Sunday, April 6, 2014

President's Weekly Letter #79

I was always a purposeful kid.  While growing up on the ranch in central Utah, the shop and open space offered many opportunities for fun projects.  I always wrote a ‘things-to-do’ list at the beginning of each day and crossed off the written items upon completion.  It became a habit.  Even in high school, I continued making my daily lists.  That must sound pretty boring to all you yellow personality types out there but that is what I did and I got a lot done.  I suffer from the identity defect of, “I am what I do, and so who am I when I don’t get much done?”  Therefore, my lists helped me feel personal value.  The lists essentially were my goals for each day.  And for the record, after I did things that were not on the list, I never added them to the list just to immediately cross them off; that would be sick. 

During my first mission, I carried a small notebook in my pocket which became a planner and a sort diary plus it contained my daily list of things-to-do.  My notebook was much the same format as the Missionary Planner we use today.  I found setting goals is powerful.  Later, a large part of my success at Sunrise Engineering came from my ability to compress the time doing tasks by staying focused using my list of things-to-do.  I have learned some things about goals.

Limit Number of Goals.  I had to keep my list of goals few in number.  I found with too many things-to-do in one day, created stress and frustration in me when difficulties arose.  That caused me sometimes to really become impatient and short tempered with things and myself.

Written Goals.  I learned there is great power in writing the goals down.  An unwritten goal is a dream.  Chances of completion is very low unless you write it.  I found that making and writing the goal is equivalent to half the effort to accomplish the goal.  The old 80/20 rule applies, that is, 80% of the results can be accomplished with the first 20% of the effort.

Frequent Review.  I learned to review my list frequently each day.  That had great power to keep me focused on the job.  And if I wanted to boost my performance, I would share my goals with someone who I trusted which really helped make it more likely to happen.

Most people have seen a demonstration by someone with 3 buckets; one containing a few large rocks, one containing sand and the last one containing 4 cm sized pebbles.  He also has an empty bucket of the same size and tries to put all the sand, pebbles and rocks in the empty bucket.    As he pours in the sand, then pebbles then places the large rocks, it is obviously impossible to make it all fit.   However, it can be done but in only one way.  When he Puts the Big Rocks in First, then the pebbles and finally pours in the sand.  The finer materials fill in the gaps and it all fits.  Then for good measure he pours in a liter of water.  It still all fits.

Put the Big Rocks in First.  So, I also learned the things-to-do list is much more effective if I list and do the most important things first, Putting the Big Rocks in First, and in descending order of priority list and do the other tasks.  I found that by doing this, I could do wonders with my tasks, responsibilities and time that were stacked up each day. 

Drill Down to Simple.  Goals are interesting things.  A VISION Statement is what we called at Sunrise, a big-harry-audacious-goal, a BHAG.  (Jim Collins – Built to Last)  It is the overarching goal.  It is really a VISION and probably does not have all the attributes of good goal writing.  Intermediate goals cascade from there to more specific goals and finally to the goals for simple small steps.  All goals should be in alignment with each other and move you toward the VISION.  Your focus must be on the lowest denomination prioritized as the Big Rocks.  The drill-down goes to the simple and if you focus on the simple, the other goals will take care of themselves.  I would consider The Big Rock is number 7 in the following example:
1.     The BHAG – Overarching Goal or Mission VISION:  Build the 5th Stake
2.     Goal:  Baptize one per month
3.     Sub Goal:  Keep 3-5 progressing investigators
4.     Sub Sub Goal:  Teach 20 lessons per week
5.     Sub Sub Sub Goal:  find 3 potential investigators each day
6.     Sub Sub Sub Sub Goal:  Contact 60 people today
7.     Sub Sub Sub Sub Sub Goal:  Contact 8 people per hr each day
This goal setting format should also be used with the unlimited personal areas of growth that we want which will bring about the other part of the Mission VISION regarding the qualities and function of our Missionaries.  PMG suggests all missionary activities be pursued with goals attached:  language study, scripture study, contacting methods, connecting with people, learning lessons, scripture memorization, getting along with companion, etc.

Remember, the VISION is created by the organization leaders and people are invited to adopt it as their own.  Goals work if they are created and done by the individual.  Goals never work when a leader tells the people what the leader’s goal is for them.

Spiritual Goals.  Prayerfully set goals for key indicators for conversion in the companionship.  Make them spiritual goals consistent with what you feel God desires for you to achieve.  Pray as you set these goals at the beginning of each transfer.  Remember, zero baptisms is not a goal.  The lowest acceptable goal is 1 baptism even if it requires a miracle.  God knows what you need before you ask him.  Goals should not be an emotional outcome after a pep rally to pick a number you want for yourself.

Report.  Report your companionship goal for Key Indicators for Conversion to the District Leader.  To obtain the District Goals for the transfer, the District Leader then simply totals all goals reported by district companionships.  Zone Leaders total the Districts goals into the Zone Goal.  Finally, the Mission goal is totaled from the Zones.  It is not appropriate for a District Leader to talk up or talk down the numbers representing the district goals for the transfer or the week during district class while the group comes to consensus what it thinks the numbers should be.  The individual companionships have already determined the spiritual goals with which they feel comfortable.  So determining the districts, zones and mission goal becomes simple math.  The leaders’ jobs then are to assist the companionships to achieve their goals. 

Be Accountable.  You know what your normal performance is, so set goals that are attainable but will make you stretch a little.  Then be accountable and do not go home until you reach your goal for the day.  Demand compliance from yourself.  Be devastated if you miss.  It is your integrity on the line.

SMART Goals.  We have trained about making “SMART” goals.  This is nothing new and has been written about by me and many other authors. 

Specific—your goal must clearly and exactly identify what you plan to accomplish.
Bad: Talk to people in the Centrum.
Good: Talk to 1 person every 8 minutes in the Centrum today.  

Measurable— if you cannot control it or measure it, it is vague and just a thought not a goal.  There is an old adage, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Quantify it so you know if you achieved it.
Bad: “Have more copies of the Book of Mormon distributed today than yesterday.”
Good: “Give away one Book of Mormon this afternoon and one this evening.”

Attainable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., invite, prepare, finish, contact, etc.) rather than a to-be verb or passive verb (e.g., am, be, have, will, try, etc.)  A good goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.  Step out of your comfort zone a little bit and work up.  Do not do a quantum jump at one time.
Bad:  “Be focused on baptizing once per month.”
Good:  “Extend an invite to be baptized in every lesson we teach this week.”

Relevant—does it matter; is it the Big Rocks?  Nothing is too hard for the Lord.  But, you live in a world where blessings are predicated on obedience to laws.  Therefore God cannot answer your prayers if you do not make the effort to live the law required to receive that blessing.  If you want to love the work, then focus on obeying the laws of:  gratitude, sacrifice and service. 
Bad:  “I will feel more love for the work today.”
Good: “Identify 1 good thing each hour that happens to me today and write it in my journal.”

Time-bound—every goal needs a date or time associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal?  A goal without a date is not a goal.  Make sure that every goal ends with a specific or understood time frame.
Bad:  “I will be energized giving out cards.”
Good:  “Engage every person and ask for appointments while giving cards today.”

President Robinson

No comments:

Post a Comment