When SMART Goals Produce Dumb Results

Can SMART goals produce dumb results? The short answer is “yes”. But the better question to ask yourself is, “How can we keep this from happening to us?”

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

The main problem with SMART goals, or goals in general, is that they are just ideas, thoughts or expectations. They generate no energy, no forward motion until you take action. If you make a half-hearted attempt to achieve them, or are not fully committed, then what happens? Poor or (dumb) results are the eventual outcome.

Goal-setting and planning are balance sheet approaches. They offer only a snapshot of what is important to you today, and how to get there from here. However, there is no momentum, no “wood behind the arrow”. Without this momentum being generated and directed, it’s hard to reach the intended target. A P&L approach is what’s required to make them come to life.

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How to Overcome an 8-8 Mindset

No, this is not another fan rant about the Dallas Cowboys lackluster performance on the football field this year. Although there are some similarities we’ll draw upon here. Rather, the article is about you. If you’re a business leader who seems to be stuck in neutral and unable to find the ‘winning formula’ to move to the next level.

None of us grew up with the notion of being average, just being good enough.

Whether it’s in sports, music, grades, business, etc. We have all been ingrained with the notion of being the best in our chosen pursuits. Does this seem realistic? There is nothing wrong with the quest for excellence. However, not everyone can ascend to the top of the pyramid and stay there. Real life just doesn’t work that way. And that’s OK!

Are your expectations aligned with reality?

Let’s talk for a moment about the ‘BIG LIE’. The big lie is what we tell ourselves when we have a bad day, or when things are not going our way. “Things will get better”. They won’t. Things are not going to get better until what? Until we do. In order to consistently achieve success at any level we must take risks, make changes and sacrifice to get there.

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Holiday Cooking Life Lessons

Six years ago ‘The Boys’, my son Daniel and I, decided to take on the task of doing most of the Christmas holiday cooking. It was our way of giving ‘The Girls’, my wife Laura and daughter Melanie, a break to relax and enjoy the holidays. My wild, crazy idea!

NOTE: The photo above includes some of the sweets and “treats” made as part of the holiday cooking marathon.

We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we started. But after eleven recipes and 12+ hours of meal preparation, cooking and the clean up, let’s just say we had learned a lot from the experience.

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Do & Don’t Lists for 2020

The holidays are a perfect time for both reflection and renewal. And it’s an excellent time to formulate the list of things you want to accomplish in the New Year.  While enjoying quality time with family and friends, of course. So, let’s get started on our lists.

“The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.” – Elbert Hubbard

Here are my suggested Top 5 “Do” and Top 5 “Don’t” lists to help us formulate our New Year’s resolutions and goals for 2020.

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There Is No Secret Formula

There are no secret potions, magic beans or fairy dust required to meet your goals for 2019 and beyond.

Yes, it is getting close to that time of the year again – the dreaded end of the calendar year. A time when many business owners review their financials and breathe a sigh of relief, or go into full-blown panic mode because the numbers are not there.

So, how are the end-of-year numbers stacking up for your business?

Are you feeling good about all that you and your team have accomplished so far this year, or are you scrambling for a quick fix to try and salvage the final year-end results?

If you are searching for a secret potion, magic beans or fairy dust to supernaturally improve things, then please stop! Review the blog articles I posted titled, It’s Time to “Ante Up”! and Who Wants Customers For Life?. You will find some great tips to help improve your top- and bottom-line performance.

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Growth Through Subtraction

The old adage that “you don’t get bigger by getting smaller” does not always apply in the modern world. In order to thrive in today’s fast-paced global marketplace you must think differently about what is essential to growth, and where and how to invest your time and limited resources.

Big corporations have gotten it wrong for decades. To artificially “pump up” stock prices and appease shareholders and the board of directors, they have historically downsized and reorganized during the fourth quarter to improve short-term financials. However, if you do not make fundamental changes to improve operational performance, this is a “slowly bleed to death” strategy that ultimately leads to disaster.

“When you remove just the right things in just the right way, something very good happens.”—Matthew E. May Continue reading…

How to Create a Winning Culture

Do you believe that creating a winning culture is vital to the success of your business? If no, skip to the next article. If yes, what steps have you taken to build a winning culture within your organization?

Each year Fortune and Forbes magazines’ complete extensive surveys and publish their respective lists of the “Best Places to Work”. These surveys rank the top companies in a broad range of categories including job satisfaction, pay and benefit programs, attitudes about management, internal communication, hiring practices, training, and diversity efforts.

What makes these businesses great companies to work for and recognized leaders in their respective industries?

Whether your business is a start-up or well established, it’s important to recognize that everyone wants to be a part of building something special — a great company. And culture is an undeniable part of the fabric of any great company. A lot has been written about culture and its importance, but do we really understand what goes into creating a winning culture? Continue reading…

When Results Matter Most

“Our results, much like our footprints, show us where we’ve been, not necessarily where we are going.”

Results are the yardstick by which we measure our performance, progress and our level of success. It is born out of Logic 101. “A thing that is caused or produced by something else; a consequence or an outcome.” If I do this … then this will occur. So, now that we are closing in on the 4th quarter of 2019, what more needs to be done in order for you to achieve success?

The one common thread that connects each of us, is a desire for MORE. We all desire more of something – money, free-time, sleep, etc., which translates to a requirement for more results. Unfortunately, our need for instant gratification and an endless pursuit of unfulfilled needs, wants and desires has moved us away from a longer-term focus and strategies beneficial to achieving personal/professional growth and success. Continue reading…

What Have We Learned?

If you believe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green Deal supporters, the world will end in 12 years if we don’t start right now to address climate change aggressively.

Ironically, it was 50 years ago that U Thant, then the Secretary-General of the United Nations, made a similar declaration about the future of mankind. He stated that the “Members of the United Nations have perhaps ten years left to solve the challenges ahead of us, or they will be beyond our control”.

U Thant’s more detailed comments can be found in the Introduction to the book, The Limits to Growth. It was the first edition of this book back in 1972 that began to reshape my thinking about the world around us and the fate of mankind. In 2012, 40 years later, I released my first book, GLOBALIZATION: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead that addressed many of these and other global challenges.

Back in April, I discussed one of the major issues from Chapter 5 of my book, Education Revitalized, in a blog article. Now, I want to broaden the conversation. Let’s go back a little farther to see what has changed during the past 47 years since the initial release of The Limits to Growth. Continue reading…

Global Imperative: Education Revitalized

What is the global imperative? If you read my first book, GLOBALIZATION: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead, you know the answer. The answer, “change your thinking”.

In my opinion, the key to changing your thinking is education. Education is the foundation from which growth and progress springs forth. If we truly want to change our world, and improve the quality of life for all global citizens, it starts with education.

In my book I devoted an entire chapter to Education Revitalized, so let’s look at how we have fared over the past seven years since the book was published. Continue reading…