no designated time frame it is easy to just keep slowly making some slight progress and possibly even lose interest in the project and goal because you do not feel you will ever get there. Success and achievement are often the result of a dream that has been put into an action goal that then has a completion time and date. This helps dreams become realities.
- Develop Your Leadership. As you work on a project develop and use your leadership abilities. If you are the sole person on the project you are definitely the leader who will get it done. If there are other people involved in the project, use your leadership to help them develop their strengths and grow in their abilities. Remember that you are an example and you are mentoring them to be their best. It is important to have tools available to make the project go well. These tools can also include the addition of workshops, speakers, tapes, webinars and other learning modalities that help the people involved to not only learn how to do their tasks properly but also soft skills training to help the project go well. We often provide assessments and training that identifies peoples’ strengths, natural energies and communication styles. This helps the people to understand themselves better so they can make their highest contribution to the goal. It also helps them to understand others so they can work together most efficiently. Remember that as a leader, your people appreciate the opportunity to grow and you will all benefit and the project will be completed more easily.
- Use Your Strengths and the Strengths of Others. Success, achievement and leadership are achieved most easily when you identify and use your strengths and the strengths of others. So often in companies, leaders will try to help staff be well-rounded and able to do all tasks. They want to help them to develop in their areas of weakness. While some of this cross-training may be necessary, research has shown that it is much better to help people to further use their strengths more in new and innovative ways rather than spend the time trying to help them shore up their weaknesses. For awhile they will be able to do work in areas that are not their strengths but they expend more energy and it is harder and not as enjoyable for them even if they can do it well. What happens is that those people will eventually want to give up. They might end up looking for a different job where they are happier using their natural strengths and abilities. If you recognize your strengths are better used in particular areas, then find someone else to do the other tasks.
- Delegate. You cannot do everything well, as was discussed in the tip on using your strengths and the strengths of others. Recognize when it is best to delegate tasks to another person. Some things can be delegated or outsourced which leaves you more time to do what you do best. If you are the head of the project, you are the decision-maker and the results are your responsibility. You want to achieve the most successful results possible using the consideration of conservation of time, people power and financial investment.
- Celebrate Success. You have used the tips listed previously. You had the end in mind with a specific goal. You created a viable action plan. You added the boundaries of time frames for completion. You developed your leadership and helped the people involved to grow. You used your strengths and the strengths of others. You delegated for the most efficient use of time, energy and finances. Now it is time to celebrate success. What can you do to mark this moment and remember it? What can you do to make it special? Certainly telling yourself and others congratulations is important. Sometimes just doing something as a reward such as going out to dinner or if it is a work situation, bringing in lunch or pizza. Many times people spend too much time commiserating about the challenges on the journey to reaching the goal and not nearly enough time celebrating the successful result. Yes, it is important to look back and see what could have been done differently to make a project so more smoothly. However, allowing time to enjoy the results of the labor, whether you did it alone or with a team will have tremendous positive effects on the morale of people and the culture of the organization. You and others will look forward to tackling more projects when you have taken the time to have rewards for your efforts and to celebrate your success.
I look forward to hearing how you used these steps. How have you celebrated reaching your goals? Wishing you much success. -Dr. Lynn.
©Lynn Nodland 2013