Without a Goal, you can’t Score

“without a goal, you can’t score” …and you are probably somewhat de-motivated…

In sports, the goal is very clear. In football – a 24ft by 8ft steel or aluminium frame with a net… so you can clearly see if the ball goes in.

In sports, the victory condition is very clear… more goals than the other team.

In our lives, some people take the time to get clear on their specific goals… and they know when they score.

Others have only a vague idea…

Others are just kicking a ball in the dark.

Clarity on your Goals: in sports, and in life

Here’s what ChatGPT has to say on my sports metaphor and its application to our lives…

  1. Clarity of Purpose:
    • In sports, particularly in football, there’s no ambiguity about what the objective is: to get the ball into the goal. This clear-cut aim provides direction to all the players on the field.
    • Similarly, in life, having a well-defined goal can give a person direction and purpose. Knowing what one wants to achieve can be a guiding light in making decisions and choosing paths.
  2. Measuring Success:
    • In football, success is often quantified by the number of goals scored. The more you score, the closer you are to winning. It’s a tangible, measurable outcome.
    • In life, having specific goals allows us to measure our progress. Whether it’s a career aspiration, a personal project, or a health objective, breaking it down into measurable milestones can help us track our progress and celebrate small victories along the way.
  3. Motivation and Drive:
    • Players on a football field are driven by the adrenaline and the desire to score and win. The clarity of the goal amplifies their motivation.
    • Similarly, having clear goals in life can be a powerful motivator. When we know what we’re striving for, we’re more likely to put in the effort and stay committed. In contrast, lack of clear goals can lead to feelings of aimlessness or stagnation.
  4. Navigating Through Darkness:
    • The analogy of “kicking a ball in the dark” vividly portrays a sense of confusion and aimlessness. Just like a footballer would struggle to score without seeing the goal, individuals might find it challenging to achieve success in life without knowing their true goals.
    • Knowing where the goal is can be the difference between random, uncoordinated efforts and strategic, purposeful actions.
  5. Flexibility & Adaptation:
    • While the primary objective in football remains the same, the strategy might need to change based on the opposing team, field conditions, or even the game’s current score. Having a clear goal doesn’t mean there’s only one way to achieve it.
    • In life too, while our main goals might stay consistent, the pathways to achieving them might need adjustments based on changing circumstances. Clear goals allow for better judgment on when and how to adapt.
  6. The Power of Visualization:
    • In football, players often visualize the trajectory of the ball, foreseeing their moves. This visualization is anchored around the clearly visible goalpost.
    • In personal and professional pursuits, visualizing our goals can be a powerful tool for manifestation. When we have a clear vision of what we want, our mind and body can work synchronously towards achieving it.

The world of sports offers rich metaphors for understanding the significance of goals in life. Just as athletes need a clear target to direct their energies towards, individuals can benefit from defining and visualizing their life goals. This clarity can be the driving force behind actions, decisions, and eventual successes.

There are no solutions, only trade-offs.

“CEOs are in the business of making decisions”

Sam Reese, Vistage CEO

I’ve been reflecting this week on a quote from Economist Thomas Sowell “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.”

I work with CEOs. They take decisions. They feel responsible for the consequences of these decisions. They often wait to find a “perfect solution” rather than take action today on a “less than perfect option”.

CEOs (and the rest of us) live in a world of finite resources – time, money, manpower. With every decision, we are indicating our priorities. Investing in a new project might drive growth but will divert resources from other key areas. Each choice has consequences that affect stakeholders within and outside your organisation.

There is no Perfect Solution

When I teach, I often tell my participants that the worst approach to leadership is idealism. When a leader stands up and tells the world “every child deserves to go to school, every child deserves to have a safe home, every child deserves clean water, every child deserves medical services that are free and close to them…” after the applause, nothing changes. No child notices a difference. This is the worst use of the power of leadership… an idealistic rant. I agree with every part of it… but that changes nothing. There are trade-offs.

I was reminded of this idea while attending a conference yesterday at IESE Business School. I had the privilege of being the keynote speaker at an event hosted by the company Veepee.

The slide reads: “97% of people want to live a sustainable lifestyle; but only 12% of people are actually changing their behaviour”.

There are few cost free choices. Leaders often face immense pressure to deliver clear-cut answers. The pursuit of one objective always means sacrificing another. We must be very careful with the illusionary idea of a “perfect solution”.

Perspective: A Leadership Power Tool

Far from being a bleak outlook, this viewpoint is empowering. It emphasizes the importance of perspective, context, and adaptability in leadership. Recognizing trade-offs enhances our decision-making process. It encourages leaders to appreciate the complexities, accept the grey areas, and understand that their choices reflect their priorities.

For CEOs in this complex decision-making landscape, peer groups like Vistage play a crucial role. Vistage provides a trusted circle of peers who provide insight, experience, and accountability. Leaders are not alone in their decision-making process. Vistage offers a proven decision making method where CEOs can explore potential impacts, consequences, and risks associated with each choice.

This framework allows leaders to consider their priorities, weigh their options, and make decisions aligned with their strategic objectives and values… and then commit themselves and their organisation to the decision.

Conscious Decision-Making

Leadership isn’t about finding the perfect answer.

Leadership is about understanding the consequences of the choices you make and how those choices relate to the underlying purpose of yourself as leader.

The Importance of Persistence… The Ant Philosophy

Persistence is one of the most important qualities that a person can possess. It is the ability to persevere, to keep going even in the face of obstacles and setbacks. In life, success often depends on persistence more than anything else.

In this video:

  • on Ants and Obstacles… they just keep going
  • Rivers… they just keep flowing
  • 110m high hurdles… don’t look at the obstacles
  • How do you face obstacles?

Whether you’re trying to achieve a personal goal or working towards a professional goal, persistence is key. It takes time and effort to achieve anything worthwhile, and setbacks and failures are inevitable along the way. But those who are persistent keep going, even when things get tough. They don’t give up, they don’t quit.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Edison

One of the most famous examples of persistence is the story of Thomas Edison, who failed over a thousand times before he finally invented the light bulb. When asked about his failures, Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Edison’s persistence paid off, and his invention changed the world.

Persistence is also important in relationships. Maintaining strong relationships takes effort and patience, and there will inevitably be disagreements and challenges along the way. But those who are persistent in their relationships work through these challenges and come out stronger on the other side.

In summary, persistence is an essential quality for success in all areas of life. It allows us to keep going when things get tough and to overcome obstacles and setbacks. So if you’re working towards a goal, don’t give up. Keep going, keep pushing, and keep being persistent. Your efforts will pay off in the end.

If you liked this post, you will also like 6 keys to leading positive change and Developing a Vision Statement.

Don’t Make This Mistake: Good Intentions but No Actions

“The road to hell is paved by good intentions”

Be careful that your good intent results in good action.

Only action changes our world.

We see our Intentions, Others see our Actions

We should evaluate actions by their consequences, not their intentions.

Soft intentions, often create unintended consequences.

We judge ourselves by our intentions, others judge us by our actions. We are often so clear on our intent, that we are blind to how our actions might look to another person.

“Could do” vs “Will do”

Could vs Will – “I could do what you are doing!” – could = anyone “could”; doing it is the thing.

Anyone could make a call

Anyone could define a vision

Anyone could…

Could changes nothing.

An action (even half a step) begins the change.

Serendipity

Definition: finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for

Last weekend, I asked my family a question: “what is your favourite word?”

My wife had 3 favourites. One of those words is “serendipity”.

Side note: My 6 year old had one favourite word. “Love”. She is a genius IMHO.

This week several events occurred where I found that the word serendipity was the clearest expression of how the important people and important opportunities have come into my life.

I’m on the train to Madrid this morning, and stopped to reflect on why this word came up and why it is so relevant.

What is the difference between serendipity and luck?

…from the Merriam Webster dictionary

“There is considerable similarity between luck and serendipity, but there are also settings in which one word might be more apt than the other. Serendipity has a fairly narrow meaning, one that is concerned with finding pleasing things that one had not been looking for, while luck has a somewhat broader range (with meanings such as “a force that brings good fortune or adversity,” “success,” and “the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual”). One might easily be said to have luck that is bad, which one would not say of serendipity.”

Serendipitous Opportunities

I didn’t have it on my bucket list to do an MBA, it was someone else’s dream and they brought me along. Teaching was not something I ever imagined doing, and Brian Leggett opened that door for me. IESE now plays a huge part in my life and a huge contribution to my feeling of belonging in Spain, to contributing to society, and to developing my own reputation. Serendipity.

Vistage was not something I was looking for. I had no strategic plan that was looking for Vistage 10 years ago… I had a coffee with a friend, Verne Harnish, and he said “I think I have something for you”… and he gently pushed and encouraged me until I made a concerted effort to look at what the opportunity might mean for me. He did not just say “check this out.” He pushed me. I will always appreciate his encouragement.

EO was not something that I was looking for – I went to a lunch with a VC to get them to invest in my business… and Christopher invited me to a learning event… which led me to a 17 year participation as a member and a leader in EO.

How to Maximize Serendipity

Human relationships are the foundation of serendipity.

The more people that know who you are and what you stand for, the better.

Writing this blog and sharing my weekly youtube videos are my most powerful tools to let the world know what I stand for.

Publish content (blogs, podcasts, videos, articles) regularly. Don’t try to be an expert, publish what you are learning. Let people know what you are building, what is important to you, what sort of future you are looking to create.

People will discover you. They get a sense of what interests you. They become a global radar guidance system for you that raises your Serendipity Quotient.

How to Stay Sane in Uncertainty

A month ago it felt like the Covid virus was losing its capacity to disrupt our well made plans… but along comes Omnicron and the maths change again.

We are living in the era of predictable unpredictability. All plans are flexible and adaptable.

It is a state of existence that puts great pressure on our mental well-being.

Predictably unpredictable

For two years we have lived with shifting regulations around masks, tests, travel restrictions, lockdowns and vaccine certificates. As new variants arise (and that process is guaranteed) these regulations come and go… leaving us all living in permanent limbo.

We have canceled our own travel plans at Christmas. It almost feels a relief to have clarity, even as we and our kids accept the loss of the imagined joys of Christmas presents and time playing with cousins.

A decade ago online shopping, distance learning, home office and video conferences were the stuff of sci-fi and a few techie nerds. Today they are our lives. The advances in how we use technology to allow hybrid classes in IESE and hybrid meetings in Vistage have amazed me. I believe that the rapid acceptance of technology to facilitate communication, work, teams, advances in new organisation structures, crypto (as a store of value and with NFTs as a means to distribute equity, ownership, trust or revenues over a large group) is going to open up some massive steps forward for humanity.

Healthy Humans Need Meaning

We get a lot of the meaning in our lives (in the west) from activity, from progress against plans, from the feeling of forward momentum. We can find meaning in other ways. If we are to stay sane in times of unpredictability, we need to find meaning in other ways. A daily gratitude list – “3 things I am grateful for” is a very powerful meaning and mindset shift. Setting 10-20 year goals is another way of keeping a sense of meaning (and progress) even in the face of short and medium term unpredictability.

What are the activities, conversations, focusses that give a sense of meaning to your own life?

Choose your Hard (…because in Life… it is all hard)

I heard a recent Jordan Peterson video where he expounded on the concept “Choose your Hard”. This video has some of my reflections on the choice. Choosing hard today makes a difference. Not choosing hard is a choice… and it has consequences.

I love Pep Mari’s wisdom around true commitment. I shared his 4 levels of commitment in a previous video here: Pep Mari’s 4 levels of committment.

…and here is the comment on Linkedin that triggered my second part of the video: 17 habits is too hard for most people.

Learn something

Author T.H. White on learning as a cure for sadness:

“The best thing for being sad… is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”

Source: The Once and Future King

Thanks to James Clear for this quote in his wonderful 3-2-1 email newsletter.

PS I am currently re-reading TH White’s book “The Once and Future King” with my daughter. It was one of my favorites as a child.

Have a great Sunday. We just finished our pancakes 😉

The 3 Approaches to Work

I recently heard Sadhguru share 3 ways that people approach life and work:

  1. Idiot – these people don’t enjoy what they do each day
  2. Smart – these people have created a life where they do enjoy the activity and the people that they spend time with each day
  3. Genius – these people have learnt to love what they have to do. They know how to connect all important activity to their personal purpose and make it feel meaningful.

A couple of comments on youtube suggested that this was an “arrogant statement” and that not everybody has had access to education and opportunities. I don’t believe any of these 3 approaches are necessarily only accessed through formal education… in fact I see many well educated people from wealthy backgrounds who really struggle to get out of the “idiot” category.

Another comment on youtube suggested that we each operate at these 3 levels in different areas of our lives… it may be that you are a genius in health and exercise, but an idiot when it comes to personal finances… or a genius in your professional career and an idiot as a family member.

The route to genius involves having clarity on your purpose and a set of practices or rituals to connect necessary action to that sense of meaningful purpose.

What do you think? Where do you operate most of the time?

The Ability to Pay Attention

Whats the most important human capability for the next thirty years?

The Ability to Pay Attention

To hold your attention on what you decide is important. to stay focused as it becomes boring… and to stick with something through boredom to the insights that only emerge on the other side of boredom.

Today I am waiting to receive my first dose of the Covid vaccine. The Barcelona conference center has been turned into an industrial scale vaccine delivery system. It’s well organized and I am impressed.

Line for vaccines. A thousand people. Nine hundred face down to their screens. Fifty reading a book. Fifty looking around and seeing where they are, what’s happening and who else is here.

50 years ago information was scarce. That made it give power to those that had access.

Today information is so abundant that it gives little power. It is so abundant that it has created another scarcity: The scarcity of attention.

I am reading a book gifted to me yesterday by a good friend. “Stand out of our light: Freedom and resistance in the attention economy.” The book is a thoughtful reflection on how mobile phones are impacting our lives… sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse… but often with us being unaware of the price we are paying with our attention.

What is the true cost of an hour scrolling on Instagram or Facebook? The life I could have lived, the deep conversation I could have had, the goals you didn’t pursue, all the actions you didn’t take… all the possible yous you could have been… had you attended to those things.

“Attention is paid in possible futures forgone” James Williams.

41.37135222.1489566
Exit mobile version
%%footer%%