How many times have we heard this hoary phrase? It can be especially interesting to hear when used as an one-note explanation for doing things a certain way. So, let’s take a step back.
When someone states their position/request because it is “best practice,” the first question that—should—come to mind is, “According to whom?”
It might be a best practice if one must use “best practices” in a sentence, by taking ownership of this non-concrete term: “According to what I [understand/have read/have been told/just made up/etc.], this is my take on best practices.”
Don’t attribute it to the ubiquitous “they” or an “industry standard.” Also, be prepared to share the source(s). By owning one’s take on best practices, a condescending and dismissive tone is bypassed.
Best practices in any situation is subjective and should remain flexible. Better yet, don’t get lazy and throw a term around that has no meaning or relevance, as there really is no such thing.
For more thought leadership on this in Forbes, read: Best Practices – Aren’twhere Mike Myatt @mikemyatt explains, “too much common management wisdom is not wise at all, but instead flawed knowledge based on a misunderstanding or misapplication of ‘best practices’ that often constitutes poor, incomplete or outright obsolete thinking.”
A must-read. You will most likely recognize the first work environment described and perhaps enjoy a few suggestions for change. – pw
If there’s one place on earth where originality goes to die, I’d managed to find it. I was charged with unleashing innovation and change in the ultimate bastion of bureaucracy. It was a place where people accepted defaults without question, followed rules without explanation, and clung to traditions and technologies long after they’d become obsolete: the U.S. Navy.
But in a matter of months, the navy was exploding with originality—and not because of anything I’d done. It launched a major innovation task force and helped to form a Department of Defense outpost in Silicon Valley to get up to speed on cutting-edge technology. Surprisingly, these changes didn’t come from the top of the navy’s command-and-control structure. They were initiated at the bottom, by a group of junior officers in their twenties and thirties.
When I started digging for more details, multiple insiders pointed to a young aviator named Ben Kohlmann. Officers called him a troublemaker, rabble-rouser, disrupter, heretic, and radical. And in direct violation of the military ethos, these were terms of endearment.
Kohlmann lit the match by creating the navy’s first rapid-innovation cell—a network of original thinkers who would collaborate to question long-held assumptions and generate new ideas. To start assembling the group, he searched for black sheep: people with a history of nonconformity. One recruit had been fired from a nuclear submarine for disobeying a commander’s order. Another had flat-out refused to go to basic training. Others had yelled at senior flag officers and flouted chains of command by writing public blog posts to express their iconoclastic views. “They were lone wolves,” Kohlmann says. “Most of them had a track record of insubordination.”
Kohlmann realized, however, that to fuel and sustain innovation throughout the navy, he needed more than a few lone wolves. So while working as an instructor and director of flight operations, he set about building a culture of nonconformity. He talked to senior leaders about expanding his network and got their buy-in. He recruited sailors who had never shown a desire to challenge the status quo and exposed them to new ways of thinking. They visited centers of innovation excellence outside the military, from Google to the Rocky Mountain Institute. They devoured a monthly syllabus of readings on innovation and debated ideas during regular happy hours and robust online discussions. Soon they pioneered the use of 3-D printers on ships and a robotic fish for stealth underwater missions—and other rapid-innovation cells began springing up around the military. “Culture is king,” Kohlmann says. “When people discovered their voice, they became unstoppable.”
Empowering the rank and file to innovate is where most leaders fall short. Instead, they try to recruit brash entrepreneurial types to bring fresh ideas and energy into their organizations—and then leave it at that. It’s a wrongheaded approach, because it assumes that the best innovators are rare creatures with special gifts. Research shows that entrepreneurs who succeed over the long haul are actually more risk-averse than their peers. The hotshots burn bright for a while but tend to fizzle out. So relying on a few exceptional folks who fit a romanticized creative profile is a short-term move that underestimates everyone else. Most people are in fact quite capable of novel thinking and problem solving, if only their organizations would stop pounding them into conformity.
When everyone thinks in similar ways and sticks to dominant norms, businesses are doomed to stagnate. To fight that inertia and drive innovation and change effectively, leaders need sustained original thinking in their organizations. They get it by building a culture of nonconformity, as Kohlmann did in the navy. I’ve been studying this for the better part of a decade, and it turns out to be less difficult than I expected.
For starters, leaders must give employees opportunities and incentives to generate—and keep generating—new ideas, so that people across functions and roles get better at pushing past the obvious. However, it’s also critical to have the right people vetting those ideas. That part of the process should be much less democratic and more meritocratic, because some votes are simply more meaningful than others. And finally, to continue generating and selecting smart ideas over time, organizations need to strike a balance between cultural cohesion and creative dissent.
Letting a Thousand Flowers Bloom
People often believe that to do better work, they should do fewer things. Yet the evidence flies in the face of that assumption: Being prolific actually increases originality, because sheer volume improves your chances of finding novel solutions. In recent experiments by Northwestern University psychologists Brian Lucas and Loran Nordgren, the initial ideas people generated were the most conventional. Once they had thought of those, they were free to start dreaming up more-unusual possibilities. Their first 20 ideas were significantly less original than their next 15.
Across fields, volume begets quality. This is true for all kinds of creators and thinkers—from composers and painters to scientists and inventors. Even the most eminent innovators do their most original work when they’re also cranking out scores of less brilliant ideas. Consider Thomas Edison. In a five-year period, he came up with the lightbulb, the phonograph, and the carbon transmitter used in telephones—while also filing more than 100 patents for inventions that didn’t catch the world on fire, including a talking doll that ended up scaring children (and adults).
Of course, in organizations, the challenge lies in knowing when you’ve drummed up enough possibilities. How many ideas should you generate before deciding which ones to pursue? When I pose this question to executives, most say you’re really humming with around 20 ideas. But that answer is off the mark by an order of magnitude. There’s evidence that quality often doesn’t max out until more than 200 ideas are on the table.
Stanford professor Robert Sutton notes that the Pixar movie Cars was chosen from about 500 pitches, and at Skyline, the toy design studio that generates ideas for Fisher-Price and Mattel, employees submitted 4,000 new toy concepts in one year. That set was winnowed down to 230 to be drawn or prototyped, and just 12 were finally developed. The more darts you throw, the better your odds of hitting a bull’s-eye.
Though it makes perfect sense, many managers fail to embrace this principle, fearing that time spent conjuring lots of ideas will prevent employees from being focused and efficient. The good news is that there are ways to help employees generate quantity and variety without sacrificing day-to-day productivity or causing burnout.
Think like the enemy. Research suggests that organizations often get stuck in a rut because they’re playing defense, trying to stave off the competition. To encourage people to think differently and generate more ideas, put them on offense.
That’s what Lisa Bodell of futurethink did when Merck CEO Ken Frazier hired her to help shake up the status quo. Bodell divided Merck’s executives into groups and asked them to come up with ways to put the company out of business. Instead of being cautious and sticking close to established competencies, the executives started considering bold new directions in strategy and product development that competitors could conceivably take. Energy in the room soared as they explored the possibilities. The offensive mindset, Carnegie Mellon professor Anita Woolley observes, focuses attention on “pursuing opportunities…whereas defenders are more focused on maintaining their market share.” That mental shift allowed the Merck executives to imagine competitive threats that didn’t yet exist. The result was a fresh set of opportunities for innovation.
According to decades of research, you get more and better ideas if people are working alone in separate rooms than if they’re brainstorming in a group. When people generate ideas together, many of the best ones never get shared. Some members dominate the conversation, others hold back to avoid looking foolish, and the whole group tends to conform to the majority’s taste.
Evidence shows that these problems can be managed through “brainwriting.” All that’s required is asking individuals to think up ideas on their own before the group evaluates them, to get all the possibilities on the table. For instance, at the eyewear retailer Warby Parker, named the world’s most innovative company by Fast Company in 2015, employees spend a few minutes a week writing down innovation ideas for colleagues to read and comment on. The company also maintains a Google doc where employees can submit requests for new technology to be built, which yields about 400 new ideas in a typical quarter. One major innovation was a revamped retail point of sale, which grew out of an app that allowed customers to bookmark their favorite frames in the store and receive an e-mail about them later.
Since employees often withhold their most unusual suggestions in group settings, another strategy for seeking ideas is to schedule rapid one-on-one idea meetings. When Anita Krohn Traaseth became managing director of Hewlett-Packard Norway, she launched a “speed-date the boss” initiative. She invited every employee to meet with her for five minutes and answer these questions: Who are you and what do you do at HP? Where do you think we should change, and what should we keep focusing on? And what do you want to contribute beyond fulfilling your job responsibilities? She made it clear that she expected people to bring big ideas, and they didn’t want to waste their five minutes with a senior leader—it was their chance to show that they could innovate. More than 170 speed dates later, so many good ideas had been generated that other HP leaders implemented the process in Austria and Switzerland.
Bring back the suggestion box.
It’s a practice that dates back to the early 1700s, when a Japanese shogun put a box at the entrance to his castle. He rewarded good ideas—but punished criticisms with decapitation. Today suggestion boxes are often ridiculed. “I smell a creative idea being formed somewhere in the building,” the boss thinks in one Dilbert cartoon. “I must find it and crush it.” He sets up a suggestion box, and Dilbert is intrigued until a colleague warns him: “It’s a trap!!”
But the evidence points to a different conclusion: Suggestion boxes can be quite useful, precisely because they provide a large number of ideas. In one study, psychologist Michael Frese and his colleagues visited a Dutch steel company (now part of Tata Steel) that had been using a suggestion program for 70 years. The company had 11,000 employees and collected between 7,000 and 12,000 suggestions a year. A typical employee would make six or seven suggestions annually and see three or four adopted. One prolific innovator submitted 75 ideas and had 30 adopted. In many companies, those ideas would have been missed altogether. For the Dutch steelmaker, however, the suggestion box regularly led to improvements—saving more than $750,000 in one year alone.
The major benefit of suggestion boxes is that they multiply and diversify the ideas on the horizon, opening up new avenues for innovation. The biggest hurdle is that they create a larger haystack of ideas, making it more difficult to find the needle. You need a system for culling contributions—and rewarding and pursuing the best ones—so that people don’t feel their suggestions are falling on deaf ears.
Developing a Nose for Good Ideas
Generating lots of alternatives is important, but so is listening to the right opinions and solutions. How can leaders avoid pursuing bad ideas and rejecting good ones?
Lean on proven evaluators.
Although many leaders use a democratic process to select ideas, not every vote is equally valuable. Bowing to the majority’s will is not the best policy; a select minority might have a better sense of which ideas have the greatest potential. To figure out whose votes should be amplified, pay attention to employees’ track records in evaluation.
At the hedge fund Bridgewater, employees’ opinions are weighted by a believability score, which reflects the quality of their past decisions in that domain. In the U.S. intelligence community, analysts demonstrate their credibility by forecasting major political and economic events. In studies by psychologist Philip Tetlock, forecasters are rated on accuracy (did they make the right bets?) and calibration (did they get the probabilities right?). Once the best of these prognosticators are identified, their judgments can be given greater influence than those of their peers.
So, in a company, who’s likely to have the strongest track record? Not managers—it’s too easy for them to stick to existing prototypes. And not the innovators themselves. Intoxicated by their own “eureka” moments, they tend to be overconfident about their odds of success. They may try to compensate for that by researching customer preferences, but they’ll still be susceptible to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports their view and rejecting the rest). Even creative geniuses have trouble predicting with any accuracy when they’ve come up with a winner.
A Syllabus for Innovators
When aviator Ben Kohlmann set out to build a culture of nonconformity in the U.S. Navy, he found inspiration in many sources. Here’s a sampling of the items he recommends to people who want to think more creatively, along with his comments on how they’ve influenced his own development.
A Syllabus for Innovators
When aviator Ben Kohlmann set out to build a culture of nonconformity in the U.S. Navy, he found inspiration in many sources. Here’s a sampling of the items he recommends to people who want to think more creatively, along with his comments on how they’ve influenced his own development.
“Lead Like the Great Conductors”
TED talk by Itay Talgam
Much can be learned from professions we have no understanding of. People are people—and recognizing the commonalities is useful.
by Orson Scott Card
This novel illustrates how tactical and strategic teams can be adaptable—and how genius can emerge at a young age. It’s especially apropos reading in the military, where we promote on seniority and not merit.
by Frank Herbert
A compelling story about insurgency and taking on established powers, Dune explores the ambiguous nature of messianic saviors.
Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
by Kathryn Schulz
We’re wrong a lot, and yet we almost never admit it. Schulz helped me critically evaluate my own biases and better understand how people view and portray themselves.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
by Ben Horowitz
Horowitz doesn’t merely talk about how to lead; he’s actually lived it. And who doesn’t love a guy who starts his chapters with rap lyrics?
The (Mis)behavior of Markets
by Benoit Mandelbrot
Mandelbrot is the father of fractal theory, and his insight into how that plays into the stock market transformed my understanding of luck’s role in managerial successes and failures.
Letters to a Young Contrarian
by Christopher Hitchens
I’m a person of faith, but I appreciate the way Hitchens incisively questions everything, even faith. I’ve used his methods many a time to develop contrarian positions and win debates.
Each episode is pure fun—but yields lots of learning at the same time.
Research suggests that fellow innovators are the best evaluators of original ideas. They’re impartial, because they’re not judging their own ideas, and they’re more willing than managers to give radical possibilities a chance. For example, Stanford professor Justin Berg found that circus performers who evaluated videos of their peers’ new acts were about twice as accurate as managers in predicting popularity with audiences.
The United States takes pride in being on the cutting edge of all things digital, and rightly so: American innovations and innovators have led the way. Yet according to recent research from the McKinsey Global Institute, the U.S. economy operates at only 18% of its digital potential, and the sort of productivity gains that digital technologies should be enabling are not showing up in the broader economy. Why is that?
The answer is that a new digital divide has opened up in America. Just about every individual, company and sector of the economy now has access to digital technologies — there are hardly any “have nots” anymore. But a widening gap exists between the “haves” and a group we call the “have-mores”: companies and sectors that are using their digital capabilities far more than the rest to innovate and transform how they operate.
We compiled a digitization index using dozens of indicators to show where and how companies are building digital assets, expanding digital usage, and creating a more digital workforce. The 18% figure is based on comparing how the economy as a whole stacks up against the performance of the have-mores. The latter are not just coming out on top; they are maintaining a wide and persistent gap. At the sector level, the index shows that the leading sectors have increased their digital intensity four-fold since 1997, with the greatest gains coming in the past decade. Other sectors are barely keeping pace.
At the sector level, the technology sector itself ranks with the have-mores, of course, as do media, financial services, and professional services, which are surging ahead of the rest of the economy. This does not mean every technology company is leading; there are plenty of tech companies falling behind, too. Laggard sectors in general include government, health care, local services, hospitality, and construction — but again, even within each of these sectors, there are bright-spark companies that are innovating and in some cases disrupting others.
These sector- and company-level divides have a broader economic significance because the most digitally advanced parts of the economy have increased their productivity and boosted profit margins by two to three times the average rate in other sectors over the past 20 years. Sectors that lag in measures of digitization also post lower productivity performance, and since this group includes some of the heavyweights in terms of GDP contribution and employment, this creates a drag on the broader economy. We calculate that if the U.S. were to capture the full potential of digitization, rather than just 18% of it, this could be worth at least $2 trillion to the economy.
The digital disparity is not the only reason productivity gains are not showing up in the broader economy; the full reasons are hotly debated by economists. But because digital capabilities are closely linked to innovation, growth, productivity, and even business model disruption, addressing this digital gap should be high on the agenda for both public- and private-sector leaders.
To be clear, the new digital divide isn’t about a reluctance to invest in equipment and systems; most sectors and companies now spend heavily on IT. The gap is in the degree of digital usage. Digital engagement between companies and their suppliers and customers is five times larger in the leading sectors than in others. This engagement can range from digital payments and advertising to interactions on social media and in virtual marketplaces. The gap is even wider when it comes to digitizing the workplace. In leading sectors, digital and mobile aids help workers do their jobs more efficiently, and routine tasks are digitized at the same time as new digital jobs are created.
At the company level, the have-mores lead in terms of product, services, business model innovation, and revenue growth — and they are often the ones disrupting their own and other sectors. Digitally enabled innovations often have network effects associated with them, which in turn leads to “winner take most” outcomes; the top-performing companies enjoy far higher profit margins than the rest, and a handful of frontier firms are leaving everyone else in the dust. Our colleagues last year surveyed 150 large companies to measure their digital strategy, capabilities and culture, and found a large gap separating the digital leaders—the top 10% or so—from the rest. Big incumbent firms in particular are struggling to keep up as more agile digital challengers deliver products and services in faster and cheaper ways. But it’s worth noting that not all of the have-mores are young firms that were born digital. Some long-established companies including GE and Nike have successfully revamped their operations and strategies to become digital leaders.
For the economy as a whole, encouraging the digital haves to close the gap with the have-mores is an issue that belongs on the policy agenda. Their catch-up growth could be an important source of momentum at a time when the global economy lacks dynamism.
There is reason to be optimistic. Digital innovation has been largely focused on consumers in recent years, but now big data and the Internet of Things are beginning to change the way things are actually produced. Companies in manufacturing, energy, and other traditional industries have been investing to digitize their physical assets, bringing us closer to the era of connected cars, smart buildings, and intelligent oil fields.
Innovations launched in the U.S. are rapidly adopted around the world, and the winner-take-most dynamics associated with digitization are appearing in other countries as well. Now the rest of the world will be watching to see if the United States can channel its technology prowess into the next wave of productivity advances, turning its digital lead into a broader economic transformation.
James Manyika is the San Francisco-based director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Company.
Gary Pinkus is a managing partner for McKinsey in North America.
At some point during the launch of your startup, it’s likely that a potential investor will ask you about your company’s mission statement. Many business management experts would argue that this should be your company’s cornerstone, inspiring and informing your employees in the years ahead. I can’t agree. The Virgin Group does have a mission statement — one that is brief and to the point. In general, there is too much importance being placed on such statements, but it is interesting to see how they reflect common missteps in business.
Most mission statements are full of blah truisms and are anything but inspirational. A company’s employees don’t really need to be told that “The mission of XYZ Widgets is to make the best widgets in the world while providing excellent service.” They must think, “As opposed to what? Making the worst widgets and offering the lousiest service?” Such statements show that management lacks imagination, and perhaps in some cases, direction.
At the opposite end of the scale is the statement that fails through flowery waffling. An example: “Yahoo powers and delights our communities of users, advertisers and publishers – all of us united in creating indispensable experiences, and fueled by trust.” That sounds wonderful, but what does it mean? Whoever wrote it should try listening to the company’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, who said in a recent speech, “Yahoo is about making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining.” It’s not perfect, but it would be a step in the right direction.
Some companies are not actually able to carry out their mission. The reasons can range from a disruption in the markets to a merger or acquisition, and then there are cases like Enron’s: Before the giant energy company went bankrupt in 2001, ruining the lives of tens of thousands of employees and investors, its vision and values statement was “Respect, integrity, communication and excellence.” Say no more!
While some mission statements consist of one vague statement, others are too long, which may reflect management’s lack of understanding of what a company really does. The Warwickshire Police recently produced a new mission statement; to the police chief’s dismay, the resulting 1,200-word screed gained the attention of the media and was nominated for the Golden Bull award “for excellence in gobbledygook” from the Plain English Campaign, a group that helps organizations to provide clear communications. Not only was the rambling epistle filled with buzzwords and jargon, but the word “crime” was not mentioned once.
Still other companies don’t know what differentiates them from their competition. The mission statement for the pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers reads, “To discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.” Well, you can’t argue with that, but surely this can be said of every drug company on the planet. Why would a person choose to buy Bristol-Myers’ products or invest in its stock, rather than its competitors’?
So that’s what not to do. If you are in a situation where you must write a mission statement, I think you should try for something closer to a heraldic motto than a speech. They were often simple because they had to fit across the bottom of a coat of arms, and they were long-lasting because they reflected a group’s deeper values.
When I was a boy, I was fascinated by such mottoes. One of my childhood heroes was the pilot Douglas Bader, who lost both his legs in a crash early in his career, but went on to fly fighter planes for the Royal Air Force during WWII. After seeing the movie “Reach for the Sky,” which told his heroic story, I remember asking my father about the RAF motto, “Per ardua ad astra.” When he told me that it meant, “Through adversity to the stars,” I thought the idea of battling one’s way to the stars at all costs was the most inspiring thing I’d ever heard. (It’s pretty similar to the “Toy Story” character Buzz Lightyear’s motto, “To infinity and beyond,” which some kids today think is pretty cool – especially some of my friends on the Virgin Galactic crew.)
A few years later, at Stowe School, I was taught the school’s motto, “Persto et praesto,” which means “I stand firm and I stand first.” This motto caused a lot of giggling among our group of adolescent schoolboys, but it was nevertheless excellent for guiding us forward into adult life. Brevity is certainly key, so try using Twitter’s 140-character template when you’re drafting your inspirational message. You need to explain your company’s purpose and outline expectations for internal and external clients alike. Make it unique to your company, make it memorable, keep it real and, just for fun, imagine it on the bottom of a coat of arms.
If we had to put ours on a coat of arms, Virgin’s would probably say something like, “Ipsum sine timore, consector,” which very loosely translated from the Latin means, “Screw it, let’s do it!”
I’ve been following a system I created for myself in 1989. It’s worked dramatically for me, and it’s worked dramatically for others.
I’d like to share it: I promise it can work for you…
Why 90 Days?
When I first started setting goals, I’d set six-month goals. But I discovered I didn’t start working on them until I had 90 days left: I’d procrastinate.
Procrastination is the killer of all goal setting. You have to set a goal with a time limit that causes you to take action today.
I picked 90 days because I wanted to give myself enough time to accomplish something, but not so much time that I’d procrastinate.
Don’t make a goal so far out that it doesn’t affect your behavior today. You need a goal that makes you start now.
How To Start
The key to setting a goal for anything is to make them time-bound, measurable and written.
The vast majority of people who make goals fail to give themselves a deadline, and they fail to write them down. But, according to Stanford’s executive program, 90% of high-performing people:
• set specific goals—with outcomes,
• set a deadline for their goals, and
• write them down.
I set my goals at the beginning of each quarter. I set three personal and three professional goals.
First, Set Three Personal Goals
When I say personal, I mean personal. They’re just for me: I don’t share them with anyone.
I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone. I’m trying to push myself to get better. I want to make myself reach new heights.
Most of our lives, we’re told what we can’t do and what we can’t become. We get a lid placed over our self-belief and our aspirations.
But successful people won’t accept that. They push themselves beyond what others tell them they can’t accomplish.
When I set these personal goals, I ask myself this question:
“What can I accomplish over the next 90 days that will make me feel good about myself?”
I really believe this is important: You must set goals that help you feel good about yourself. Aim to lift yourself and your expectations.
Why? When you feel good about yourself, you act differently, and you carry yourself differently. This creates a personal feedback loop that changes you.
Then, Set Three Professional Goals
The second set of goals is focused on identifying what I can achieve that has an impact on my business.
In contrast to my personal goals, these three time-bound, measurable goals are shared with my boss and with those I serve. I ask my boss and my team how they’d feel if I were to achieve the goals over the next 90 days.
Most times they feel good about my choices, but at times I get great feedback about the goals. This helps me hone and focus them.
The beauty of getting feedback is that it helps me sharpen the goals before I’ve even started work on them.
And Finalize Your Goals
Now that I have my six goals—three personal, three professional—there are three steps I follow.
First, set the goals aside for a day.
Second, come back and read each one, asking myself if I’d be proud of myself to achieve the goal.
At this point I may tweak the goal to aim a little higher. Not massively, but enough to affect me. Push yourself as high as you can go. The goals don’t have to be huge. They can be small steps to achieve—so long as they stretch you.
(Remember: You’re not setting these goals to make others proud. You’re doing this to make yourself proud. Once you realize this, it’s like a breakthrough in your mind.)
Third, make these goals your highest priority. Schedule action items for each goal. They’re appointments you cannot break.
For example, if your goal is to exercise more, and you schedule your exercise at 7am every Wednesday morning, then that appointment has to be your highest priority: It doesn’t get rescheduled or moved down the priority list.
Treat it as if it’s the most important meeting of the day, because it is. You are important and you need to treat yourself as important.
Do all this, and you’ll do things you never dreamt possible.
Time To Reach Higher
At the end of 90 days, you’ll have done something you’re proud of.
And you’ll realize you can do more. You’ll expect more of yourself, as will others. You’re on your way.
This is a system, but more importantly it’s a change in mindset.
But it’s not a failure if you don’t achieve all six. In fact, the first time I did this, I hit four of the six goals. But I was ecstatic: I’d aimed at something and made tremendous progress. Then came the realization that I could aim higher.
So every quarter I started to shoot higher.
The Bottom Line
I define my goals, I have a target to aim at, I write down and commit to my goals.
For more than 20 years this system has worked for me. Many high-caliber professionals have adopted this system and found success—they’ve contacted me over the years to say so.
I promise it can work for you. It changed my life and it can change yours.