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Archive for the ‘Business Management’ Category

Goals; make them realistic but NOT pessimistic

"Halfway There"
Halfway there

 You’ve taken some time for yourself and formulated your goals (January 17 topic). You’ve “wordsmithed” them to create experiences (January 22 topic).

You’ve realized that stated goals are very powerful. They dictate everything, your choices, your behaviors, your attitudes, and most importantly where you spend your energy.

One more caution —  the experts say to be realistic and set goals within your control.

However too often this can lead you to be afraid to set a goal because of your perceived view of outside influences (the economy, your current job, negative friends or coworkers, etc.).

I encourage you to be realistic but not pessimistic. You do have control over your own life. You can attain your goals regardless of other people’s pessimism or even your own.

Fess up to your real desires. Imagine what your life would be like. Take it one step at a time.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Walt Disney

Find the people in your life that you can share your goals with freely. The people who will support and encourage you to keep on moving forward. Keep in touch with them regularly for positive feedback.

If you have the right goal for you and you feel you are not progressing, remember these thoughts when things seem harder than anticipated.

Don’t leap to the end; think incrementally

Incentivize yourself

Celebrate your victories

Believe you can attain and you do deserve

Be resilient

AND at the end of every day reflect on the progress you’ve made — take a deep breath, smile and know that tomorrow will get you yet another step closer to your goal.

"Sunset over Gulf of Mexico"

“Wordsmith” Your Goal

"Getting to the center of your goal"

Take a close look …. at what you really want when you set a goal? Take time to evaluate your goals and say what you want the end result to look like.

What is the detailed picture you want to experience?


I read an article by Martha Beck on goal setting strategies and I was really impressed with her insight on the topic.

Her insight is as follows:
In setting a goal you need to focus all your efforts on the quality of the experience you want to create (not the situation).
Her method is to use adjectives in setting your goal instead of merely nouns and verbs. It is a tremendously powerful tool.
For instance if my goal is to be financially independent.  I should state it using adjectives about how I want to feel when I accomplish this goal.
What if I reach my goal but I have no relationships and feel lonely, or do not have good health and can not really enjoy my financial independence because I am physically dependent on others.
What do I really want? Freedom? Independence? Choice? The ability to be generous? The ability to help others? To be free from worry? The ability to work on what I want instead of what I need to in order to pay the bills? Etc.
As Martha Beck says, adjectives in a goal define the experience — not the situation.
Great advise. Start looking closer at your goals and sprinkle them with adjectives. Visualize how you want to feel. 
Each day make choices that make you feel the way you’ve envisioned and move one step closer to the goal.  

Turn your resolutions into goals; one step at a time

This time of year we hear a lot about resolutions.  What is the difference between a resolution and a goal? 

The definition of a resolution is “a promise to yourself that you’ll make a serious effort to do something”. 

When we make New Year’s resolutions we often say “I will” or “I’ll stop”.  We look at a behavior or we focus on a short-term change (losing weight, exercising, doing something better, etc).  These seem to represent steps toward something else.

The definition of a goal is “the end toward which effort is directed”. 

This would indicate you will be taking steps (resolutions) that will ultimately get you to an end you desire. Synonyms according to the dictionary are: aim, ambition, aspiration, dream, end, idea, ideal, intent, intention, purpose and target to name a few.

I encourage you to look at the resolutions you may have verbalized and evaluate how to broaden them to express your ultimate goal.

If your resolution was to lose weight or exercise more,  is the goal really to be happy, healthy and self-confident?  If it is to be more helpful to and tolerant of others, is the goal to be compassionate, loving and have peace of mind.

The goal is so much more than the resolution. It is how you want to experience the world around you, it’s how you envision living your life.

You can start attaining your goals immediately.  If you have your goal clearly in mind, every time a decision is required you will choose your course with intention.  Your goals will light the path to your ultimate destination.

“If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there.” Lewis Carroll

Set goals, change them whenever you feel the need, believe you can attain them and you will be on the path of your chosen life.





Dear Santa,

Santa I am not your typical admirer.  I have spent decades believing in your wisdom and magic.

In my first decade I knew you as the giver of my deepest desires.  I asked for the toys that were most popular and the fashions to help me look in style.

You were always so generous.  If occasionally I did not receive my specific request I always knew you had simply run out of time or materials and I would be first on your list for next year.

I was normally a good child in hopes you were watching (well, truthfully you and God).  I knew my good behavior would be rewarded somehow, whether in this world or the next.

In the next few decades I believed you worked through others.  I helped you fill the stockings, go shopping, wrap the presents and spread good cheer through the holiday season.

I was your personal elf that walked among the children and adults to spread your message of giving and your joy of service.

There was no need for you to use your resources on my behalf because I was already being rewarded abundantly by those around me.

But I still knew you were watching and that you would continue to be proud of my good behavior.

These last decades I have come to appreciate your gifts with even greater awe.

You give all children hope.  You offer redemption and forgiveness on a regular basis.  You never give up when the going gets rough.

You start over every year with a clean slate and build up to the most wonderful presents imaginable.  You sprinkle the world with love, harmony and peace.

You never tire of being the twinkle in a child’s eye or the leader of an unseemly band of followers.

You never get stressed or give up and always make the lives of those you meet better for having known you.

You are unselfish, unwavering and some might say unbelievable!

Santa this year I am writing to tell you I still believe.  I believe in your goodness, your power, your gifts and your example to all of us.

I am once again writing to you for continued love, joy, peace and prosperity for each of us as my present from you.

I have been on my best behavior (mostly).


Kate Rakoci

Your biggest fan and believer.

P.S.  Don’t forget that new project too!  And in case you need advise from me, all my friends, family, associates and neighbors have been very good as well.

Dear Reader,

If you want to save on postage you can add your letter to Santa in the “comments” section of .  I assure you it will go express delivery!

How to Turn Back Time

Question from ” A Mistake Not to Make ” (previous topic attached below):

How do you change things if you have already befriended the people you supervise and are having difficulty getting excellent results because of the relationship ?


If you have already gotten in the position of being friends with the people you manage and you are not able to perform your duties properly because of it, there is only one way to change the past.  COMMUNICATION

Hold a “Planning Meeting” with all your direct reports.

Communicate that the topic of the meeting is future growth.

Start the meeting by communicating the future needs of the Company and what your role will be in the future (leadership, goal setting, measuring progress, etc.) in order to insure the success and profitability of the Company as it moves forward.

Next communicate what each person’s future role will be to implement and attain the goals established.

Set time frames for responsibilities to be met.

Set a time for the follow-up meeting.

By going through this process new expectations will be established for each person on the team including yourself.  The group and not just you as the manager will hold each member responsible for their part in reaching the goals that were established.  You will be seen as the responsible leader to enforce these expectations.  Thus reestablishing your duties.

Continue this process as part of your ongoing operations and incorporate the Company Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan.  Show your commitment to leading the team each and every day.

With time and a new behavior on your part the team will see you as their leader who has responsibilities –first — and their friend — second.

A Mistake Not to Make

Can you be someone’s manager and their friend?

Throughout my career I have learned from many mistakes. The first difficult lesson came with my first job as an elementary school teacher at the age of twenty-one. 

I love children, their openness and honesty.  I wanted my students to like me.  I was good at teaching but not as good at disciplining.  I had some herding techniques that worked for the children who liked to please.   I also had one student who came from a difficult environment and I wanted to make his life a little easier at school.

Needless to say he recognized and took advantage of my “kindness” (you can always be kind without being controlled).  I found myself chasing him around the classroom to get him to sit down.  He got the attention he craved but not in the way I intended.  Knowing I was failing my class by allowing this to happen I went to my Principal and fessed up that I had lost control of my class.

My very smart, very mentoring Principal had one bit of advise for me.  He told me that I was not their friend I was their “boss”.   I needed to set limits and guidelines, set the goals, measure the progress and expect them to be the best they could at whatever task was given to them.

The advise stayed with me when I found myself being the Owner of my own business with nearly 200 employees.  They didn’t want me to be their friend, they wanted a leader.  They wanted fair treatment and a good place to work.  They wanted to be appreciated for their performance.  They wanted the company to be profitable so they could earn good salaries and benefits.  They already had plenty of friends.

Once you make the mistake of trying to be friends with the people you supervise it is very tough to go backwards ( I know from first hand experience ) but you do need to make an effort at bringing guidance  back into your workplace.  Without it there will be no leadership and no clear path to a successful outcome.  

If you are worried of what others will think or if they will like and respect you; you are not doing your job.  You are not fulfilling your job as a supervisor and you are not being fair to those you supervise.  You won’t be giving them the tools they need to succeed. 

Be the best supervisor you can by “caring” about an employee’s performance and their career.

“Pot-stirers” : Now is the time to evaluate and act.

I have written about “pot-stirers” before but it still amazes me how many of them continue to be employed by companies who are afraid to sever their relationship.

I became who I am through many trials and tribulations – not the least of which was learning not everyone would like me – and not everyone should be on my team.

When someone in the group always disagrees with a decision but not in front of  the leader they are a “pot-stirer”.  When someone is never satisfied and complains to others on the team constantly they are a “pot-stirer”.  Their main goal is to cause things to be continually stirred up so no forward progress can be made without their approval.

They can make themselves appear irreplaceable by not sharing information and/or setting up systems that no one else knows how to operate.  Holding knowledge, one on one relationships, gossip and resistance give them their power. 

Others feel “crossing them” will result in being left out of the group or worse yet being the person gossiped about themselves.

Here’s the thing —-

If this were a family situation you might have to work around it for the sake of the family – but why PAY this person to exhibit this behavior in your workplace.

They are not moving the company forward, they are not helping to motivate the team, they are not a productive member of the team. 

Do not let “pot-stirers” get in the way of your progress, motivation and success.  Let them find somewhere else where they may find a way to make progress.

It will not be a popular decision.  They have many confidants and lots of time to devote to lobbying on their behalf.  Their will be a period of adjustment for the rest of the team. 

In the end the team will come together in ways you have never experienced while this person was on the team.  I promise your new team will be better, stronger and more productive as they work together toward common goals.

You are also doing the “pot-stirer” a favor by allowing them to be happy and productive elsewhere.  Not every person is right for every company.  They may not like you right now ( and I’ve said I like to be liked ) but without their knowing it you will have done them a huge favor for their future success.

Letting people go is never easy — and there is a right way and a wrong way so please consult a professional if you need assistance. 

Do not call them a “pot-stirer” – rather focus on the lack of performance or simply do not go along with any demands they may have. 

It may take some time – but if they are truly not putting the best interest of the company first they will give you the opportunity to address their employment. 

I’d love to hear your comments.  You can also sign up to get future newsletters free of charge at the side of this column.

Best Regards,