Deep Thoughts Tools

How To Avoid These Goal-Setting Mistakes

It’s that time of year again.

You know, the one where we reflect, dissect and make new goals.

Perhaps, you set the same goals because you didn’t achieve them last year.

Don’t be that person!

Problem is…many screw up goal setting.

The common problem

We set things that are too big and super difficult to achieve.

This leads to fatigue and failure, which leaves us feeling ☹️, which is not the intention of goal setting.

Want to run x2 ultramarathons this year but haven’t been to the gym in 10 years? That’s a bad goal.

In fact, it’s more of a dream depending on your deadline to do this.

As always, context is king in goal setting too.

We’re all looking to become better humans. So, let me suggest an alternative…

Instead of huge goals, set mini-sprints.

BIG goals produce fear. They make our minds dwell on the anxiety of the enormity of the task.

The winning strategy

We can think big but we need a better plan.

Here’s an idea:

  • Define your BIG goal
  • Break it down into quarterly objectives
  • Then break that down into 3 week sprints to get you closer to those.

Ask yourself, what small things can you do in 3-week chunks to improve your life?

Small things lead to big things.

You may not feel this, but compounding small changes over time leads to HUGE results.

Imagine how a few small changes every 3 weeks will add up over 52 weeks of the year.

Surely that feels more manageable, no? Don’t beat yourself up trying to 10x in 1 week.

Build a better system.

Why not use sprints to go far in the next 365 days?

I know some of you are James Clear fans. This image will help cement what we’ve explored.

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Deep Thoughts Tools

This Is What Makes A World-Class Manager

I believe that looking after and leading other humans is one of the most challenging roles we can take on (outside of raising children of course).

That’s why we could all use a little help in putting our best foot forward.

Below, I’ve compiled data from a high-performing organisation to inform and inspire our own discovery on this topic.

There is no straightforward approach to building world-class managers.

No one has all the answers, sadly.

But, we have lots of data and experiences from those who’ve walked the walk from which we can learn.

What we can learn from high-performing organisations

Back in 2008, Google launched Project Oxygen aimed at discovering what makes a great manager at Google. 

Although this research focuses on the walls of Google, there’s much we can all learn about the role of management at one of the world’s largest and most profitable organisations.

This project kicked off in 2008 and continued until the end of 2018, accumulating a decade worth of research.

In their original findings from 2008, Google identified 8 behaviours on which they educated their managers, and of course, many other organisations copied to do the same in pursuit of similar success.

An update was released in 2018 which scaled to 10 behaviours to reflect the world at that point, including👇

Google’s data showed a strong statistical relationship between these behaviours and the effectiveness of managers across all corners of the organisation over the decade.

We could agree that these ten probably cover most, if not all, of the behaviours we look for in people managers.

The funny thing is that before Google conducted this research, they funded another internal research project to prove don’t managers don’t matter in a modern organisation!

Instead, they discovered that they do and they better find out what makes them great.

The turning point came in how the team defined manager quality.

They did this based on two quantitive measures: manager performance ratings and manager feedback from Google’s annual employee survey.

To their surprise, this data revealed that managers did matter.

Not only did they matter. They discovered that teams with managers were happier and more productive. Who would have thought, eh?

How can you do the same in your organisation?

No doubt, Google’s findings inspire us all, but how do we find out what makes managers great in our organisations?

Well, lucky for us, Google has made this method open source for all to use.

The team recommends that to determine what makes managers great, we should consider these three questions:

1/ Do managers matter in your organisation? 
Explore external research and internal input like surveys or interviews to determine if people managers matter to your team members’ performance and happiness.

2/ If managers matter, whom do you need to convince and how? 
Google used internal data to convince engineers and leaders that managers matter.

How will you convince your organisation?

3/ What makes a great manager at your organisation? 
Google found ten behaviours of successful managers – you might find you have two, three, or twelve.

Internal data, like employee survey results and interviews, can help uncover the elements of good management at your organisation.

You can also explore external research through, you guessed it, a simple Google search to get started.

What might you discover?

If, like me, reading research like this gets you excited to do the same in your workspace.

Although I like the behaviours that Google have listed, we could certainly add a few pieces to make this even better.

One thing that stands out for me is Emotional intelligence.

Though not specifically called out in the ten behaviours, we can see a few areas where it would overlap.

Nonetheless, the lessons learnt during the pandemic have brought this behaviour to the forethought of how we lead (and so it should).

Teaching people how to be more emotionally aware and lead with empathy can only be positive moves, right?

Hopefully, this edition has given you some food for thought, data to utilise and some idea on how to take action in your practice.

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

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Deep Thoughts

A CV (Alone) Won’t Land Your Dream Job, Learn How To Stand Out From The Crowd

A common misconception in the careers game is that a CV is a passport to today’s best opportunities in our economy.

This is FALSE!

Let’s talk abt this… ⬇️

The competition is huge

There are abt 8 billion humans on planet earth today. Let’s say (hypothetically) 1 billion work in your industry.

Of those 1 billion, let’s say 450 million have the skill set to do the role you’re doing today.

That’s a lot of competition, right?

If all you have to compete with the rest of these people for opportunities is a CV. Do you think this is enough?

Do you believe the playing field is level??

It’s not. Many have created advantages to navigate the game and produce better opportunities.

Here’s how…

Create an advantage

We all have a platform to create career advantages, and that thing is called the internet.

Yes, the thing we’re all on right now!

You can easily:

➡️ Build a niche following on social platforms
➡️ Show your work on a website (thanks Austin Kleon)
➡️ Contribute knowledge on video platforms
➡️ Share value through a podcast
➡️ Start a blog and teach others to do what you do.

The point is that the options are out there to build a profile that gives an advantage over others in the same field. This is something I talk about in depth in the How to win in the Careerverse playbook.

Think about it…

Would you rather read a document that talks about what someone can do or see what they can do?

The internet provides that gateway.

As Austin Kleon says, SHOW YOUR WORK!

This realisation has been the thing that has led me to the most opportunities in the last 2 years of my 16 + year career.

Showing what you can do gives an advantage over just talking about what you can do.

Not one or the other, combine both for maximum results

This isn’t about dumping a CV entirely.

It’s about what you can add to the toolkit alongside that CV. If you go with just a CV your chances are much lower than going in with a CV, a portfolio page and other publicly shared work.

Look at the CV like a product subscription service.

It’s the main entry point, but what are the sweeteners you can add to give you an advantage in customer conversion?

I find the more senior you get in an org, the more a cv becomes redundant. Most, if not all those hires are based on relationships. Whether that’s right or wrong to do is a topic for another time.

Give yourself the best chance for success in the career game, folks.

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can subscribe to my newsletter here or below.

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How To Thrive As A Solo L&D Pro With This 4-step Framework

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I know how hard this is. I’ve been here many times.

Here’s 4 tips from what I’ve learnt that you can use to get going from day one:

Deep Thoughts

4 Essential Tips To Build A Great Career In Your 20s

Ok, folks, we’re going to get real about building a career in your 20’s.

There are a lot of myths, lies and confusing statements out there, so we’re going to debunk a few and focus on what does work.