Identifying precious gems in your business, discover success in your business every ninety days

Identifying precious gems in your business

Within every 90 day period, there are a handful of precious gems just waiting to be mined.

Here are four powerful questions to uncover the diamonds in the rough, and ensure you smash your next 90 days out of the park.

What were your top three big wins from the last 90 days and why?

In our constant pursuit of more, we miss the amazing things we’ve already achieved. Taking a moment to consider what went well isn’t a vanity exercise and actually helps us in several ways.

First, science shows that celebrating success and being grateful for what we’ve achieved improves the odds of creating similar successes in the future, while also improving our happiness and well-being.

Second, when we consider our big wins it helps us reward and recognize others. Strong leadership requires that we recognize and praise our colleagues for their valuable contributions. Success doesn’t just happen by accident, so by focusing on what went well you are also focusing on the people that directly or indirectly enable the results.

Third, focusing on your biggest successes provides an opportunity to decode and replicate that success in the future. Gathering team members and simply asking them to list the drivers behind a particular achievement is incredibly powerful. Soon you discover various best practices that can be installed throughout your company.

What were the biggest challenges that you have grown from and what did you learn?

Our growth potential lies just outside of our comfort zone. You would never go to the gym, state that you’d like to get into better shape, and then ask to be pointed into the direction of the most comfortable, least stressful exercises. You appreciate that stress builds strength physically and it’s the same thing professionally.

This question prompts you to consider the moments that challenged and tested you the most. When we focus on discomfort or hardship, we find valuable lessons within. Over time the learning from these lessons improves our decision-making and execution, and ultimately our results as well.

Answer the questions with a team you’ll most certainly benefit from multiple points of view and uncover far more lessons than you would have done on your own.

What ‘Unfinished Business’ should you complete in the first month ahead?

Let’s face it. Unless our targets aren’t ambitious enough there will always be unfinished business. In fact, at Google, they aim for their people to achieve 70% to 80% of the goals they set for themselves. That’s the sweet spot in their experience. Anything less than 70% implies poor performance and/or overly ambition, and therefore demotivating goals. Anything beyond 80% and the goals were probably not ambitious enough.

The key is to identify the loose ends that need to be tidied up and finish them as soon as possible so that the team retains its professional integrity, and you don’t take a year to do what could have been down in a few months.

What are your top three aspirations for the next 90 days? What is the key risk and mitigation for each?

Now that you’ve processed the previous quarter, and know what loose ends to tidy up, it’s time to look into the future again. What are the top three goals you aspire to achieve in the next 90 day period? Perhaps you want to double-down on one of your biggest Wins and explore one of your biggest challenges, or embark on something completely new.  

Choosing your aspirations is half the battle. Identifying the likely obstacles and how you would overcome each of them is the other half. Go through each aspiration, on your own or with your team if relevant, and consider the key risk for each. What’s the one thing that could derail the achievement of the goal? These key risks could be internal, such as not prioritizing properly, or external, linked to an outside situation or event.

Lastly, with the key risks identified, think through how to best mitigate each of them. What could you do now, for example, that would significantly decrease the risk’s negative impact, and thereby increase the likelihood that you achieve your aspiration?

We often move too quickly from one quarter to the next, not properly taking in what drove our success or challenged us along the way. And we can maximize our chances for success in the quarter to come by really thinking through what we want, what could get in the way, and how we can overcome those obstacles.

Take just 30 minutes to answer the above questions every 90 days and you’ll become more grateful, self-aware, motivated, and confident… and achieve better results!

Eric Partaker
Eric Partaker

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