Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The immense power of choice

Joachim De Posada

By Joachim De Posada

WebsiteFollow Me on TwitterFollow on Facebook

The immense power of choice

By Joachim de Posada

You are born with the greatest power of all….The power to choose.

Every instant of your life offers you a choice: to exercise this power by setting and holding your path or allowing yourself to flounder and always be at the mercy of chance.

Every choice counts! Every choice has some importance some are very important. There are no neutral actions. Even the smallest movement has a consequence—leading you toward or away from your goals—toward or away from significant victories for you and for your enterprise.

Everything you do in life, from the thoughts you have, the actions you take, the decisions you make, the emotions you display, the attitudes you exhibit and the effort you give, is a matter of your choosing. And this is the case with the vast majority of goals you set for yourself or others.

Let’s face it. We all have great capabilities, talents, strengths, expertise but we can’t ever achieve our true potential unless we make a real commitment to achieve it.  And true commitment is shown by the quality and the intensity of our goals.

Some say that the difference between what one person and another achieves depends more on goal choices than on abilities. I certainly had that thought when I saw Harold Solomon defeat Jimmy Connors in a tennis match a few years ago. Jimmy might have had the ability, the raw strength but Harold had the goal, the discipline, the willingness to practice eight hours a day.. He didn’t beat him often but he sure did a couple of times.

What separates successful people from the rest of the pack are the goals, the dreams they choose to pursue, and how truly committed they are to make them a reality.

What are the components of a goal?

There are three components in every goal: The what, the why and the how.

Each as a different role to play but all are important and essential for the goal to be achieved.

  • The “what” is the goal itself and this is what provides the purpose.
  • They “why” is the “what’s in it for me”, it’s what I have to gain and this provides fuel to reach the goal.
  • The “how” is the strategy, the blueprint that provides the direction and milestones for achievement.

Why is Goal setting important?

  • Goals establish direction for you and others in your company, in your family and even in your country. Yes, families and countries must have goals too. If you don’t set goals how will you know where you are going?
  • Goals identify the results you expect. If you don’t have goals, how do you measure your progress?
  • Goals provide a challenging force. They challenge you to try harder, to grow, to make extra efforts. If you don’t have goals, how do you move out of your comfort zone?
  • Setting goals builds self- confidence and reduces tension. Yes, stress is lowered when imprecision, unclearness and doubt are replaced with focus, concentration and purpose.

Ok, now let’s give you some tools so that you can go back and have a meaningful meeting with your employees. (This method would also apply to a heart to heart conversation with your teenage son or daughter)

Gather your troops and do a reality check.  We call these “facing the facts” questions that need to be answered in this magnificent process we call “goal setting”.

  1. Is the goal really, really attainable—or even desirable?

  1. Is the time table to reach our goal realistic? Doable? Why or why not?

  1. Is this goal in sync with our company’s purpose, mission, values?

  1. Are the resources and the people I will need available or acquirable?

  1. Do we have the in house expertise, in other words, the skills, the talent and the experience required to achieve this goal?

  1. Are we willing to pay the price, are we really committed to give it all we have got in order to be successful?

Answer no to any of the questions above and the fact is you “ain’t” going to make it like they say in the deep South.

“ A goal is created three times.

 First in your mind.

Second when you write it down to give it clarity and dimension.

And Third when you take action and make it happen.”

Making big decisions about money

Joachim De Posada

By Joachim De Posada

WebsiteFollow Me on TwitterFollow on Facebook

This is a great post by Seth Godin. Very interesting and intelligent way of looking at choices.

Making big decisions about money

We're bad it. And marketers know this.
Consider: you're buying a $30,000 car and you have the option of upgrading the stereo to the 18 speaker, 100 watt version for just $500 more. Should you?
Or perhaps you're considering two jobs, one that you love and one that pays $2,000 more. Which to choose?
You are lucky enough to be able to choose between two colleges. One, the one with the nice campus and slightly more famous name, will cost your parents (and your long-term debt) about $200,000 for four years, and the other ("lesser" school) has offered you a full scholarship.
Which should you take?
In a surprisingly large number of cases, we take the stereo, even though we'd never buy a nice stereo at home, or we choose to "go with our heart because college is so important" and pick the expensive college. (This is, of course, a good choice to have to make, as most people can't possibly find the money).
Here's one reason we mess up: Money is just a number.
Comparing dreams of a great stereo (four years of driving long distances, listening to great music!) compared with the daily reminder of our cheapness makes picking the better stereo feel easier. After all, we're not giving up anything but a number.
The college case is even more clear. $200,000 is a number that's big, sure, but it doesn't have much substance. It's not a number we play with or encounter very often. The feeling about the story of compromise involving something tied up in our self-esteem, though, that feeling is something we deal with daily.
Here's how to undo the self-marketing. Stop using numbers.
You can have the stereo if you give up going to Starbucks every workday for the next year and a half. Worth it?
If you go to the free school, you can drive there in a brand new Mini convertible, and every summer you can spend $25,000 on a top-of-the-line internship/experience, and you can create a jazz series and pay your favorite musicians to come to campus to play for you and your fifty coolest friends, and you can have Herbie Hancock give you piano lessons and you can still have enough money left over to live without debt for a year after you graduate while you look for the perfect gig...
Suddenly, you're not comparing "this is my dream," with a number that means very little. You're comparing one version of your dream with another version.