Looking for an idea that will help you raise your game to stay on top of it and ahead of the rest? It’s called leveraging achievement. Interested?
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Today I’d like to share a concept that has featured strongly in my coaching sessions with numerous clients this last week. Its called leveraging achievement and focuses on recalling what made an outcome they were particularly proud of as successful as it was, and using those attributes as a case study to help drive their ongoing successes.
My pre-coaching questionnaire asks my clients in one of its many questions to outline what they consider their greatest achievement(s). The purpose behind this is based on one of the fundamental tenets of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) which Joseph O’Connor and John Seymour in their book Introducing NLP called “the art and science of excellence, derived from studying how top people in different fields obtain their outstanding results”. I love working with this concept of building on past successes and leveraging their causes into further successes.
I believe that is another basic principal of coaching, namely that it isn’t focused on addressing remedial behaviour or outcomes, but rather looks to help drive already successful people to “raise their game so they stay on top of it and ahead of the rest”. Of course we will also recognize limiting language and beliefs and behaviors and help clients replace them with more supportive and sustaining ones, however, always in the quest of building greater outcomes.
What I would like to explore with you today is how you might use this concept yourself to help you raise your game.
In my blog Managing Your State I asked you whether you can remember a time in your life when you were really fired up excited? You know, “jumping out of your skin” enthusiastically excited? Can you? Can you recall a specific time right now? Remember one? Can you put yourself into the memory of that time? What did you see? What did you hear? What were you telling yourself? How were you feeling? What might your physical demeanor been like? Arms waving? Massive smile? Goosebumps, maybe? Jumping around? Perhaps tears – but of exuberance and joy?
And as you remember that feeling, how do you feel right now?
You may recall that I also asked you to recall a memory of the opposite when you were sad or depressed etc, remember? Isn’t it amazing how recalling such a memory can affect our current state to that extent?
Well, please would you now recall one of your greatest achievements, one you are particularly proud of, maybe also in a field of endeavour related to what you wish to expand your success in right now? As you allow the memories of that success (and perhaps the celebrations and the recognitions associated with it) to flood back why not bask in those memories for a moment?
Taking a piece of paper, just list out for yourself what it was that made that initiative so successful? I will just list a few example questions from a typical project success, hoping that it will get your questions going:
- Was it the management support? What did you do to secure that support?
- Was it the team of people around you? Did you select them? What made them into such a good team? What made you work together so well?
- Was it the clarity of purpose – the goal? How did you get that clarity?
- Was it everybody’s “buy-in” to the need and wish for that outcome? How did you influence and maintain that?
- Was it that there was something in it for everyone (WIIFM)? Did you have to “sell” that to them?
- Was it because your attitude was “can do” all the way through? How did you maintain it that way?
- Was there a detailed and “foolproof” project plan and project management process? What part did you play in that?
- Was it how you understood each stakeholder’s expectations and made sure that each of them was kept in the picture in terms of those expectations? What did you learn from that?
- Was it how you managed the “politics” of the different agenda’s different “camps” brought to the table? How did you do that?
- Was it the “troubleshooting” processes that kept it all “on track”? What did you need to do to do that?
- Was it your interpersonal skills that made everyone involved feel special and important and wanting (and able) to contribute the best they could? Which influencing skills did you use most or best?
- Was it your infectious passion throughout the journey irrespective of the obstacles you knew you would encounter?
- Was it…..?
Go on, just let your mind keep wandering back and record each and every aspect you thought contributed to making that such an outstanding outcome. Maybe you also go back and ask some of the key players involved that you are still connected with?
So if you are able to extract from that list of success contributors the actual concepts and attributes that “made it so successful”, wouldn’t that list serve as a great “checklist” for you to use in assuring that you have considered them appropriately in the planning, preparation, execution and celebration of all your future successes? Raising your ability for leveraging achievement?
You know, in my blog The 5% that know WHY I highlighted some different attributes of what makes the 5% that know “why” so different from the masses. I said in that blog “yet even once one is aware of this (idea), how many of us actually convert that from “that’s a good idea” into implemented reality?”
My experience is that most of you reading this (if you think the above is a good idea, of course) may think it useful, however perhaps around 1 in 20 of you will actually implement it and together with all the other great initiatives propelling your success will use it to help you raise your game and drive your success. I wonder which camp you will be in?