I am quite passionate about the power of teams to transform business outcomes. Still, teams are only as good as the individuals that comprise them and high-performance teams are usually made up of highly effective people who have learned to combine their unique talents to achieve maximum productivity and generate positive results. So in this article, I will focus on the three attributes each person should consider if we want to increase our effectiveness and impact within our respective teams and organizations.
Before we get into the specific attributes, however, take a mental selfie of yourself in this moment. Because this is the instant that you recognize the need to focus on your own transformation and take accountability for making it happen day by day. The desire for change has to come from within.
Now let's review the three key methods to increasing personal effectiveness.
They are 1) Mindset, 2) Habits, and 3) Tracking or MHT.
Do you consider yourself to be a proactive or reactive person? Don't know the answer? Well, think about how much time you spend worrying about things out of your control versus acting on the things within your control. If you spend more time on the former than the latter then you are probably more reactive and this is where your mindset journey starts.
If you've ever read Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you will recall the first habit - being proactive. Being proactive is all about focusing all your energy and attention on areas of your life where taking action can drive positive benefits. It is possessing the attitude of can, will, and do - taking action and eliminating excuses.
If traffic is horrible in your city, wake up early enough that the traffic will not impact your ability to be effective. If the weather is bad one day, dress accordingly and keep it moving. If there is a negative person in your orbit, focus on your responsibilities versus focusing on their negative influence. This is the essence of a proactive and action-oriented mindset.
It is not an overstatement to express that we are what we do. Because inherent in our daily habits are our future outcomes. Which is why it is essential to exercise high-performance habits as frequently as possible. But what are the right habits to prioritize?
Well what are your goals - short, medium, and long-term? And how do these goals differ from resolutions? A resolution is a sort of self-promise to change. A goal is a defined objective that is specific, measurable, achieveable, realistic, and time bound or SMART. When you break down a goal into its components you begin to understand the link between your habits and your ability to achieve the goal in the time frame you have set for yourself.
Here is a resolution: I want to lose twenty pounds this year. Here is a goal: I will lose twenty pounds in three months by only consuming 2,000 calories daily, exercising three days a week, and abstaining from drinking alcohol for the next two months. In order to achieve a goal you must clearly define the habits necessary to do so. Resolutions are usually left more open-ended and lack the teeth of true commitments.
When you combine a proactive mindset with the daily habits that result in goal achievement your productivity will skyrocket. But only if you include the final component.
What do you call a goal that goes untracked? A dream. What do you call a dream that is connected with a proactive mindset, clear goals linked to the right habits, and regular tracking and follow-up on those habits? A future achievement.
A commitment is only as good as the daily accountability to do what is required to deliver against objectives. And if this accountability is not visualized, then it is very easy to lose track of progress and fall back into the realm of hope. The good news is that today there are so many tools that can be adapted to track your progress, it just requires a little effort from your side to put this into practice.
Let's bring this to life with our earlier example. If we want to lose twenty pounds in three months by only consuming 2,000 calories daily, exercising three days a week, and abstaining from drinking alcohol for the next two months; what are the variables to track? Well we need a way of calculating our calory intake with each meal; we need to track how often we exercise and the calories burned; and we need to accompany the number of days we've gone without consuming alcohol. The hardest of these is the calorie intake and burning tracking so we need to pursue tools that allow us to reliably do this. Once the system is set up, we simply execute the plan until we achieve the desired result - calibrating along the journey.
Personal effectiveness is that simple and that complex. The self-discipline to maintain the proactive mindset, focus on the right habits, and hold yourself accountable daily is what separates truly successful people from the rest of the pack. Luck doesn't enter into the equation. Follow The Rock on Instagram. The world's highest paid actor wakes up every day at 4:30 am to hit the gym, no matter where he is in the world; he prioritizes the right habits; and he holds himself accountable to the standard of being the hardest worker in the room! When you combine your natural talent with the MHT approach watch out!
The benefits of this approach in your life will become readily apparent. You will gain more energy, enthusiasm, positivity, proactivity, intensity, and resilience to take on greater and greater challenges and reap the rewards of doing so. Now the only question is what's holding you back from adopting MHT starting now?
Omar L. Harris is Associate Vice-President and Country Manager for Allergan PLC in Brazil. He is the author of Leader Board: The DNA of High-Performance Teams available for purchase in ebook or print on Amazon.com. Please follow him on instagram, twitter, and/or LinkedIn for more information and engagement.