I work with many managers, small business owners, supervisors and corporate executives in the coaching work that I do. This puts me in a unique position to see the challenges that professionals at this level of success create for themselves and their staffs. Usually I am underwhelmed. When goals are shared, I often ask myself, “Is that all you’ve got?”
During these times, we need to dream and think bigger and we need to challenge ourselves and those who work for us to reach as far as we can to achieve bigger results…then reach a little further.
Some of you reading this may be old enough to remember the speech made by President John F. Kennedy in May of 1961. Others may only have read about this time in the United States in their history books in school, but before a joint session of Congress, our President set the ambitious goal of landing a man safely on the moon before the end of the decade. Our country had fallen behind the Russians in the race to space, and our President set forth the challenge to surpass what the Russians had already achieved and become the leading nation in the quest to discover the secrets that lay beyond our planet.
Notice that I didn’t say he suggested this goal. He didn’t set this goal with built-in contingencies and excuses. He didn’t hint at the fact that it would be nice to do this “someday.” What our President did was set forth the challenge to American scientists and engineers and the American public to make this happen. And it did.
The truth is I don’t think we ask ourselves or our employees to stretch and dream. We accept mediocre effort that generates marginal gains and minimal results. We fail to encourage and reward people for coming up with new and unique ideas, and I have seen situations where new ideas are actually discouraged. Limited budgets and resources are usually cited as the reasons for maintaining status quo. We are all capable of so much more, aren’t we?
Some of the thing you can do through expansive thinking, dreaming, and just a little more effort might be:
- Writing a book
- Starting a company, or starting a new one if you already have a company
- Developing a website and becoming a blogger
- Finishing a project (any project) in half the time to beat out the competition
- Starting a new division in your company
- Taking classes or going back to school to learn something new
So the next time you sit down with your coach to write your goals, or you meet with your staff to plan and strategize, embrace the challenge to stretch just a little bit more and I know that bigger results will follow. I am living proof of that.
What kinds of “big things” do you encourage and coach your employees to do?
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