Set goals, share progress and achieve success. Imagine never having to participate in another annual performance review.
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What are the three most important things you must accomplish this year to increase your value to the organization?
“If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.”
– Jim Collins
What are the critical issues, obstacles or communications you must address to achieve your Success 3?
“Sometimes the greatest opportunities in life show up as unsolvable problems.”
– Jim Rohn
Any ideas to make the work easier, faster or more profitable?
“Contributing fresh ideas, intriguing new possibilities, is an integral part of accomplishing interesting and fulfilling work.”
– Scott Brinker
What are your personal growth goals this year?
“Knowledge will enrich you, but only action will turn it into riches.”
– Darren Hardy
01. Why SKIM? (1:04)
Think about this…
The most important investment you’ll make this year is that of your mind and your time. SKIM is a powerful tool designed and committed to helping you maximize that investment and to help you achieve just about any worthy improvement, outcome or goal you want.
Regardless of where you are on the organizational chart, the SKIM plan creates an agreement between you and the organization related to the value you will create. You can’t raise a bar unless you know where the bar is to begin with.
To earn more money, get promoted or simply stand out in the crowd, you’ll need to create more value. And you have to know that what you doing, if you do it exceedingly well, will make you one of the team’s most valuable players if not the MVP. We’re talking about making you invaluable.
The SKIM plan makes it easy for you to set, stick to, and achieve worthy goals that are aligned with your organization.
02. The Power of Collective Agreement (1:03)
The foundation of SKIM is something we call “collective agreement”. Every team member knows his or her role, what is priority, and each is a superstar in their performance to WOW customers.
The collective agreement that SKIM creates grows revenue and profit by fueling individual advancement and personal growth. Think of it like a professional rowing team, everyone completely in sync and powerfully focused on a clear goal. The oars perfectly aligned and hitting the water repeatedly with barely a splash.
It’s very difficult to achieve that using traditional annual performance reviews. Waiting a year to find out that a team member wasn’t clearly focused is absurd…as is downgrading someone for something that occurred many months before their review.
SKIM is a proactive and ongoing agreement between the individual and the organization that sets out the role of each in achieving results together.
03. Two Things to Know Before You Start (2:25)
There is no “magic dust” in the world of goal achievement. No one can do this for you. So if you are serious about getting results, here are two things you should know before you start your SKIM…
First, you can’t hit a target you don’t have – Imagine it is a year from now and you had an incredible year. So, “What was the one thing that happened that made this such an awesome year for you?” If you’re not driving, grab a piece of paper and write it down because this is where your achievement starts. You have to know what you want so you can focus on doing the things you need to do to achieve your goals. Author Jim Collins says “If you have more than three goals, you have none.” The ability to focus is the most powerful tool we can use to get results.
And if making more money is your goal, keep this in mind, “Making money is rarely a true goal. If you want to earn more money, you have to create more value that someone is willing to pay for.”
If you don’t know or aren’t absolutely sure how to create money making value, then that’s where you need to start. No matter what industry you’re in, if you’re the best at doing something a lot of people want, the money will follow. So the first key to success is in knowing what we need to get done.
The second thing you will need before you start your SKIM is a burning desire – Most people who have accomplished anything didn’t know how they were going to do it; they only knew they were going to do it. They loved their idea so much that it fueled a burning desire to make it reality.
Do you know how many attempts the average person makes to achieve a goal? The answer may surprise you…the average person makes less than 1 attempt to achieve a goal…it’s because they stop in their head before they even start. That’s why we have to be dead honest with ourselves about why we are setting the goal. Our reason, our why, has to be powerful enough to push us through the challenges we will face.
Every goal we set comes with its own built in set of obstacles…if we don’t have enough passion for what we want, we’ll never be able of overcome the obstacles and see it through to the finish line.
So as you open your SKIM journal, remember to carefully select goals that you love and will have aburning desire to achieve.
04. How SKIM Works (1:52)
Let me introduce you to a concept called WIN…W.I.N. which stands for What Is Normal. Things are normal in our lives either because that’s the way they’ve always been or because that’s the way we want them to be. SKIM helps us determine what we want, what gets us excited about our lives and then helps us put a plan together to go after it.
In 2008, a Dominican University study determined that people who write down their goals accomplish more that those who don’t. However, the study also revealed that the highest achievers enhanced their written goals in three ways.
First, they used some form of accountability, generally an accountability partner, supervisor or coach.
Second, they made a public commitment related to their goal…in other words, they didn’t keep it a secret. They shared it with others, and
Third, they had a written action plan that outlined how they would achieve their goals.
In 2012, Good Morning America reported on a study done with a group of 141 overweight and obese adults to determine the most effective weight loss program. What they found was that any weight-loss treatment that involved counseling, physical activity and a healthy diet successfully helped people lose weight a year later. However, those enrolled in the Weight Watchers program lost significantly more than any of the other groups.
Why?…accountability and journaling. Again, when people are accountable to achieve goals, they tend to feel supported and are more likely to complete the journey. And when you journal, tracking what you do, you are better able to stay in touch with your progress.
Your SKIM journal is designed for high achievement. It’s a platform for accountability, public commitment, an action plan, and journaling to track progress.
05. S K I M Defined (1:39)
SKIM stands for Success 3, Key Issues, Innovation and Mastery.
SUCCESS 3 – The “three most important things” you must accomplish this year to increase your value to the organization. It is critical to confirm that the organization agrees with you on these three. Each should be a SMART goal.
KEY ISSUES – the critical issues you must address to launch, progress and achieve your SUCCESS 3. Examples: obtaining funding; overcoming an obstacle with someone; asking a question you know you should ask but are afraid to. Regardless of the outcome, often simply having a conversation will help direct your focus and efforts going forward.
INNOVATION – your ideas to make the work easier, faster, more profitable, etc. There are no guarantees that any idea will work, but your willingness to take a risk by serving up ideas is valuable. Sometimes the greatest opportunities in life show up in the form of unsolvable problems. So start there. If you see a problem, it could be because you are a part of the solution.
And finally, the M in SKIM means…
MASTERY – these are your personal development, personal growth goals. Examples: perfecting a skill; obtaining a professional designation or degree; learning to better manage your time or emotions. Chart your path. Stay focused. Go for excellence. Overcome obstacles. You’ve got this!
06. SMART Goals (2:03)
To be very clear about what an effective goal is, we’ll use the well-known acronym “SMART”…S M A R T . This definition is listed on the second page of your SKIM journal so you can refer to it often. SMART goals have been referred to as “A Dream with Legs”. The clearer the goal, the more likely it will be achieved.
The criteria for a SMART goal are that it is specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant and time bound.
S M A R T.
S – The specific requirement asks exactly what is to be accomplished. Can we define it in terms of specific results, rather than activities? Finishing a race would be considered specific where running a race may not if the goal was to actually finish it.
Next your goal should be measurable. Measurement brings awareness which brings change. Will people who are watching you be able to recognize that your goal has been achieved? What are the methods of measurement? Finishing a one mile race is measurable.
The A in SMART is attributed to the word achievable. Can it be done with our available resources (such as time, people, information, knowledge, technology?) Is the goal a stretch but also a realistic target? Finishing a one mile race in less than 4 minutes may be an excellent SMART goal for a healthy, experienced runner who wants to try out for the Olympics. It may not be achievable for someone who has never run a one mile race before.
R is for relevant. Do these goals line up with the current direction and focus of the organization? Do they support the organizations’ priorities and core values?
Finally, a SMART goal is time bound. It includes a deadline date when the target is to be achieved. Finishing a one mile race in less than 4 minutes by April 1st is a time bound goal.
07. Using the Primer (1:39)
Beginning a SKIM plan can be one of the most exciting parts of the journey. Go somewhere private and pleasurable. Sit in your car by the beach or find a comfortable place at home…it just has to be private so you can think for about an hour without interruption. Pull out your SKIM primer. Each SKIM journal comes with a couple of SKIM primers (one for you and one for your manager or accountability partner) The Primer is a beautifully designed piece of scratch paper. It’s simply a place to rough draft and brain storm your goals before committing them to the journal.
Now is the perfect time to sit back and dream about what you really want to accomplish. Start writing. As you brainstorm begin to note not only all of your goals but also the skills, knowledge and integrity items that you will want to improve along the way.
If you are working with a manager or business partner, that person should be brainstorming his or her wish list for you before you share them with each other. That way there can be some thoughtful and empowering discussion when you have your first SKIM meeting.
Once you’ve decided on your SUCCESS 3 for this year, confirm that each is a SMART goal and that they are significant, high value and will motivate you to get through the obstacles you will face along the way. Do these goals create a burning desire in you? Do you really love the thought of achieving them?
Now set your primer aside for a day to give yourself time to reflect and reconsider. You’ll want to collaborate with your manager or success partner before you finalize your Success 3.
08. Staying on Track (1:33)
Ok, you’ve set your goals, recorded them in your SKIM journal and you’re ready to launch. Begin with your first month, hopefully January, but if you are starting a little later in the year just begin with the current month. Note your Success 3 as goals on the journal page and list the specific actions you must take this month to move you closer to achieving each goal. Action items are critical to high performance. Cross them off as you achieve them. The psychological high you’ll get as you begin scoring accomplishments can be incredibly rewarding. It’s like watching you dreams slowly come to life.
Personal development master, Darren Hardy, says, “if you want to change your results, you have to change something you do every day.” The Monthly Tracker allows you to keep track of the top three activities you know you must do every day to be more successful. List them on the Tracker, by week, and check the boxes daily as you keep each commitment.
Keep your SKIM journal close to you. Look at it every day, even if just for a few minutes. Use the Progress Journal pages to make notes at company meetings or anytime you want to document a personal observation, thought or accomplishment.
Remember that the purpose of the SKIM is to keep you focused on your highest priorities. It will give you the clarity to say no to things that will stop you from achieving your goals. Saying no often will give you more time to do the things you know you need to do.
09. SKIM for Managers (1:28)
Managing workplace SKIM plans is really a leadership obligation to align team members to achieve collective goals as quickly as possible.
The secret is in knowing that we are not running a series of individual sprints, but rather a relay race where each team member, operating in his or her own unique ability, makes sure the baton is passed safely to the next team member. Let’s call it “high performance leadership”… everyone watching out for the person on their right and the person on their left which builds trust and results in a strong team that achieves collective goals fast.
If you are a manager, the SKIM plan provides the basis for promotion, rehabilitation, training, and termination (we like to call it liberation). If you are going to use SKIM, plan on having the courage and integrity to act appropriately on the issues that will surface.
Not everyone is right for the team as you move forward so whether a team member self-selects out or whether you liberate him or her, it’s healthy for the organization, as Jim Collins puts it, that the right people sit on the right seats of the bus.
Most people want to perform well so the way they are coached, trained and managed makes all the difference in the value they are able to produce.
As a manager the SKIM performance process will involve some pre-planning, a SKIM goal setting meeting and a monthly progress meeting.
10. Manager Pre-planning (0:38)
If you are the manager or accountability partner, SKIM pre-planning for each team member involves writing out the things you would like to see that person address or accomplish. Use a SKIM primer to record your thoughts. Performance goals or issues should not come as a surprise to any team member. We never want to blind-side anyone if we can help it. We also want to keep the word “unfair” out of the conversation. Open communication helps keep things on the table so we are collaborating with people for amazing results rather than just making sure they get work done.
11. Initial Annual SKIM Meeting (1:14)
At the initial SKIM meeting, the manager starts the conversation by asking the team member what he or she would like to be doing in the organization three years from now. There is discussion. The team member should do most of the talking. The manager should be asking questions and listening. The discussion is meant to bring some clarity and agreement about how you can create value together. Next, begin to complete the SKIM Plan by section. An effective SKIM plan meeting should take no more than an hour if you both commit to staying on topic.
The SKIM Plan is also a good tool to assess the leadership skill of management people. Managers should be great leaders and great leaders coax, encourage and inspire people to do better work. The SKIM works because it is proactive, simple, mutual, clear and documented. So to assess leadership skills, assess not only the leader’s SKIM but the SKIM Plans of the people he or she manages.
Finally, if you want to use SKIM to manage the performance of others, you must be committed to completing your own SKIM plan this year. They will do as you do, not as you say.
12. The Monthly Meeting (1:02)
The monthly progress meetings give you and your manager or accountability partner the opportunity to acknowledge major accomplishments and review progress as well as the next month’s action items. Your manager or accountability partner signs and dates the journal as each month is completed. The SKIM Journal itself is designed to belong to you. On the job, your manager may copy or scan completed monthly pages for the record. Monthly progress meetings should also take no more than an hour. Keep track of the time and stay focused.
Let me make a comment here for managers… If you’re unable to invest an hour a month in the people you manage, it may be that you are managing too many people. One solution is to appoint a supervisor or two from within the group of people you are managing and teach them to conduct effective SKIM plans with some of the team members. These supervisors can then meet with you briefly to give you a progress report on the SKIM meetings they’ve held.
13. Overcoming Obstacles (2:28)
Most people who have accomplished anything didn’t know how they were going to do it; they only knew that they were going to do it. Just picture a 20 year old Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Oprah…every one of these people knew how to dream big and set goals but they learned to overcome obstacles that would have flattened others forever. Steve Jobs was actually fired from his own company only to be hired back some years later as a wiser more experienced leader.
To overcome obstacles it’s important to understand the anatomy of a goal. It starts with a vision of a future something. Then a SMART goal is set. Next, its critical to identify the biggest obstacles in the way of achieving the goal. Obstacles are a necessary part of achievement. But like anything difficult in life it is better to deal with as much as we can upfront and minimize what could blindside us.
If you can figure out your best strategy to overcome an obstacle before it happens, you’ll find it easier to overcome should it actually come up.
Life will serve up setbacks. So we need to ask ourselves…How much emotional power are we going to give to our set-backs?
If we can commit upfront to minimizing our emotional response, we will actually reach our goals faster and without derailing others in the process.
Let me say that again, if we can commit upfront to minimizing our emotional response, in other words, our upset, anger or sadness when something happens that feels unfair, we’ll actually reach our goals faster and without derailing others in the process. An upset that would have taken us two days to get over, can be resolved sometimes in minutes. When you are in the midst of a set-back, ask yourself how important this entire situation will be a week or a month from now and then fast-forward yourself to that state as quickly as you possibly can. You’ll give yourself and others weeks, months or maybe even years of additional productive life that would have been wasted.
The key is in stepping out of the situation to give yourself time to calm down and get perspective. We have a saying…When you’re angry, you’re stupid. Get perspective and then do what you’ve got to do to make things right, and get past set-backs as quickly as possible.
14. How to Get the Best Results (0:34)
In a conversation I had one afternoon with labor law attorney and nationally renowned employment practices speaker, Don Phin, I asked Don for his opinion of the best performance management tool out there. Without a second thought, he told me “the best system is the one you use”.
So if you want to focus, and invest your mind and your time well this year, commit to your SKIM plan and you can achieve just about any worthy improvement, outcome or goal you want.
Enjoy the journey!