4 Steps to Optimal Performance

Going for GOLD™

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Hello and welcome to this new edition of Career Tips! We are now close to the midway point in 2015. Are you happy with your achievements at work? For those of you who have a midyear performance review coming up, are you comfortable with your achievements to-date?

Depending on how you answered this question, how about upping your game?

For that reason, I thought I would share with you a simple method to optimise your performance. Inspired by the 2012 Olympics, it is my hope that the GOLD™ method will both inspire you and provide you with pragmatic tips so you add value to your employer and you too get a gold medal for your performance in 2015!

So let’s kick off with GOLD™, a four-pronged approach to optimising your performance at work.

Step #1: be clear about your Goal!

The ‘G’ of GOLD™ stands for ‘Goal’ because having a clear objective is fundamental to performance. If you are unclear about what your goal is, you may both start late and then procrastinate along the way. A clear objective sustains your motivation, ensuring you cross the finishing line. And if you aim for a position on the podium, being clear about what drives you, about what compels you will mean that you are able to make whatever effort will be required to secure that prize will be essential in case your spirits flag.

One basic principle of mine which I offer you in order to get clear about that goal of yours: think of your goal as a gap you are trying to close. What’s the difference between now and the moment when you achieve your goal? Does it involve more or less of something? Might it mean starting something? Or stopping something? When you identify a goal, you find the focus for your motivation to perform, the ‘what’ of your performance is like a beacon you stay honed on.

For more on how to identify a goal by thinking of a gap, click here.

With this step, you understand fully the ‘what’ of your performance and you have a clear target.

Step #2: why does this Objective matter?

The ‘O’ of GOLD™ stands for ‘Objective’ as it is now important to flesh out your aim. This will provide you with the level of motivation, to complement the focus of your motivation which comes from identifying an objective in the first place. This is an important step which is too often overlooked. Several people can share a goal but their reasons to pursue it could vary greatly. It is the folks with the deepest motivation who will stand the greater chance of being able to achieve their goal.

To really connect to your objective and thus avail yourself of the energy and succour which a clear goal provide, let me point you to the SMARTEY© method which will enable you to make your goal specific, measurable, achievable, recorded, time-bound, energising and, last but by no means least, your own. Let me emphasize how important it is that you pursue a goal which you personally believe in because it will really increase your motivation and therefore your performance potential. So, even if your objective is work-related and you didn’t come up with it yourself, let me encourage you to make sure you buy strongly into it.

For more on how to make your goal a powerful engine, click there.

When you have a fully fleshed-out goal, you discover the ‘why’ of your performance: it will be like a never-ending source of fuel to drive you forward, to sustain you and nourish you on your way. The ‘why’ allows you to start believing and then to continue believing that you can achieve your goal.

Step #3: what’s your taLent?

This one was a tough one: the ‘L’ of GOLD™ does not easily correspond to words which centre around ability – words like competencies, skills and capabilities. So ‘talent’ it is with the ‘l’ capitalised! Now that you have a target you can stay focused on, now that you are fully engaged with and invested in your goal, it is time to look at the ingredients which will help you succeed, as well as take a cold look at any possible obstacles. On the plus side of this equation, your capabilities – what you can do, like your ability to run fast – but also your inner resources – what you are, such as resilient in the face of adversity. If you’re unsure about your assets, ask someone who you think knows you well and understand how you will have to leverage your attributes during your performance. If you identify a deficiency, look for outside help whether it’s undergoing training yourself or finding a colleague with whom to collaborate whose skill set will complement yours.

On the minus side of the equation, it’s the same analysis of what’s going on both on the inside and the outside. What can you not do so well – for instance, you run fast but not for very long – and what holds you back – such as the view that training for eight hours a day is simply too much? You can work to overcome both your skill shortages and your limiting beliefs but first you must know what they are. Similarly, are there obstacles in the outside world, such as a lack of opportunity or a scarcity of funds? And if so, what strategies can you devise to overcome these challenges?

With Step 3, you have the ‘how’ of your performance, which allows you to play to your strengths, address those skills which need polishing and enlist the help you need to achieve your goal.

Step #4: have a grand Design!

Finally, the ‘D’ of GOLD™ stands for ‘grand Design’, by which I refer to your action plan for goal success. You see, at the third step, you found out how you can make it happen but, with Step 4, you answer the question “What needs to happen for it to happen?” The ‘D’ stage is the last piece, the organisational element, where you bring together the what, why and how of your performance: you harness the power of all the previous steps in the GOLD™ sequence to come up with an actionable and unbeatable strategy.

There you have it: how to go for GOLD™! Here is a diagram of the method which may be helpful to you. So, go on, try it out! I’m cheering you on!

I’d love to hear what you thought of GOLD™. How do you ensure you remain focused on an important goal? What keeps you motivated over time? How do you organise success?

Please do share! Let me invite you to be in touch: to email me, just click here.

If this article resonated with you, don’t hesitate to contact me for a chat where we would explore what is going on for you and what you would like to have happen. Contact me here.

If you don’t have it already, get your copy of “5 Gear Shifts to Accelerate your Career!” and learn about the five building blocks of any successful career! Get it here now!


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