10 Jul My Dumb Assumption

A couple of weeks ago, I created and launched a new workshop called “Off-the-Wall Leadership Thinking.” Participants were encouraged to write open-ended questions relevant to leadership that they wanted answered.

Overall, 95% of the meeting went well. We had a blast, met new people and left better leaders. 5% of it, not so much. I made a mistake that I won’t make again. You know what happens when you assume …

After a number of reflective, partner, small group and large group activities, we moved to the last module: Leadership Development SMART Goals. I explained to the participants that each group should take the next 10 minutes to review all of their thoughts and agree on one idea per group to implement. Then, I wanted them to transform the idea into one SMART goal to focus efforts and carve the path for achievement.

Fast forward 10 minutes. I asked each group to present their SMART goals. Unfortunately, not one group had a SMART goal and it was 100% my fault. John C. Maxwell said it best, “Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn.” I learned.

The problem: I never taught them the process. I assumed that they all knew. I didn’t even say that SMART goals should be “concise” or “one sentence” until after their discussions.

Thankfully, we were ahead of schedule, so I was able to teach and they were able to rework. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-Bound. Here is an example: I will finish creating my new keynote, Rise Above Robo-Bosses: How to Thrive as a Leader in the Digital Era, by December 31st, 2019.

ACTION! Create a SMART Goal.

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