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The way we interact with each other has changed drastically. We’ve all felt this to some degree in our personal lives, but what’s most interesting to me is how the pandemic has affected entrepreneurs — specifically how they network.
Networking is one of the most important entrepreneurial skills to develop, and it can have a huge effect on your ability to grow your business. Let’s take a quick look at how entrepreneurs can improve their networking skills post-Covid.
Rethink your networking goals
What comes to mind when you think of networking?
You’re likely imagining some business conference or local meetup that you would attend to prospect for new clients. While these are “networking events,” most people aren’t there to network — they’re there to sell. They have ulterior motives, and the interactions tend to feel disingenuous.
Unfortunately, this sales-first mentality is what many people associate with networking. Even when traditional networking events were being canceled or moved digitally, people have still been finding ways to give networking a bad name.
If you have an active LinkedIn profile, you know this all too well. Your inbox is probably inundated with people looking to connect — only to pitch you their business as soon as you accept. To network better, it starts with rethinking your networking goals. Your intentions should not be sales, but rather relationship building.
Networking is a way for like-minded, interesting and curious people to connect and engage with each other. This should also be your goal, even as an entrepreneur. When you stop focusing on selling and start building genuine relationships, you’ll likely find more business success.
Know where to network online
When I was young, I played poker professionally. I used to go online to learn techniques and strategies to improve my game. I also looked for mentors to help me become a better player.
One of the best places I found was an online poker forum. I was able to post questions, interact with discussion threads, and connect with other players, growing my knowledge and network. I was successful at networking mostly because of the platform. Had I been putting my energy into other channels with a less targeted community, I may not have seen the same results. This example holds true to this day, except now there are even more options.
Should you put your energy into Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Forums, LinkedIn or another networking site? The answer will vary depending on your business and interest.
If you sell a physical product and want to network with potential influencers, consider working on visual apps like Instagram or TikTok. If you’re an entrepreneur looking for business connections, maybe you want to spend time on LinkedIn, join a Facebook group or connect with business experts directly.
The idea is to find which online platform makes the most sense to you and your interests. Don’t be afraid to try something different for a few days or weeks. The internet is filled with diverse and valuable sub-communities, so you could end up stumbling into a great resource if you look hard enough.
Build your digital footprint
Amid the lockdown, people took to the internet and particularly social media to connect with the world. In fact, the average time spent on social media in 2020 increased by seven minutes compared to 2019.
People are yearning for conversations and digital networking opportunities. If you’ve narrowed your focus to specific online communities, the next step is to start developing an identity and voice on those platforms.
These three steps are critical for effectively networking online:
- Build your profile and activity: Your profile is like currency at in-person networking events, but online. Depending on the platform, you’ll have multiple ways to enhance your profile to convey your expertise, personality and interest.
- Find interesting topics and people: It’s now time to venture outside your profile and start exploring the platform looking for topics, posts and people aligned with your networking interests. If you’re an aspiring graphic designer, you may want to connect with digital marketers. You can look for trending hashtags related to marketing or find marketers who are actively posting.
- Join the conversation: A lot of people will follow posts or topics to collect information, but few will actually participate in the discussion. However, joining the conversation is a great way to grow your identity in that space, and it’s one of the best tips to help you when networking online. The more frequently you share within an industry or discussion thread, the more likely people are to associate your name with that topic.
The art of the outreach
Eventually, you may want to take networking to the next level. In most cases, the next step will involve you sending a personal message to the person with whom you’d like to network. This could involve an email, a direct message or some other communication channel. The key here is to approach outreach with finesse and care because you can quickly erase all the hard work you’ve put in previously if you have a poor outreach strategy.
Below are a few outreach tips to help you increase your odds of a favorable response:
- Have a purpose for outreaching: Your purpose for outreaching could be as simple as opening a one-on-one dialogue or more intricate like trying to have that person mentor you. Regardless of what your outreach goal is, you should have one.
- Choose the right method: Keep your intent in mind as well as past correspondence, if any. If you’ve been interacting with their posts on Twitter for months, they’re more likely to recognize your profile picture and Twitter handle than they would an unknown email address.
- Be clear and concise: Regardless of the intent or method, the outreach message itself should remain simple.
- Don’t be afraid to play the long game: You’re not going to marry someone on the first date, and you’re probably not going to reach your outreach goal in the first message. Consider starting your outreach by asking questions to learn more about the person instead of focusing on yourself or your reason for messaging. Not only can questions help you generate a response, but it can also be an excellent strategy for building relationships.
Networking online has become increasingly popular. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to recognize the value of these networking channels and learn how to use these digital tools to grow.
To set your own goals, you need to understand yourself and your personality first. Goal setting is a journey with yourself, so it is important for you to know what makes you unique and what makes you tick.
But what can I tell you about yourself that you donвЂ™t already know?
Well nothing. But I can help you to understand how your natural traits and characteristics вЂ“ the way you behave, your interests, your motivating needs вЂ“ affect how you succeed and therefore how they affect your individual goal setting journey. After all, itвЂ™s all about you!
Personality Profiling in Goal Setting
You are unique, and only you can understand what makes you tick вЂ“ profiling just helps you to gain that understanding.
Think of someone you know who is successful вЂ“ how do they act or behave? What are their traits? Do you think this helped them succeed? How do you compare? What characteristics of yours do you think affect the way you achieve?
Some traits are more in tune with success and achievement than others, but it doesnвЂ™t mean that the rest of us are doomed! We just need to be aware of what characteristics help us achieve and use these to our advantage – and what characteristics hold us back and turn these into positive drivers.
I am not a psychologist and ‘people’ can be very complex, but there are a couple of well-known theories that we can use to help understand ourselves and therefore help with personal goal setting:
Behaviour Preferences вЂ“ we all act differently to different things. This is a natural behaviour that is unique to you and affects how you view success and failure. Find out what your natural behaviour tendency is and how this will affect your goal setting.
Intelligence preferences вЂ“ we all like and are good at different things, and this affects what goals we set. Find out what your interests are. No this is not an IQ test, but rather an assessment of what type of things interest you and therefore what your вЂnaturalвЂ™ intelligence or aptitude is.
So, there are several personal indicators that influence what you do, how you think, how you relate to other people and how you succeed. The key thing is that you understand YOU as a person and what this means for your own goal setting journey and ultimate success.
There are many other self-assessment tests available вЂ“ a model commonly used by companies around the world for executive training is the Myers Briggs Type Personality Indicator. It is important to note that none of these indicators are intended to pigeon-hole you into any particular category or tell you how you should behave or feel, but they are intended to help you understand yourself, which is one of the most important things to understand if you are truly going to be successful in life.
I encourage you to explore as many of these self-assessment tests as you can find to help you on this journey of self-discovery and awareness. Or perhaps you can tell us about YOU and help others understand who they areвЂ¦
We all want to be more productive, but how do we actually make it happen? Most of us look for timesaving tips and tricks — use your calendar as a motivational tool! Take a break for moderate exercise during the day so you have more energy for work!
These kinds of tips can be highly useful, and I encourage you to try out any that make sense to you. But sometimes the best way to address productivity is to rethink everything about how you spend your time and how you set your priorities, helping you be not only more productive but also more fulfilled. And perhaps helping you reach the next level of success as well.
That’s how I would describe some advice from Laura Mae Martin, Google’s in-house productivity expert, who trains the company’s executives. Martin has shared lots of useful productivity tips, often around email, with Google executives. But her real strength is helping people change their approach to the whole idea of productivity, and to how they do their jobs.
Here are three pieces of masterful advice from Martin that I intend to start following right away. Maybe you should too.
1. Decide on your priorities and say no to everything else.
Choose your top priorities for each quarter, Martin advises in an interview on a Google blog. (I might try setting priorities for each month, since things can change quickly.) Write them down on a piece of paper and display that paper prominently near your desk. Then, whenever you’re asked — or tempted — to do something that doesn’t help you achieve those specific goals, say no. Having the note in front of you will make that no easier to say. Practice helps too — the more times you say no, the better you’ll get at saying it gracefully and without getting uncomfortable.
It’s important not to clutter up your calendar or your workday with things that don’t move the needle on what you care about most. “The more you say no, the more chances you have to say yes to something that really matters,” Martin explained.
2. Schedule half an hour of “me” time every day.
When a Google blogger asked Martin to name a habit that makes her successful, this is the answer she gave. She says she spends 30 minutes at the start of the day when she allows no interruptions, which she calls the “Laura 30.” What important tasks does she accomplish during the Laura 30? “I just drink my coffee, meditate, journal, or play the piano,” she explained in the blog. The point is to ground her and start her day with a calm and focused mind.
Speaking of a calm and focused mind, Martin believes that everyone who wants to be more productive should practice meditation. People find the concept intimidating, she acknowledges. But, she said, “if you had to cut a thousand pineapples, wouldn’t you spend some time sharpening the knife?” In the same way, taking a few minutes for meditation makes your mind sharper and aids concentration throughout the day.
3. Define productivity as doing what you intended.
A day spent sprawled on the couch watching Netflix is a productive day, Martin told Quartz, if that’s how you intended to spend it. Why would you plan to spend a day that way? I occasionally plan a day like that for myself when I’m feeling particularly tired or burned out and need to do something completely effortless. And when I do take a day to be lazy and self-indulgent, I usually find my productivity picks up when I get back to my desk.
But Martin’s larger, and very insightful, point is that productivity is really about intent. If you intend to spend the day writing a proposal but wind up watching Netflix instead, then that’s lost productivity — but that’s also true if you spend the day answering a thousand emails or sitting in meetings that aren’t directly helpful for your job. And if spending time with your kids is one of your priorities, then driving them to school is time spent productively.
The secret is “knowing what you want to do, intending to do it, and doing what you wanted to do,” Martin explained. That may be the smartest definition of productivity you’ll ever hear.
How to Align Your Personal Goals With Organizational Goals and Excel at Work
It’s difficult to accomplish anything significant if your personal goals aren’t in sync with your company’s strategy.
Our team didn’t always set specific goals back in the very early days of ThirdLove.
Somehow we were a small enough group that everyone knew what everyone else was doing and why. In fact, I couldn’t even say we were aligned or misaligned, because there simply weren’t goals to be aligned with in the first place.
But it’s impossible for a company to scale and grow without setting goals. And, as an individual, it’s difficult to accomplish anything significant or develop as a leader if your personal goals aren’t aligned with the company’s higher-level goals.
Here’s how to figure out what you should be working on and how to get in sync with your company’s strategy:
Get clear on the company’s goals
Every business needs a list of clearly articulated company goals to give team members an idea of how to choose their personal goals. At the individual level, any goal you set at work should ladder up to one of the company’s stated higher-level goals.
For instance, let’s say the goal for our design team is to bring down our return percentage over the next year. For the technical designers, their individual goals might be to study the styles with the highest return rates and then make changes to bring those rates down. It’s clear how that goal ladders up to support our higher-level goal of decreasing the overall return percentage.
Ideally, everyone on a team should be able to trace the path from their individual goals all the way up to the broader company goals.
Align your goals with your manager
There are only two scenarios in which you might realize that your goals don’t support the company’s larger goals:
First, what you’re doing might actually be important to the company, but for whatever reason, it isn’t on the stated list of company goals. In that case, you need to have a conversation with your manager to make sure that your goal is added to the list. If leadership has missed the importance of what you’re working on, you need to raise your hand and voice that issue.
The second possibility is that the goal isn’t a company priority. If that happens, you need to have a conversation with your manager about how your time is being spent. What is the importance of this project? How does it tie back to the company’s larger goals? Is there something else you could be doing that may be a better fit for the company’s strategy?
If you discover that one of your goals is not a priority for the company, you need to regroup with your manager and figure out which path will get you back on track.
Establish the baseline for each personal goal
To measure progress, you need to have a base for success.
But you’d be surprised at how many people begin working toward a goal without figuring out their baseline first. For example, at ThirdLove we have a certain threshold for return rates. If the rate rises above a certain percentage, that indicates a problem, and we need to pull the product.
But in order to know if there is a problem, we have to know our baseline return rate. We can’t set a goal to improve our overall rate without first knowing what we’re measuring against.
The same concept applies to your personal goals. To advance in a purposeful way, you have to be able to track your progress against a baseline.
Be open to change when your goals no longer align with the company’s goals
When I worked at Aéropostale, one of my projects was helping to launch a new tween brand for the company–and I was highly invested in making it a success. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, there came a point when I realized that it wasn’t going to be successful. I wasn’t going to accomplish my goal.
I still remember how hard it was to let go of that project.
It’s extremely difficult to come to terms with failure and let go of a goal that’s no longer achievable. But your goals aren’t set in stone.
You have to accept that there may be changes in direction or evolution that occurs from one quarter to the next. If your work no longer aligns with the company’s larger goals, it isn’t a sign of weakness to move on and realign. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure or you’ll never be promoted. It just means you’ve tried something, you’ve learned from it, and you’re ready to move on to the next project.
As long as your work is aligned with the company’s strategy, you’ll always find opportunities to develop and accomplish your personal goals.
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.
Creativity is all about finding new ways of solving problems and approaching situations. This isn’t a skill restricted to artists, musicians or writers; it is a useful skill for people from all walks of life. If you’ve ever wanted to boost your creativity, these tips can help.
Commit Yourself to Creativity
The first step is to fully devote yourself to developing your creative abilities. Do not put off your efforts. Set goals, enlist the help of others, and put time aside each day to develop your skills.
Become an Expert
One of the best ways to develop creativity is to become an expert in that area. By having a rich understanding of the topic, you will be better able to think of a novel or innovative solutions to problems.
Reward Your Curiosity
One common roadblock to developing creativity is the sense that curiosity is an indulgence. Rather than reprimanding yourself, reward yourself when you are curious about something. Give yourself the opportunity to explore new topics.
While rewarding yourself is important, it is also important to develop intrinsic motivation. Sometimes, the true reward of creativity is the process itself, not the product.
When it comes to building your creative skills, you need to be willing to take risks in order to advance your abilities. While your efforts may not lead to success every time, you will still be boosting your creative talents and building skills that will serve you well in the future.
Build Your Confidence
Insecurity in your abilities can suppress creativity, which is why it is important to build confidence. Make note of the progress you have made, commend your efforts, and always be on the lookout for ways to reward your creativity.
Make Time for Creativity
You won’t be able to develop your creative talents if you don’t make time for them. Schedule some time each week to concentrate on some type of creative project.
Overcome a Negative Attitude
Focus on eliminating negative thoughts or self-criticisms that may impair your ability to develop strong creative skills.
Fight Fear of Failure
The fear that you might make a mistake or fail in your efforts can paralyze your progress. Whenever you find yourself harboring such feelings, remind yourself that mistakes are simply part of the process. While you may occasionally stumble on your path to creativity, you will eventually reach your goals.
Brainstorm New Ideas
Brainstorming is a common technique in both academic and professional settings, but it can also be a powerful tool for developing your creativity.
Start by suspending your judgment and self-criticism, then start writing down related ideas and possible solutions. The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible in a relatively short span of time. Next, focus on clarifying and refining your ideas in order to arrive at the best possible choice.
Explore Multiple Solutions
The next time you approach a problem, try looking for a variety of solutions. Instead of simply going with the first idea you have, take the time to think of other possible ways to approach the situation. This simple activity is a great way to build both your problem-solving and creative thinking skills.
Keep a Creativity Journal
Start keeping a journal to follow your creative process and track the ideas you produce. A journal is a great way to reflect back on what you have accomplished and look for other possible solutions. This journal can be used to save ideas that can later serve as future inspiration.
Use Mind Maps and Flow Charts
A mind map is a great way to connect ideas and look for innovative answers to questions. Create a mind map by writing down a central topic or word. Next, link related terms or ideas around the central word. While similar to brainstorming, this technique allows for branching ideas and offers a very visual way of seeing how these ideas are linked.
As you start to develop a new project, create a flow chart to track the presentation of the project from start to finish. Look for various paths or sequences of events that might occur. A flow chart can help you visualize the final product, eliminate potential problems and create unique solutions.
Challenge Yourself and Create Opportunities
Once you have developed some basic creative skills, it is important to continually challenge yourself in order to further advance your abilities. Look for more difficult approaches, try out new things and avoid always using the same solutions you have used in the past.
In addition to challenging yourself, you also need to create your own opportunities for creativity. This might involve tackling a new project or finding new tools to use in your current projects.
Try the Six Hats Technique
The “six hats” technique involves looking at a problem from six differing perspectives. By doing this, you can produce more ideas than you might have had you only looked at the situation from one or two points of view.
- Black Hat: Use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
- Blue Hat: Think broadly. What is the best overall solution?
- Green Hat: Think creatively. What are some alternative ideas?
- Red Hat: Look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you?
- White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
- Yellow Hat: Use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?
Look for Inspiration
Never expect creativity to just happen. Look for new sources of inspiration that will give you fresh ideas and motivate you to generate unique answers to questions. Read a book, visit a museum, listen to your favorite music or engage in a lively debate with a friend. Utilize whatever strategy or technique works best for you.
Consider Alternative Scenarios
When approaching a problem, utilize “what if. ” questions to consider each possible scenario. If you take a specific approach, what will the outcome be?
By looking at these alternatives beforehand, you’ll be better able to develop creative solutions to problems.
Try the Snowball Technique
Have you ever noticed how one great idea often leads directly to another? You can take advantage of this by utilizing a “snowball technique” when you are generating ideas for your project. If the idea isn’t appropriate for your current work, set it aside to work on later, or implement it in a future project.
Goal setting requires both achievement and failure
Setting achievable goals for yourself is a simple and repetitive route toward larger, more ambitious goals—the kind generally referred to as a five-year plan, or as “dreams.” Goal setting requires both achievement and failure, so it’s important to appreciate both when practicing any new personal or professional discipline.
What Is Goal Setting?
The difference between a resolution and a goal is the planning and incrementation needed to achieve one’s objective.
A New Year’s resolution is only one small step above a wish; it’s an intention with a vague or nonexistent plan, and without documentation or granular attention to detail.
Goal setting demands a desired result, and could be simply defined as the process of deciding what to accomplish, and then devising a plan. The implication of setting a goal is that we desire change, and in this way, goal setting is an intellectual exercise used to plan for the future and achieve some semblance of our present dreams.
Resolutions are passive and goals are active.
How to Set Goals
The first step toward successful goal setting is an analysis of all aspects of the goal. You want to make sure each goal is worthwhile, and yet the importance of simplicity and repetition in goal setting on a daily basis cannot be overstated.
Making to-do lists is a fundamental form of goal setting—one without extensive documentation for action, desired outcomes, or detailed analysis. These lists typically include the incremental action items of a larger goal that you’re working toward.
You can use the SMART goal setting framework for making sure you’re setting goals that are actually achievable. SMART stands for: Specific, Motivational, Action-oriented, Relevant to your situation, and Time-bound.
Setting Business Goals
Business goals follow the same goal-setting methodology as personal ones: they must be relevant, actionable, and achievable.
Creating a business action plan will provide you with direction for the coming year or more. Upon completing your plan, you will have a vision statement, a mission statement, and specific business goals to kickstart your action.
How to Use Goals to Spur Achievement
The power of goal setting is in small, frequent motivations and results. Three motivational points to consider further include:
- Choose goals that are challenging.
- Choose and monitor both short-term and long-term goals.
- Keep goals consistent.
If the goal is too easy to complete, there’s little achievement in it. If you set exclusively easy goals for yourself, you will get bored and fall out of the habit of goal setting. The challenge is what makes results feel worthwhile and self-actualizing, and makes goal setting feel rewarding.
In terms of business goals, the vision statement is a useful challenge vehicle. It provides the inspiration for both your daily operations and your strategic decisions.
It’s easy for small, critical actions to fade into the background of a busy schedule, but predetermined daily reminders will help you stay focused on your goals. Reading, meditating, exercising, or starting each day with a personal or business planning session is a great routine to sharpen your discipline for goal setting. These daily habits can exponentially increase your motivation and clarity when setting and achieving goals.
Be sure your short-term goals don’t contradict or undermine each other, and that they’re consistent with your long-term objectives. An overarching mission, as laid out by your business or personal mission statement, will help you stay on track. Working through a business planning makeover can also show you how to create a framework for long-term goal setting.
Goal Setting Equals Success
By initiating the process of goal setting, you’ll have taken a significant step toward the achievements of personal reflection and of self-discipline.
Dr. Orison Swett Marden, an American inspirational author and who founded SUCCESS magazine in 1987, wrote about achieving goals in life:
“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.”
Results follow goal setting, and they are a reflection of your habits, your motivation, and your focus.
I don’t know about you but I find SMART goals to be so dull. Don’t get me wrong, SMART goals are certainly effective, but that doesn’t mean they’re exciting.
Much has been written about goal setting so I won’t bore you with yet another article on how to set goals. I will, however, share with you five reasons why goal setting works. After all, we know that goal setting is important because they build self-confidence and help you increase productivity but the science behind why goals help us focus is more opaque. The beauty of knowing why something works makes you A) more willing to embrace it (whatever “it” is in this case) and B) more informed, which therefore makes you better suited to make decisions. Put it this way, can you think of a business initiative, company policy or meeting memo that, had you known just a little more about, would’ve helped you to make better, more informed decisions? Don’t we all.
Here are five reasons why goal setting will improve your focus:
Watch on Forbes:
1. Goals trigger behavior.
Having a clear, compelling goal mobilizes your focus toward actionable behavior. In other words, goal setting should motivate you. Let’s assume, for example, that John Doe has a goal of saving money to purchase a new car. You ask him what type of car he wants and he replies, “Anything that runs.” Do you think that motivates John? Probably not. The problem here is that the end state isn’t clear. Conversely, if John Doe’s goal was more specific, such as “Save $10,000 by December to purchase an end of year deal on a new Tesla,” now he has something to aspire for; he has a mental cue that triggers his focus and motivates him to begin saving.
2. Goals guide your focus.
When you set a goal you naturally direct your attention toward a next step and, as a result, lead yourself in the right direction which forces your actions—your behaviors—to follow. It’s a cheesy saying but I’ll say it anyway: whatever the mind believes, the body achieves. The body follows the mind.
3. Goals sustain momentum.
Seeing progress is addicting. No seriously, it’s literally addicting because of the dopamine released in your brain after attaining a reward. Just as a snowball grows in size as it’s rolled down a hill, momentum works the same way. Just think of the last time you were really “in the groove” where you said to yourself, “I’m on a roll!” That’s momentum. Whatever you were doing you probably didn’t want to stop because you were what Mikhail Csikszentmihalyi called flow, which is the optimal state of mental performance.
4. Goals align your focus.
Goal setting helps you align focus with behavior because you get feedback on your progress. The actions you take—or avoid—offer clues about your values, beliefs, challenges, strengths and weaknesses which allow you to course correct as necessary and reset your goal achievement strategy (and subsequently, your focus).
5. Goal setting promotes self-mastery.
Perhaps the most important reason why goals work is because they build character. Actually, achieving goals builds character. While the process of goal setting is important because it helps unearth and identify what’s truly important to you, pursuing your goals is the real money-maker (literally and figuratively) because it builds self-efficacy; it develops yourself as the type of person who can achieve goals.
Tapping into your strengths for a better life
It is common for people with the Strengthsfinder Achiever theme to feel the need to start each day new and the accomplishments from yesterday no longer matter. (Source: Let’s Talk Personality)
You can tell a person strong in Achiever by these attributes (source: Dr. Hulme, APU)
- Hard working and busy
- Long “to do” list
- Highly productive & motivated
More about Achiever:
- Needs on a team: To challenge
- As a Leader: Are productive
- In Conflict: Make it productive
- Partner with: No specific recommendation, but find other hard workers.
- In academics:
– loves to be challenged – prefers challenging classes that are “doable” – likes profs that have a reputation for stretching students—“tough but fair” – encourage them to choose classes that may be unfamiliar to them and will challenge them
Where does Achiever Theme rank in the population?
Out of your Top 5 CliftonStrengths, it’s statistically:
- most likely to appear with Learner and Responsibility
- least likely to be found with Command or Self assurance
A more detailed explanation from Gallup:
The genius of your Achiever talent begins with your tremendous motivation, drive and determination. You are in constant motion to reach your goals. The second aspect of your genius is found in the types of goals you set. You have daily goals in the form of lists of things to do. Then you have future goals tied to your daily goals. Finally you have ultimate goals. Your ultimate goals are always tied to excellence. So the genius of your Achiever talent is the tremendous amount of motivation and drive you have to reach your goals and to move your goals toward being excellent in terms of performance, productivity effectiveness and efficiency.
At your best (Balcony):
tireless, strong work ethic, leads by example, go-getter, hungry
At your worst (Basement):
unbalanced, brown-noser, overcommitted, can’t say no, burns the candle at both ends, too concentrated on work
Unlike Strengthsfinder Activator, you might have the Strengthsfinder Achiever talent if you feel you have to start over each day in order to feel that your world is as it should be.
- An Achiever has a constant drive for achievement, which is the only thing that makes you feel satisfied.
- You feel every day is a blank slate that you must fill with tangible accomplishments.
- You may be an Achiever if you work tirelessly even on weekends and sometimes through vacations.
- Your relentless drive for achievement is not always logical, but never goes away.
- You have learned to live with the whisper of discontent, which brings you energy and drive.
- You love starting new tasks, working on challenges, and setting new standards of productivity.
- An Achievers greatest strengths are: strong work ethic, hunger, and the ability to lead by example.
- Source: Let’s Talk Personality
A more detailed explanation from Gallup:
Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day — workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.
Action Items for This Theme
- Select jobs in which you have the leeway to work as hard as you want, and in which you are encouraged to measure your own productivity. You will feel stretched and alive in these environments.
- You do not require much motivation from your supervisor. Take advantage of your self-motivation by setting challenging goals. Set a more stretching goal every time you finish a project.
- Own the fact that you might work longer hours than most people, and that you might not need as much sleep as many other people do.
- Choose to work with other hard workers. Share your goals with them so they can help you.
- Accept that you might be discontented even when you achieve.
Be ready to:
- Take a moment to appreciate your successes. You can look ahead tomorrow. Today, celebrate.
- Partner with someone with a strong Discipline or Focus theme. This person can help you use your energy as efficiently as possible.
- Count personal achievements in your scoring “system.” This will help you direct your Achiever theme toward family as well as work.
- The Clifton StrengthsFinder and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are protected by copyright of Gallup Inc., 2000. All rights reserved.
For the Visual Learner:
What does it take to become a highly successful person? Is it the ability to convince investors to place their faith and money into a product?
Is it the ability to create a work of art or musical piece on which millions of people are willing to spend their hard-earned money? Is it the ability to invent products that change lives? Clearly these are things that are examples of talents that successful people might have, but what if the true path to success is tied more directly to daily habits than anything else. As it turns out, this may really be the case.
Here are ten daily activities that can lead to a successful life :
1 . Write something meaningful
Folks often complain that they lose great ideas simply because they don’t have a way to write them down when they become inspired. As it turns out, this is actually true. Many successful people have credited their success to an idea that they were able to jot down. It’s no wonder that successful people often carry a pad and paper with them. Is the effort wasted if a day goes by without inspiration of a new idea? Absolutely not! The daily writings of accomplished people also include affirmations, reasons for gratitude, or simply reflections about the day.
2 . They make every moment at the office count
Successful people know how to maximize their productivity while they are on the job. They don’t waste time on personal matters, social networking, and communications that aren’t directly related to their business.
3 . They communicate with others
A successful person wants feedback from the people around them. They don’t hide from communication, even if it is not always easy to receive or flattering. Successful people know that they must listen to their colleagues, underlings, family, and mentors. They also know that they should listen to their detractors as that can be a great path to improvement.
4 . They prioritize their own well being
Successful people don’t view their physical and mental well-being as something that can be minimized or put off to a later date. They realize that their health and wellbeing are priorities. To accomplish this, they engage in daily physical activity. They take breaks to de-stress and decompress. They make an effort to get a few hours of restful and restorative sleep every evening. Finally, successful people also take time every day to engage in a hobby or activity that brings them joy.
5 . They set daily goals
People who go through their days without a purpose are often very busy, yet they accomplish very little. Successful people write down a list of goals for each day, and then they make accomplishing those goals a priority for the day. If they do not accomplish every goal at the end of the day, they commit to continue working towards that goal the next day. This gives them a sense of accomplishment about their day, and something to look forward to the next.
6 . They delegate
Successful people understand that their time is best spent in activities where they can use their skills and talents. When they are faced with tasks that are outside of their skill set, they delegate those tasks to others whose skill sets match the job at hand. By taking this approach, they make sure that their time is spent in the most productive way possible, and that those who work with them are also as productive as they possibly can be.
7 . They learn something
A successful person is infinitely curious. To them, the idea of going a day without learning something new is appalling. A successful person spends some time each day dedicated to learning.
This can include:
- Reading for education – Such as industry related material, biographies, news articles, or technical journals
- Receiving advice and insight from a mentor
- Taking a class
- Attending workshops and other educational events
The point is that they value knowledge and education and make a daily effort to learn new things.
8 . They spend time with the people they love
One of the key characteristics of a successful person is the willingness to prioritize what is important to them, and to make time for that. A successful person values their friends and family, and they carve out time each day to spend with them. They know that taking this time makes their loved ones know that they are a priority. They also know that they receive a positive boost from this time as well.
9 . They meditate
Whether they choose to incorporate meditation into their morning routines or their evening routines, many successful people meditate daily. This relaxing, centering, and mind clearing exercise is a great way to prepare oneself for the day ahead, or to prepare for a restful night of sleep.
10 . They work towards new accomplishments
A successful person doesn’t just spend time enjoying the trappings of their current accomplishments. They have a list of personal and professional accomplishments that they wish to accomplish, and they dedicate time every day, working on achieving those goals.