Get what you want April 4, 2008Posted by rickbron in Achieving goals, Getting what you want, Keeping Organized, Uncategorized.
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If you look at successful people, you can see some common characteristics like passion, vision, persistence, courage and preparation. Regardless of the characteristics you acquire or even demonstrate; there are three steps that you must follow if you want to get what you want.
1. Have a plan
Clearly articulating what you want and how to get it is the key step. Whenever I get the opportunity to speak in front of a group, I always ask them “Who knows what they want out of life?’ Almost every hand goes up. “How many of you know how to get that?” generally results in all the hands dropping. If you don’t know how to get what you want, talk with people who have already gotten it! Do what they did.
The more clearly you can define want you want, the more likely you are to get it. Use all your senses to visualize it. What will it look like? How will I feel when I get it? How will it sound when people tell me about it? Next identify what steps are necessary to get what you want.
2. Write it down
Keeping your plan in your head is a surefire way to lose focus. By documenting your plan, you reinforce the acquiring of your goals through the physical act of writing. Using a keyboard is almost as effective, but not as powerful. Doing both seems to add to the probability of achieving your goals.
The more detailed your plan and action scenarios, the more powerful they become. Be specific in what you will do, when you will do it and how it will benefit you. Review this document with a trusted advisor. Get and incorporate suggestions on how to get what you want.
3. Review your plan at least quarterly
Hold a quarterly status meeting where you review what you have accomplished. Check your goals to make sure you still want them. Modify action plans to direct your energy towards your goals. Here are three questions you might want to ask yourself at these status meetings:
What have I accomplished since my last status update?
What do I plan on accomplishing before the next status update?
What challenges am I facing and what am I doing about them?
If you are not making sufficient progress, set up more frequent reviews. After each review, rewrite your goals and action plans to reinforce your commitment to achieving them. Either physically write them or keyboard them into a computer. Using Copy and Paste is not effective!
This sounds like a lot of work. It is! The Big Dogz know that if they follow these three steps they can have anything they want.
Over the next 30 days, start to put together your goals and written plans. Set up a status meeting for 30 days and hold yourself accountable.
Effective meetings July 7, 2007Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Effective meetings, Keeping Organized.
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Stop wasting time in meetings! Just because you are a small company does not mean that you can afford to waste time and energy in meetings. The Big Dogz know and practice good meeting management, and you can too. Here is a tips list to help you get your meetings more organized:
- Each meeting has just one purpose. Keep people focused on that purpose. If you do not know the purpose of the meeting, figure it out before you start the meeting. Ask “What are we trying to accomplish?’
- It is generally a good idea to leave rank at the door, especially in problem solving meetings. However, appoint someone in the meeting to be the facilitator. Experiment with using different facilitators.
- Create an agenda for your meeting. Put the most important topics first on the agenda. Provide time estimates for all agenda items, and stick to them.
- Use a time bank. Add 10-15 minutes at the end of the agenda. Use this time during the meeting to keep people on target. If you finish an agenda item early, deposit the time in the time bank. People will work hard to have time left in the time bank because it means they get out early.
- Send the agenda to everyone ahead of time so they can give you feedback and be prepared. Once the meeting starts, post the agenda or hand out a copy to each person.
- The first topic on the agenda is to review and adjust the agenda.
- Discuss general guidelines for behavior in your meetings. Something like “Only one person talks at a time.” These guidelines can be developed over time based upon the behaviors of people in the group.
- Use the parking lot to contain topics that are off purpose. Always ask permission to put a topic or question into the parking lot. Always empty the parking lot before the end of the meeting. That is, assign it to someone, make it an agenda item for another meeting or identify that the issue has been handled. Not emptying the parking lot will cause reluctance to put future items into the parking lot.
- Appoint someone to be a time keeper. This person also keeps track of the time back.
- Appoint a scribe. This person will take the minutes of the meeting. You can use the Meeting Documentation form attached to this entry. Before the meeting ends, have the scribe read the minutes to make sure everyone agrees. Update the form and distribute the minutes to all participants as soon as possible after the meeting.
- At the end of a meeting, do a group process discussion about how the meeting went. What did we do well? What did we do that was not effective? What ideas do you have to make us more effective?
If you follow these tips, you will see that meetings do not need to be time wasters.
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Small Business Tactic: Record Yourself! July 6, 2007Posted by David Dirks in Keeping Organized.
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How many times have you seen an great idea, thought of a great idea, wanted to add another item to your small business ‘to-do’ list, but forget them soon after? It happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. To combat the problem, at first I would bring a pad/pencil with me. Well, that always doesn’t work well. Sometimes there isn’t time or it isn’t the place for a notation.
What I needed was a way to insure I was able get every detail of the idea or note. Problem solved: I bought a small, digital recorder (Sony ICD-B120). I’m not pushing the Sony brand. I’m pushing the idea that if you’re in the mix of working your business everyday, a small digital recorder will help.
Keep it in your pocket and when you need to make a mental note to yourself, you just hit record and speak away. I use mine all the time. It’s tiny enough to fit anywhere and not be a problem to carry. I can record hours of notes and play them back when I’m ready.
When your in your own business and in the thick of making it work, keeping track of your ‘things to do’ and ‘next great idea’ is one way to stay ahead…and keep your sanity.