The Gutsball Blog
If your company is terribly efficient, you used the last months of 2012 to set goals for 2013. I’m not referring to the business plan, I assume that process was completed before the leaves changed color. What I am talking about is the annual exercise to set individual or team goals. Given the typical 4th quarter press of business, my guess is this is now something you are just getting around to and, if that’s the case, I’ve got a few suggestions:
First, it is absolutely imperative that everyone in your organization, from the mailroom to the executive level, has a set of clearly articulated, quantitatively measurable objectives for the coming year. And, it may seem like a blinding glimpse of the obvious, but everyone’s (or every team’s) goals should link to what the organization is trying to achieve, both financially and strategically. This is important for a number of reasons: People need to have “that conversation” about goals and personal development (more on this later) with their immediate supervisor. It provides them with a sense of belonging and is a clear demonstration that they are valued. Additionally, such a discussion leads to better understanding of how individual performance contributes to company performance. An understanding of this nature is a powerful motivator.
I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a while. Between Hurricane Sandy and business travel, the month of November was a bear. But now, I’m back and sharing with you my view that 2013 is shaping up to be a tough year. “Really? Speak to us, oh oracle. Enlighten us with your brilliant insight!”
Well, as my good friend and longtime colleague, Dan McCarthy, likes to say “out of chaos comes opportunity.” I couldn’t agree more. The question is, are you in a position to take advantage of the situation immediately or are you, yourself battling headwinds that require remedial measures first?
There are a couple of reasons we chose to call this “The Gutsball Blog.” One is that “Gutsball” was the working title for my book (nka “Out Executing The Competition”) until the publisher had other ideas and I had a felt need to use the term somewhere, somehow. But I’d like to think the most important reason is that the ability to play gutsball is a characteristic common to most real leaders. In scanning through my previous blogs, you’ll see that leadership and what makes for great leadership is a rather recurring theme.
Right about now, if you haven’t read the book (Shame on you! Don’t you want to be enlightened?!), you may be saying to yourself, “Hang on, gutsball? What the heck is this guy talking about?” So, for those of you who need it, permit me to elucidate:
--Gutsball Noun: The ability to overcome apprehension or anxiety and to rise to the occasion. 2. To feel free to take action while acknowledging potential consequences, but not fearing them.
This may spark a reaction in some circles (e.g. the Obama Administration?), but I do not believe we are in the midst of so much as a mild economic recovery. U.S. unemployment is over 8%, Europe is a mess; even those juggernauts of growth, India and China are experiencing stalled economies. In years past, it was said that “when the U.S. sneezes, the world catches a cold.” That’s arguable today, but for whatever the reasons, most of the globe seems to have come down with the flu and it’s been spread around by a number of countries with symptoms.
What do business leaders do? What are the tactics for weathering the storm? Ensuring survival? Maintaining morale?