3.15 The Law of Attraction- Set High Perfomance Goals
EGL Newsletter Volume 3.15
Some years ago, I set a goal for myself to get a Ph.D. Now, that by itself is a pretty big goal, but I added on to it a few wrinkles. I was working full-time, and I was not in a place where I wanted to leave that position. Also, the only program that I found that fit my criteria was a mere 183 mile drive- one way.
Not one to let things like this discourage me, I set about brainstorming how I could make that kind of commute up to 3 times a week and meet my other responsibilities on a daily basis. So, I had this idea. I could fly. Not commercially, but myself, in private plane. That idea added a lot of other complexities. For instance, I needed to have the proper ratings and experience to do this safely and reliably. I also needed a dependable plane I could fly. Above all, I needed to be able to pay for all of that. So, I wrote another set of sub goals through which I obtained the proper ratings and licenses. I traded into a couple of airplanes that would get me back and forth. I carried an old bicycle to the University airport for ground transportation. Then, I started commuting by air and bicycle. I flight instructed to pay the extra cost. To top it off, I finished my Ph.D. a full year earlier than my goal, and faster than anyone had ever finished that program.
When I told people about my goals at the time, I had a very similar reaction. It was usually either a laugh or “you’re crazy”. My mindset was one that saw this as challenging and demanding, but not impossible. As it turned out, it was immensely rewarding and enabled me to accomplish goals I might not have reached otherwise. The surprise in the package was that it wound up being faster and easier. The things that were most required were commitment, planning, and consistency.
My learning was this. High performance does not necessarily mean harder. It does not necessarily mean that it takes longer. It does mean that you expect high performance. As you know, a high performance automobile can get to your destination faster and you can have a whole lot more fun while driving it. Transformational leaders expect things to move faster, be more efficient, and tend to have more fun getting there.
So, as we talk about the Law of Attraction, we can add these ideas. If you look at a goal and expect it to be hard or take a long time or to barely get accomplished, you will get it. If you look at a goal and expect it to be accomplished the same way everything has always been done, you will get it. Instead, choose to look at the world and see amazing results. Choose to experience processes that work smoothly and easily. Choose to see timelines that happen more quickly than you ever dreamed. Remember, the Law of Attraction is simply put, that what we think about, we get. Now, choose to think about living peak performance. The Law of Attraction is that – a law. You are using it whether you know it or not – whether you believe it or not.
Transformational leaders have high expectations. They set lofty goals for themselves and push to be different. They are not necessarily drivers in style, but they are always looking to a higher level of performance. Moreover, they challenge the status quo, both in themselves and in others.
Here is a key area where transformational leaders differ from a transactional leader. In leading transformation, you must constantly support active and creative questioning of your core processes and practices. When we imagine the future, we only get clear about a very small fraction of what it will actually be like. Consequently, it can happen that people begin to try to create a new future by constantly doing what they have always done. A transactional leader tends to focus on stability and predictability, and aligns people actions effectively with that. A transformational leader supports people in aligning themselves with an indefinite (but becoming more definite every day) picture of the future in which they essentially re-think everything they are doing. The best way to find the disconnects is to put a real stretch on the system through active goal setting.
A transformational leader spends time connecting people to the mission and vision of the organization. They connect actions and intentions within the organization with what is happening in the environment. A transformational leader will look at a goal, then ask how that can be accomplished in the peak manner. From there, they will work on helping others see these possibilities as well.