After a surprisingly brief and mild winter, Berlin is enjoying its first days of spring. Berliners practically worship the season. Just yesterday, for example, the city’s Görlitzer Park was filled with hundreds of people — my friends and I among them — who eagerly shed their coats and cares to lounge on cafe benches and on the lawn to sip on drinks and soak up the sun.
At our table, a friend recounted a tale from the previous night out. She was at a restaurant. The couple sitting next to her — a man and a woman — were apparently on a first date. The talk at our own table on this sunny Sunday was about their story. Specifically, it was about how the man spoke about himself: he complained about past dates, he deplored his overall dating history, and he spoke weakly about what it is he wanted. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the “couple” did not remain so — she made her excuses and left him at the table; he muttered bitterly to himself before paying up and going.
Ever see the movie Hitch with Will Smith and Eva Mendes? Well, let’s say that these things are not as atypical as we’d like to believe.
Some years ago, I was talking to colleagues about sales strategy and, during the conversation, compared client acquisition to dating. I am reminded of that again. It doesn’t matter whether the goal is to sell your company, your service offering, or yourself as a leader, there are some key points that cross them all.
The End Game
Where is it that you want to be? So much has been said about goal-setting as a critical first step to goal achievement, it’s a wonder that it isn’t second nature to us all! Indeed, E. A. Locke‘s Goal Setting Theory was published in 1968 and has been supported in study after study ever since.
The take away: setting specific and challenging goals will motivate you to your best performance.
Not even sure what your personal and career goals should be? Consider some personal brainstorming time to help you raise to the surface what your top priorities should be.
The Confidence Effect
Nobody likes a weak leader. And self-deprecation or a poor listening ear — while good for a real laugh in the movies — doesn’t quite motivate others to take you and your aspirations seriously.
While the data is still out whether leader confidence alone can serve to motivate others in an otherwise weak organization, there’s no denying that a goal’s potential will be reached by those who believe in their power to achieve it.
Consider a show of confidence as one healthy tool in your toolbox for persuading others (heck, just yourself) that you are the right person to achieve the goal.
The Tailored Terrain
Just to be clear: a show of confidence is not a call to “fake it until you make it” lying. There are too many business leaders, politicians, and workers willing to commit fraud to meet their goals as it is without you adding yourself to their number.
You’ll sustain yourself and those motivated by you by grounding your confidence in a realistic evaluation of your current ability to achieve the goal you have set and by building your own unique path to success.
Motivating yourself to achieve (concrete! challenging!) goals may not make for a Hollywood-style ending, but it may be the dream ending that gets you ready for your next level.
Have tips of your own to share? Do so in the comments!