Saturday, July 08, 2006

7 Step Formula for Goal Setting

  1. Decide exactly what you want in a specific area and write it down clearly, in detail. Make it measurable and specific.
  2. Set a deadline for achievement of the goal. If it is a large goal, break it down into smaller parts and set sub-deadlines.
  3. Make a list of everything that you will have to do to achieve this goal. As you think of new items, add them to your list until it is complete.
  4. Organize your list of action steps into a plan. A plan is organized on the basis of two elements, priority and sequence.
  5. Identify the obstacles or limitations that might hold you back from achieving your goal, both in the situation and within yourself. Ask yourself, “Why have I not achieved this goal already?”

    Identify the most important constraint or limitation that is holding you back, and then focus on removing that obstacle. It could be a certain amount of money or a key resource. It could be an additional skill or habit that you need. It could be additional information you require. It could be the help or assistance of one or more people. Whatever it is, identify it clearly and go to work to eliminate it.
  6. Once you have determined your goal, developed your plan, and identified your major obstacle, immediately take action of some kind toward the achievement of your goal. Step out in faith. Do the first thing that comes to mind. But do something to start the process of goal attainment moving forward.
  7. Do something every day that moves you toward your most important goal. Make a habit of getting up each morning, planning your day, and then doing something, anything, that moves you at least one step closer to what is most important to you.

Download pdf.

Friday, July 07, 2006

When Pigs Fly

When will England ever win the world cup again?

Perhaps never?

Can this the begginning of a new phrase in the same vein as "When hell freezes over?"

How about:

  • When England win the world cup.

  • When Singapore qualify for the world cup.

  • When Malaysia qualify for the world cup.

  • When there is a Miss Saudi Arabia.

  • When the Ms. Universe competition is held in Saudi Arabia.

  • When article 153 of the Malaysian constitution is repealed.

  • When Mahathir praises Jews.

  • When Israel and Palestine stop fighting.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Here I Come To Save The Day!

Your results:
You are Superman

Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Lantern
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

World Cup Semi Finals (2)

My prediction for today:

Portugal 1 - France 1 (France win 2-1 aet)

Why I Want To Be The Best

If you do not want to be the best you are implicitly setting a goal to be mediocre.

Is it putting pressure on me?

Not if I'm looking at the process not the goal.

I may not be the best at something. For example, I may take up tennis one day. Most probably I won't be an Agassi. But the goal is always to be the best in what I do. The only one you should compare yourself to is yourself. The Bible does allow one to be proud in the following way:-

If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. (Gal 6:3-5)

Why should I ever want to be mediocre in what I do? Live life to the fullest.

If I have to do sales, then be the best salesman, if it is in engineering be the best engineer, if it is in dance, be the best dancer.

It is a mind bent on excellence that thinks such things, don't confuse it with pride.

Carpe Diem.

Pride is when you think you are better than OTHERS. It is in the comparison with others that pride comes in. Someone told me the other day that wanting a million dollars is pride.

Okay then, how about wanting $1? Is that being proud? No?
Then what about $2? Then $3? Then $100? What about $1000? What about $10,000? At what point is wanting money pride? At the boundary of $999,999 and $1,000,000?

CS Lewis said that you know pride when someone is better than you. It doesn't matter whether you get $1 or a $1,000,000. If someone gets $2, and you feel envious then that's pride. Or if you get $10 and someone else gets $5 and you feel elevated, then that's pride. It is in the comparision not the amount.

In actual fact, in business, accountants will tell you that $1,000,000 is not a lot of money at all.

Money in business is used to measure progress. It tells you that you are serving people well. In the book "Business by the Book" by Kenneth Blanchard and Bill Hybels. Profit is defined as the applause given by customers that you serve.

People who believe they will be proud when they achieve the best fall into a trap.

They then do not set out to achieve the best fearing that by doing so they may sin and then live out their lives in mediocrity.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

World Cup Semi Finals (1)

My prediction for today

Germany 0 - Italy 0 (Germany to win 4-2 on penalties)

Eat This

Food a person should eat regularly:

1. Red wine. (1-2 glasses a day). [Flavonoids]
2. Green tea. [Anti-Oxidant]
3. Dark Chocolate. [Flavonoids]
4. Garlic.
5. Fish. (4 times a week). [Omega-3 fatty acids]
6. Almonds.
7. Fruits. (daily)
8. Curry. (kills cancer cells in colon).
9. Cranberry Juice.
10. Olive oil.
11. Ginger.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Death By Meeting

This is a book about how to use meetings to their full advantage.

We don't really seem to understand meetings very well. How many times have you attended a boring meeting doodling in your notebook or having an out-of-body experience?

Patrick Lencioni uses the analogy of meetings to TV, movies and shows. In mass entertainment, people are enraptured and stay still intently watching yet not getting bored or sleepy at all.

What is the difference? Drama, conflict, characterization, pacing.

The author says that there are 2 basic problems.

One, that you must have proper focus for each meeting. There must be an inciting incident at the beginning of the meeting to focus the participants. In story-telling, the inciting incidents sets the premise of the movie. E.g. We have the problem of Jaws in the beginning of the movie terrorising the residents. How do we stop Jaws? Or we see a murder being commited, the question then is who did it? Or even how?

Secondly, we must have different types of meetings. We don't mix 5 minute news with 1/2 sitcoms or talk-shows or movies or mini-series. Each of these formats have different purposes and used to tell things differently.

In a nutshell the recommendations for having meetings is to have 4 different types of meetings.

Meeting Type 1: Headline News Brief
Name: The Daily Check-In
Length: 5 minutes
Recurrence: Beginning of each day.
Posture: Standing
Focus: What you're doing for the day.
Caveats: If you have nothing to say, it's a 15 second meeting. Challenge actually is to keep it to 5 minutes only.

Meeting Type 2: The Game Show
Name: The Weekly Tactical
Length: 45 mins (must be regular length)
Recurrence: Regularly each week, same time and day.
Posture: Seated
Focus: Tactical issues, no preplanned agenda, accomplishing goals for the week.
Agenda: Start with 60 second report on what you're working on that week.
Score what the organization is doing according to 4-6 key metrics.
Only after that do you create an agenda.
Resist the urge to go on some interesting/important conversation that has no real-impact on your ability to accomplish your near-term goals. Note them down and keep it for the strategic meetings.

Meeting Type 3: Movies
Name: The Monthly Strategic
Number of Topics: 1-3
Agenda: Yes
Focus: Strategic, prepared debate and discussion
Length: 2-3 hours (irregular length, may even last 5-6 hours)

Meeting Type 4: Mini-Series
Name: Quarterly Off-Site Review
Focus: Review everything. Strategy, morale, performance, etc.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Self-Leadership and the One-Minute Manager

"Cayla, I hope this isn't another dumb question. But what makes a question dumb? Obviously not all questions are dumb. In fact, I've always heard that there's no such thing as a dumb question."

"Smart question," Cayla said. "There are 3 types of dumb questions. One when the answer is obvious. Two, when you're not willing to hear a certain response. And three, when you already know what you want to hear."

"For example, Rhonda is running around with her head cut off, but you need some help. So you ask, 'Are you busy?' That's a dumb question. Of course she's busy! so she says something like, 'There just aren't enough hours in the day.' You feel guilty, so you get flustered and leave her alone so as not to add to her burden.

"It is better for you to just simply state your needs truthfully: 'Rhonda, I need 15 minutes of your time to discuss this project. If this isn't a good time, I can come back at 3 o'clock.'"

Steven couldn't deny that he often asked what appeared to be the dumb question instead of stating his needs directly. "What makes the 'I need' phrase so powerful?" he asked.

"When you tell someone you want something, their first thought is usually, We all want things we can't have. When you use the I need phrase, you're coming from a position of strength. You've thought about what it's going to take to succeed and are requesting a person's help. It's amazing, but human beings love to feel needed. They love to think they can help you. 'I need' is very compelling."

This book deals with using the situational leadership model first introduced in the book "Leadership and the One-Minute Manager" to yourself.

The situational needs model (pdf here) illustrates the different stages of development of a person undergoing the transition from learner to master.

The main points of this book are:
  • Challenge Assumed Constraints
  • Celebrate Points of Power
  • Collaborate for Success
Know at which stage you are in your development and take appropriate action to get direction, support or both.

Empowerment is something someone gives you. Self leadership is what you do to make it work.

An asumed constraint is a belief you have, based on past experience, that limits your current and future experiences.

Ultimately, it's in your own best interest to accept responsibility for getting what you need to succeed in the workplace.

Don't buy into the assumed constraint that position power is the only power that works.
The only way in which anyone can lead you is to restore to you the belief in your own guidance--Henry Miller.
Use your Points of Power:
  1. Position Power (the boss)
  2. Knowledge Power (technical, knowledge, know-how)
  3. Relationship Power (people skills, relatives)
  4. Personal Power (ability to give assurance to people and make them feel comfortable)
  5. Task Power (ability to do or not do something)
When goals work out, it is usually because you instinctively take the initiative to be a self-leader and get what you need to succeed.

There is magic in diagnosing your development level and getting the direction and support you need to achieve your goal.

The 2 most power words to collaborate for success are: "I NEED"

A leader is anyone who can give you the support and direction you need to achieve your goal.