I always used to get lost, even with a map, and while getting lost has some benefits (you discover unexpected places), it can also create unnecessary stress. So, a few years back, I was thrilled when I received a GPS unit as a gift. I gave my new GPS a nice masculine voice and named it Archie, and we soon became best friends. I really appreciate his suggestions and advice, and Archie has gotten me to all manner of places without a hitch. What do I like the most? When he says, “You have reached your destination.” Every time I hear Archie telling me that I have reached my destination I take it as a real achievement — I have made it. Unfortunately, even with Archie’s help I still occasionally get lost. Like last month, when I ended up driving an extra hour to reach the location where I was expected to deliver a keynote speech. What happened? Did Archie, after a few years of good and loyal service, overreach his competence? Blaming Archie would be convenient, but too simple. It turned out that I put the wrong address into the system. Listening to my clients’ challenges lately has reminded me of my dear Archie and how useful it would be to have a “life GPS” to help us reach our goals. Wouldn’t it be great to get up each morning, check our objectives, and then have our life GPS map out a strategy for achieving them? Our personal Archies could tell us:
- To get a promotion within the company, at the end of the month, ask your boss for a meeting
- To increase your sales by 20 percent, call 50 new prospects every week
- To motivate your team, improve your communication skills
While the idea of a life GPS might be farfetched, the principles are the same. Before starting out on a journey; we first need to choose a destination, and know what we want to achieve. In the past five years, Archie has faithfully and efficiently taken me across Europe, but he only told me the magic words “You have reached your destination” when I programmed the destination correctly into the system. Figuring out how to get started is crucial and shouldn’t be overlooked in any endeavor. But unless you first define the objective, you’ll have a hard time hearing “You have reached your destination” at the end of the journey.