Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's what you DO that makes you successful - nine suggestions

Does this sound as familiar to you as it did to me?  "Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others?  If you aren't sure, you are far from alone in your confusion.  It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail."  Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

According to motivational psychologist Heidi Grant Halvor, it's "because of what they do," not "who they are," that makes successful people successful.  For performance-management purposes, I've put an in-house coaching spin to three items on her list of nine:

#1. Get specific.  "When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible."  Goal-setting is particularly hard for in-house counsel, who typically just want to give good legal advice.  But as you build those performance plans, mind the words of your HR mentor to be as specific as possible in setting your "SMART" goals.

#3. "Know exactly how far you have left to go. . . . Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress."  It is a big mistake to set up a performance plan for the year and review progress annually; more frequent monitoring will pay big dividends.  Legal leaders and supervised counsel -- even superstars -- need to know that they are progressing and often need to revise their plans based on changed circumstances.

#5. "Focus on getting better, rather than being good. . . . People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination."  This sounds akin to a continuous improvement process.  A focus on incremental change is an effective way to achieve improvement, whether your goal is to be very good or even great as an in-house counsel.  Continuous improvement is more likely to occur when there is constant monitoring, as in #3 above.

Read the full post at Nine Things Successful People Do Differently.

This summary was written by Perry Cone and is posted at

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