Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the tag “Goal Setting”

How the Different Parts of the Brain Help Vision and Goal-Setting

I’m starting to explore a lot more of the neuroscience behind why vision and goal setting are such powerful tools.

Initial observations are fairly simplistic, but serve as a good build on previous posts (see tags to the right)

As a simple foundation it is helpful to see the left hemisphere of our brain as being the logical, detailed manager of time. It wants to know why, what, how and when. In a lot of detail.

The right hemisphere exists in the sensory moment. It revels in the here and now. It is intuitive, creative, has no sense of time and only relishes the details that improve the sensory experience.

Jill Taylor in My Stroke of Insight explains, ‘By its design our right mind is spontaneous, carefree and imaginative. It allows our artistic juices to flow free without inhibition or judgement’

Immediately an observation is that we are given the capacity; in fact we’re given half of whatever we define as ourselves or ‘self’ to fulfil our creative capacity. And yet how many of us would hand on heart be able to say that we spend much of our adult lives being spontaneous, carefree and creative?

So point one: we are given the capacity to imagine and create. For what purpose? One, arguably, is to imagine our goals and what we want to strive to achieve.

Associated to the above is the fact that ‘the present moment is a time when everything and everyone are connected together as one’

So, in imagining and planning for the future using the right hemisphere, does half of your brain starts to merge your imagined future with the realities of now?

The left hemisphere, in thriving in the detail and pulling together all of your experienced moments into a ‘past, present and future’, uses language to ‘break the big picture perception of the present moment into manageable and comparable bits of data they can talk about’

So, the other half of your brain can then kick in if the time is taken to describe your imagined future using all five of your senses. Your left hemisphere understands this way of describing the future. You can set the programme.

Add time, targets and milestones into the process of imagining the future then to all intents and purposes the next step towards your vision and goals just becomes an action.

Specialisation and the Power of Focus

Dart by Asif Akbar

Dart by Asif Akbar

I had an excellent MDHub100 work group today. The work groups I think of as being most like AA for CEOs and MDs. A place where you can relax in the company of trusted peers and share your deepest, darkest issues.

It was attended by Paul Feist from Feist Hedgethorne and Zoe Porteous from Boutique Communications. Most ably facilitated again by Fi Shafer from Omega Blue.

A lot of the conversation was about business specialisation. I was arguing that specialised businesses – those with a niche focus – had a number of advantages:

  1. Enforced creativity: you have to innovate products and services to maintain a strength and grow revenues in your chosen niche
  2. Ability to cross-propagate best practice and ideas across clients
  3. Continually increasing expertise/ knowledge in the area
  4. Reduction of noise/ thrashing in switching focus between different areas. One industry/ one niche = one focus
  5. Ability to act as a forum for industry interaction (roundtables/ seminars etc.)

Read more…

Managing Yourself when Underperforming to Goals

I attended an excellent MDHub100 work group yesterday. The work groups I think of as being most like AA for CEOs and MDs. A place where you can relax in the company of trusted peers and share your deepest, darkest issues.

It was a digitally focused group with the most excellent Rosie Freshwater from Leapfrogg, Jason Woodford from AI Digital and Liquid Light’s Robert Day. Most ably facilitated by Fi Shafer from Omega Blue.

The conversations covered the challenges leaders have personally in managing themselves: their self-expectations and standards in situations where financial under-performance has taken place against extremely ambitious goals.

Now obviously there’s the whole thing about setting overly ambitious goals, and avoiding disappointment or demotivation by not doing. However, to most of the members of the MDHub such talk is sacrilege. So it then comes down to how to manage.

I explained in the meeting how I did it. That I ensure that I have a very clear mission and vision. That I quickly look back and draw attention for myself (and others as needs be) to how far we’ve come. I then ruthlessly evaluate whether in the here and now I am doing all that I can do in terms of putting in place the expandable foundations for success that will be needed to deliver the vision and mission.

This means in real terms that I accept my performance in relation to any goals set as being relative to what is required to achieve the end. If I have done, and am doing, as much as I can then I cannot be frustrated by any under-performance. If what I have done, and am doing, is the best foundation that I can have for the successful achievement of future vision then I cannot be frustrated by any under-performance.

It all ends up being down to:

  1. Externalities (markets/ competition/ limiting factors (mainly people and financial resources))
  2. Lack of self-development (how can I perform better/ do more at a higher quality with more thought etc.)

The thing that I didn’t get into though is the power of that goal setting in the first instance. The power that, if you’re doing all that you can to the best of your ability, will ensure you’re ultimately successful. That takes a bit of a leap of faith……

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