This is part 2 in the series How to Get Things Done.
Something that shifted my perspective at age 25 was the idea of choosing learning goals over performance goals.
Keith Ferrazzi puts it this way in his book Who’s Got Your Back:
Lose 10 pounds
Increase Web traffic by 50 percent
Boost sales 10 percent
Learn to cook healthier meals
Find five new marketing tactics
Learn to hone your best pitch
Ferrazzi points out a problem with focusing only on performance goals:
“These goals can frustrate us rather than motivate us if we feel they’ve been crammed down our throats. One sure way to demotivate employees is by not rewarding or recognizing the learning and growth accomplished from project to project.”
I remember facing performance goals with confusion. How would I get from A all the way to Z?
Even if you have experience in your industry, you can’t snap your fingers and hope for the best.
But there is a solution: Learning goals. These help you chunk down the steps to what you need to achieve in the end.
“Creating our own personal learning goals…to support the performance goals we’ve been given can empower us. We can now own what used to be company goals, since they’ve become tools in our own self-development. Think of it as a way of discovering a perk that isn’t a part of your job.”(p. 160).
You will make solid progress in your performance if you can achieve learning goals. You might consider the learning goals as inputs toward your performance goal.
So when you’re strategizing, remember to write down what you need to learn as you make your way toward your final results.
Bonus: Clue your client in on your process.
Ronell Smith suggested this: “Tell your boss about the work, not just the outcomes.”
When your boss or client sees the power of the work, and the magic of the process, they’ll see how important it is to making outcomes happen.
And if that doesn’t work, you can always throw out the tried and true: “A competitor’s doing this, and they’re doing well.”