Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Right about now the newness of the New Year and it's resolutions have pretty much worn off. Right? Wrong? Am I judging you? Relax! It's not that type of party. The key to winning any game is about how you start before you start. That's not a typo. Are you confused? I hope not. Let me just get down to brass tax so you can get on with your day but more importantly this week, this month and ultimately this quarter. The resolution rut is a pain in the butt, but you have the choice to get yourself out it.

There are 3 ways out of the Resolution Rut;

1) Know The System:

Some leadership guru was quoted as saying, "stop setting goals and begin creating systems", and I honestly couldn't agree more. Seeing that we are all creatures of habit, we always want to achieve and surpass goals and get new results. The reality is we have a difficult time achieving and surpassing goals because we're not committed to new behaviors, habits or systems. Our minds allow us to envision the huge and impressive results without envisioning the detailed work that goes into reaching the goal. When we leave out the details of the process, we simply fantasize. Once you snap out of any fantasy, you pretty much perish any follow-up thoughts about what you were fantasizing about in the first place.

Unbeknownst to us, we have already developed systems for everything we do including but not limited to getting dressed in the morning, making meals, even cleaning and/or maintaining our spaces (home, car, office). Now, I didn't say these systems are perfect, nor did I suggest that they're effective, but they allow us to function at some level. Therefore, before we set goals, we must pay attention to the systems that we have in place and then objectively evaluate the outcomes as well as our feelings about those outcomes. Knowing the system means you know the plays that will work regardless of the predictable and unpredictable challenges. When you know the system, you're more confident. When you know the system you're more focused. When you know the system, you control the system. Knowing the system means you intentionally choose your play every single possession and understand that if the system fails, you can still run a variation of the original system. Rejection or failure of your system hopefully leads to an enhanced desire to get out of the resolution rut. 

2) Know Your Personnel

Once you create, run and know the system, be intentional about the resources you choose to help you run your system. There are people and things that are required for your system to run effectively, but it's up to you to make the adjustments that will allow the system to produce the desired results. Don't have resources in place that throw off the chemistry of your team. You can have a team full of talent but if there's no chemistry, there's chaos. Stop choosing certain resources because they're convenient or because those resources worked for someone else. The competitive edge of knowing your system and knowing your personnel comes from you being decisive about where you want to go and who you want to be once you arrive.

3) Dictate The Tempo

Stop rushing to get to the 4th quarter. You have no idea what challenges are waiting for you. Moreover, you don't know if the plays you're running or the personnel you're using in the 1st quarter will even be enough to compete, let alone produce the desired results during the 4th quarter. I'm not suggesting that you operate at half speed or that you not focus on winning during the first quarter. I'm not asking you to be nonchalant or unenthusiastic in your approach. As the sole controller you must demonstrate a balance of focus, urgency, critical thinking and patience as you encounter obstacles and challenges. Rather I'm admonishing you to tweak your system to produce tangible and excellent results every possession.

The first quarter is the warm-up quarter, however it's not be taken lightly. Your performance sets the tone for what you will do and how you will do it. It's up to you to have first quarter vision with 4th quarter effort and tenacity. Make every possession count by making every practice count. If your practice and your system are thorough, the first quarter push will look like hard work but feel like walk in the park. Get out the rut now by creating your systems first. Your goals will thank you.


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