A Five-Step Framework For Superior Work Performance
You perform better than 99% if you avoid these mistakes:
Forget to ask yourself and your team: What is our goal?
Pick the first idea that comes to mind for solving the problem
Limit your ideation to three ideas
Get stuck in the selection phase, without executing to learn
Sticking to a path without assessing it along the way
Here’s exactly how.
A Five-Step Framework
Almost everything can be pursued with these five steps:
I use these five steps for everything from my larger career goals to smaller day-to-day tasks.
1. Set goal
If you don’t know where you’re going and why, nothing else matters.
At work: Which business outcomes are you driving? Increased retention? Increased customer satisfaction?
In life: What do you truly value?
“You all love ‘idea’ in singular, not ‘ideas’ in plural” said my entrepreneurship instructor at Stanford.
He’s right. We get attached to our first ones and stop brainstorming too early.
But the research is unambiguous: The best ideas come from a quantity of ideas.
At work: Writing a cold sales outreach email? Come up with 10+ ideas for the subject line before hitting send.
In life: Want to get into an exercise regime? Ideate on tiny steps you could take to get started before selecting one.
With a goal and ideas in hand, picking is a breeze.
You can, for example, score each idea on criteria.
How much will it move us towards our goal?
How much effort is it?
How risky is it?
How much will it move me towards my goal?
How fun is it?
Note: People commonly (and mistakenly) think they’re in the selection stage when they haven’t first defined the goal or brainstormed ideas.
4. Do it
Moving fast matters. Want to move faster? Do three things a day to move you towards your goals based on what you’ve picked.
Be real with how you’re going to make time for it
Schedule time to work on your agenda, not on the agenda of others
Being willing to learn — and adjust along the way — gives us:
Speed in decision-making, because it’s okay to be wrong and then pivot
Better decisions, based on more data
Schedule reflection points upfront
Define upfront how to measure success, so you know whether to pivot
Schedule time to journal about how you’re honoring what’s important to you
In future newsletters, I’ll dig deeper into how to set goals, how to brainstorm ideas, decision-making, execution, and learning.
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