I've been in NYC now for a week - what a city.
(There's no way anyone could have known, but I set this in to motion about 30 years ago when for my tap dance "end-of-the-year" production I created an event around a song that started, "Start spreadin' the news..." And, now that I've been working here for so long, I know, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!)
So, last Friday I reached out to a friend of mine here and said, "Let's go see Moneyball."
It was very different than most of the movies I've been around lately (mostly on airplanes and in hotels). It was a "thinker" movie. Some of my takeaways.
Throughout the movie, the Billy Beane character demonstrates the need to make difficult choices. It's business to him. The ability to combine fact with intuition leads him to focus continually on the issue at hand. The net effect is to make a "performance-based" decision and then move on to the next thing.
My favorite scene (and surely one that I will watch again and again) happens in the office, with several people in a deep discussion around a conference table. Billy "strongly suggests" that no one but him understands the "REAL problem." My take-away, as I head in to another month of leadership discussions in three different countries (!!!) is to spend precious time and significant mindshare agreeing on what the problem is / problems are that people are facing.
Love the scene where he hires the "economics major from Yale." This goes line-by-line with my own philosophy of asking for what you want. Just today, I wrote letters to two people here in New York City who I have followed over the years, who have influenced me greatly, inviting them to coffee later this month when I return. We'll see what happens!
"If you always do what you've always done..." I know it's a popular cliche, but boy is it true. Over and over again, Billy sets the people around him to ask the question, "Is what we've done the best we could do?"
How many goals do you have?
Stating an intention is more...it's more than creating a plan, more than getting started. It's a reflection of your belief system. What you believe could happen.
What goals do you have?
Are they personal? Professional? Do they have to do with you, your community or a cause? What they are...that there are; I'd go for the second every time.
Write one down, a small one, for this week. See what happens!
3 things to write about here: Goals, visualization and performance
Tomorrow, I will race in the Santa Barbara triathlon. I chose the Sprint Distance race, one that I've done a total of 4 times in the past.
While I was up in SB today, scoping out the course and getting my "mind set" for the race, I had a nice "Twitter conversation" with a colleague,Rob, in Europe. Here it is:
[Rob] @7breaths_ Good luck with tomorrows tri, any goals set for this one?
[me] @JasonWomack Do I have a goal for the triathlon tomorrow? Of course! Always (and this is not JUST about sport) perform with a SMART goal.
[Rob] @7breaths_ SMART goals do help don't they. I'm tending to do a lot of visulisation prior to training these days, find it helps - do you?
I see the three words of the title of this post a significan [aka: crucial] aspect of excellence. As soon as we "sign up" for event (a presentation at work, an athletic endeavor, going on a vacation with friends or family, etc) the goal-setting process begins. At it's very core, I'd defind a goal as: "Something I kinda hope happens."
I know, it's not a tight definition; but then again, the goal setting and goal achievement process is a loose one, isn't it? We see something, hear something, meet someone and our worldview changes.
Visualization is - for me - foremost an external process, and THEN an internal one. (Below, you'll see my latest "vision board." As a participant in one of Keith Ferrazzi's classes, I completed this assignment to make a visual representation of the things I'm focused on...)
Allow your thinking to "get out," and then watch how your world gives you the small hints, tips and opportunities to achieve those things yo're thinking about. Right now, on the bathroom mirror at home, I wrote (with a dry erase pen) the following
That's a reminder to myself that I need to: Read 40 pages, Write 40 sentences, Exercise 40 minutes - every day I'm home this week.
The race starts early (7am, Pacific time zone, if you're up and want to send a "fast thought" our way...) and it will be a short one. If all goes according to plan...
...oh, wait, that's one thing about goals. You've got to be careful about who you share them with. I usually err on the side of NOT advertising ALL of my goals to everyone. In this case, the goals I have set I will share with my race mentor tonight over dinner. I'll leave it to tomorrow to let you know if I reached them! Suffice it to say, as we write about on pages 22 and 23 of our book, my 3 goals are extremely specific and "just" believable!
If you're reading this in the morning, think about yesterday; if you're reading this at night, go back to earlier today when you "left" work. (Whatever that means to you...!)
Here's a question I invite you to ask yourself over the next 5 days:
Did what I did today matter?
Of course, it's a "closed-end,' yes-or-no question. As soon as you ask and answer it, however, listen to what you say to yourself next. If I could hear your self-talk dialogue, what would it sound like?
Practice this process just a few times, and you may just find yourself changing the question to:
Is what I'm about to do going to matter?
"How do you have time for it all?" "Don't you ever do nothing?" "How do you balance your 'work life' with your 'life life'"?
These are some of the questions I answer in this 8-minute video.
What do you think? I'm doing research for my next book, "Work/Life Balance Performance." Tell ya what, if we get over 25 comments below, I'll go fund an entrepreneur's loan request at Kiva.org. (Share a little, and do a lot for the planet!)
2 years ago, I went to "triathlon camp." 5 days of coaching, training, goal setting and recovery - it was awesome!
One day, we all rode our bikes over to a local park, a day after a big rainstorm, and on the large grassy field I actually - accidentally??? - practiced falling...
Yes, we were coached to ride as slowly as we could, around little orange cones, in a tight "wheel-to-wheel" line, and gently bump wheels with each other. In some bike races - just watch the Tour de France! - the riders are sure to bump each other through the event.
Now, we were not supposed to fall, but...ya know what? We did! (Some of us more than once...but that's another story.)
So, I have practiced falling...and, it was worth it. That day in May, 2008, I practiced. We were riding slowly, the ground was soft and wet, and we did so in as "safe" a way as possible.
Last week, I fell again. This time it was NOT on purpose - I was mountain biking here in Tahoe City. I was going slow, and the ground was soft...AND, I know that I walked away uninjured partly due to my comfort...falling.
Practice doesn't just make perfect.
Practice makes: ____________, ____________, ____________.
(Fill in the blank lines with ideas. Best three responses earn you a free DVD. See below...)
2:26:09 - one minute and 9 seconds off of my goal for the day...
The past couple of months challenged my race preparation and training regimen. Racing triathlon last year to this year, I experienced some changes. I placed in 3 of the 6 races I participated in during 2009...this year, I'm completing (not competing in) my races.
So, "how was New York?" people have been asking. Well, to give a general summary, here you go!
I arrived in New York on Wednesday evening, as clients had flown me in to speak in their companies on Thursday and Friday (always nice to mix my two passions: Performance...on and off the field!). My seminars and coaching programs went great both days, I got plenty of rest each night, and as it was especially warm in NYC, I drank as much water as possible! Saturday arrived, and I walked from my hotel over to the race registration hotel, and sat through the first orientation of the morning.
"Remember your helmet..."
"Get into transition early, we close at 5:45am..."
"The Hudson was measured today at 74.5 degrees, we think it will be a wetsuit-legal race..."
Last Sunday, I raced (age group, Olympic distance) in the Wildflower Triathlon. Wow, what a day! For those of you following along, you've heard about my races - long and short - over the past 8 years. (Yes, I was not always an athlete, in fact I was WAY out of shape before I started any of this!) I look back, today, with increased awareness of two "management principles" that I have studied over the years:
to better: (verb [ trans. ]) improve on or surpass
B) Goal settingI'll leave periodization out of it for now, but, for those of you who are interested, here's a link to the concept in cycling. The purpose of this entry is to discuss the three aspects of goal setting I see directly applicable to the workplace AND the sport of triathlon:
1. A goal gets things going
2. A goal is always there
3. A goal is usually exceeded
On race day, yesterday at 9:40am, I was more than ready...all the events, meals, workouts, and visualizations of the past 70 days came together as I stood on the boat ramp starting line. At the sound of the air horn, the 240 of us leapt into the water, 2 hours and 42 minutes later (3 minutes ahead of my goal time!) I finished 29th out of the field.
Walking around with a camera is my way of always being able to "capture an idea."
I've realized that there are learning opportunities ALL OVER the place. This is why I founded the "Ojai Institute" last year; and, it's why I continue to find, join, and maximize courses and classes myself!
By putting myself into a position to learn, I've put myself in a place to grow. Next year, I'm moving in newer, bigger, "funner" directions. With the launch of the book, a redesign and update of our performance management programs, and all kinds of travel coming up, I'm sure to have some big opportunities in 2010.