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Are You Goal Oriented or Growth Oriented?

How can you achieve better results tomorrow than you are currently experiencing today?   Not simply by setting goals, but by developing an intentional plan of growth.

The following quote from Michelangelo highlights what can happen when you are more goal oriented than growth oriented.

 “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.”

Goal Orientation helps you determine where to go.  It sets the direction, but it does not get you to where you want to go.  In fact, if you are afraid to grow and play a bigger game, then chances are you are limiting your goals to status quo.  When you restrict yourself to status quo, you may set goals that do not require change and growth.  Phew!  You are safe, nothing can go wrong, you won’t risk failing.  And, nothing really changes either.

Personal development expert, Jim Rohn taught, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” 

Growth Orientation helps you determine who you need to become to get there.  It challenges you to think differently, learn new skills and adopt new habits.  When you set your sight on loftier aims, you may find there is something in you that needs to change and grow.  This is risky – you are entering into the world of the unknown.

The reality is, to achieve loftier goals, you need to get outside your comfort zone.  

Growth can be challenging as well as rewarding.   It takes effort and courage to examine your beliefs, practice new skills, and adopt new habits.  You may find you conjure up feelings of fear, doubt and uncertainty.   At the same time, stretching outside your comfort zone is exactly what you need to do in order to become the person you need to be to achieve new results.

When you step outside your comfort zone and implement an intentional plan of growth, you can strategically grow into who you need to be in order to achieve greater results.

Consider when you first became a leader – or perhaps you are in the process of becoming a new leader.  What shifts did you need to make to be successful in delegating work to others?  In what ways did you need to grow to get better at delegating?

  • Did you need to shift your mindset to recognize your results now come from your ability to provide direction and guidance to others in getting their work done versus your own work done?
  • Did this require you to learn new skills to delegate work and help others see the same vision of completion that you do?
  • Did you need to develop a new habit such as focusing your morning priority on delegating tasks before addressing your own tasks?

The key point is this, if you set a goal of becoming a successful leader, YES! you definitely need to set a specific goal.  But, you also need an intentional plan of growth.  Goal achievement requires a mindset for growth.

Coach yourself or a team member to formulate a growth plan by asking these questions:

  • What current mindset, skills and habits will help me achieve this goal?
  • What new mindset, skills or habits do I need to develop to achieve this goal?
  • How can I develop in these areas? What specifically will I do and by when?
  • What resources are available to me? What additional resources will I need?
  • Who can I get to support me through this process?
  • How will I review and evaluate my growth? How will I recognize success?

Avoid the mistake of letting your plan become SHELF-improvement.   Give it the traction it needs to become SELF-improvement by scheduling time to review the plan on an ongoing basis.   As you grow you will likely find that you gain greater momentum to achieve goals.  Who you become in the process may influence you to set even bigger goals!


Lisa Holden Rovers is passionate about helping talented people transform into influential leaders and productive, cohesive teams, so they can thrive in the workplace and in life.  Contact Lisa to unlock leadership and team potential in your small or mid-sized organization.


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