I have mixed emotions about goals. I shared my misgivings with you twenty or so weeks ago in post #34 - Personal Goals. Here’s what I said…
“For my Map, I’m killing the word goal. I’ll still use the word in conversation and writing because everyone gets it. But for my own personal Map I’m going with the word CAN. I’m going to create a list of things I CAN do that I choose to work toward. And I’m going to attach a question mark to the end of CAN? to remind myself of a couple things. First, that my CAN?s adhere to the “Genius of the AND”. That they have conflict built into them that I must embrace and be wary of. And second, that I need to respect the saying “good thing, bad thing, who knows”. Meaning I can’t know for sure if achieving my CAN?s will lead to good things.”
The “Genius of the AND”
The “Genius of the AND” is a term from the book Built to Last, by Jerry Porras and Jim Collins. And it’s about having the ability to accept conflicting realities. In this case, the idea that goals can be great AND goals can be a disaster. If you want more detail on this conflict check out this Harvard study titled “Goals Gone Wild".
Good Thing, Bad Thing, Who Knows?
The “good thing, bad thing, who knows” comment is something I covered in detail in post #30 - I Predict NOTHING. The premise being that I have no idea whether hitting my goals will be good for me long term. What if I hit that $20M revenue target, and in the process I blow up my life? Pissed off spouse and kids. Pissed off employees that put their lives on hold to hit my made up number. Happy competitors who are licking their chops watching my employees update their LinkedIn pages. Way to smoke that goal genius!
Bottom line I, and all humans, suck at knowing what's in our long term best interest.
I Still Do Goals / CAN’s
As much as I rip on goals / CAN?s, I still believe in them. And here are three rules I use to set CAN?s that do more good than harm.
1)Max of three business CAN?s allowed. If I focus on everything, I’m focused on nothing.
2)Success or failure must be mostly within my control. This wipes out stuff like being chosen business of the year by some hokey panel of experts. Or having to hit a number that’s more dependent on the economy or my market than on my performance. No excuses!
3)All CAN?s must be in synch with my SELF and WORK Maps and they must lead to intrinsically appealing growth. In other words, my CAN?s must motivate me.
With these in mind, here are my three CAN?s for MapOfMe in 2017.
Engage, Leverage, Add Value
I CAN? ENGAGE by creating & defending something personal & tangible weekly.
This discipline is good for my business and for me as a person. I have to keep putting myself out there. Listening to feedback. Staying in the crucible.
Here’s a list of ways I plan to achieve this CAN?.
Should be pretty easy as I have over fifty half-written posts in my drawer.
Write a Summary.
I keep talking about these Maps, but to really understand them you need to read 50+ posts. That's 65,000 words - or the equivalent of a 250 page business book. That’s too much to ask, so I want to provide a brief summary for newcomers.
In a past life I’ve presented to as many as 150-200 groups in a single year. And now that this blog has me swimming in interesting topics, I feel the urge to get back out there. When I’m ready to engage in this one I’ll update the website to let you know.
Develop A Class.
I’ve benefited from building my Maps, so I assume others would too. That's all I can tell you at this point.
So those are four main outlets I’m going to explore in 2017. They’re all perfectly aligned with the IF from my WORK Map (see Map below), and I find each of them intrinsically motivating.
I CAN? LEVERAGE my impact by targeting business owners.
I have a favorite audience for my message - business owners. I like them for two reasons.
1 - Business ownership is a fascinating economics / psychology / statistics petri dish. It offers exciting opportunities to explore the interaction between business and personal growth.
2 - If an owner gets aligned with a well thought out Map, that goodness can be LEVERAGEd across spouses, families, employees, employees families, communities, etc.
For example, a single aligned business owner could impact the lives of their 5 / 50 / 500 employees. Or 100 aligned owners could impact the lives of their 500 / 5,000 / 50,000 collective employes.
This fits with my personal WHY - To Learn and Share. And if fits with my business WHY - To Learn and Share Stuff About Business and Personal Growth.
So everyone is welcome here - the more the merrier. But my master plan is to maximize my LEVERAGE by targeting business owners.
I CAN? ADD VALUE by showing gratitude for people’s attention.
Everyone, myself included, wants value in return for their attention and or money. But finding that value is tough. Businesses over-promise and under-deliver every single day. Online businesses, such as bloggers, are especially guilty in this area.
We start out with the best intentions. But once a few people start reading, the urge to cash in seems to take over. And that’s when the distractions start showing up. Rather than letting visitors consume our content at their leisure, we hassle them.
Here are some examples of hassles / interruptions I despise.
Flashing adds or videos designed to pull my attention away from what I’m reading.
Jarring audio / video that starts after I’ve been at at site a few seconds.
Boxes that pop up while I’m reading, hassling me for my email address.
To be fair, these people have the right to do as they please with their sites. While I have the right to despise the experience they create. And to question whether they really care about ADDing VALUE to my life.
So rather than just whine about this stuff, I’ve created a CAN? around my commitment to showing gratitude for your attention. I’ll do this by keeping my stuff free of interruptions / distractions and by refusing to publish filler just to stay on schedule. These are things that I appreciate as a consumer and they’re also things that I have complete control over.
Lastly, I’ll commit that if I do charge for a product or service - public speaking or the class I’m creating - I’ll go above and beyond to ADD VALUE. This one is a little harder to maintain control over since value is in the eye of the beholder, but I want to state it as a reminder to myself.
In general, everything I do will reflect the idea that attention and profit are byproducts of ADDing VALUE.
(This site is all about building a Map that will help me do work and life better. So at the end of each post I check in to see if any changes / insights come to mind.)
My business CAN?s - ENGAGE, LEVERAGE, ADD VALUE - are shown below on my WORK Map.
I'll work hard toward these CAN?s while at the same time accepting that they don't define me. A nice perspective comes from basketball coaching legend John Wooden..
“When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best you were capable of? If yes, you will probably be OK with the outcome.”
That's a nice level-headed way to look at this topic. And a fitting way to close out Version 1 of my Map drawing experience. It took me over a year rather than the few months I had goaled, but who cares? It's done, I've learned, I've grown. Not much more I could ask for.
Next time I’m going to share more of my goals research with you - interesting stuff that I had to cut from this post to keep the length down.
That’s all for today…
***Note: This site works best when you read the posts in order. So please head to the ARCHIVE to get started.