Friday 1 July 2011

Half the year has gone. Are you glad, sad, or mad?

This is the first article from my new Changing What's Normal monthly newsletter. You can subscribe to receive future articles here.

As soon as you sign-up you will receive a welcome message that will enable you to download my ebook, Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business, and a special report about my year of changing what's normal program.

Also in the welcome message is a link to previous gifts. You will receive more gifts each month.

2011 is half over, gone, finished.

For some of us this means our financial year has ended too, and we know how well we have gone in that aspect of our business. Perhaps I should rephrase that for some. You won't know your actual financial result for some time yet!

How are you feeling?

Excited because you exceeded your expectations? If so, you are probably glad!

Satisfied because you achieved what you set out to? If so, you are probably sad. You actually expected to do better, right?

Annoyed because you didn't achieve what you wanted? And you are mad at yourself.

There are 9 critical factors, I am willing to bet, that have been key to your goal achievement or non achievement this year:

1) Your intention
2) Whether or not you actually had real goals in the first place
3) How you've been feeling and thinking most of the year
4) Your strategy
5) Your execution plan and how disciplined you have been in carrying it out
6) The decisions you have made and those you haven't
7) The company you keep
8) The success or otherwise of your collaborations
9) How much you have appreciated yourself, been appreciated by others, and how much you have held yourself to account


Quite simply, success depends on where your intention or your purpose is. Why did you decide on the goals you did? The great lesson of philosophy, to paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche, "When we understand the WHY the HOW is easy!"

Now I wouldn't say easy myself. I would say simple. If you are not finding achieving/exceeding your goals simple, which usually doesn't mean easy, most likely you haven't yet discovered your deep reason, the why you do what you do, or the why you want to achieve what you do.

Inside the vault, that is a companion to my changing what's normal book, there is a link to a great 18 minute talk by Simon Sinek, author of a very powerful book Start With Why. You can take a peek here. Look under Sparkenation 38.

Real Goals

Denis Waitley once observed: "The reason most people fail to achieve their goals, is that they never really had any in the first place."

I meet lots of people who tell me their goal is to lose weight. I don't think so. Losing weight is one of the tasks necessary to look good, feel well etc., etc.

Many folk confuse action to achieve goals with the goals themselves. Do you?

Feeling and thinking

Getting intention right for you and ensuring you have real goals are only the beginning to goal achievement. You then need to align your emotions and your thinking with your intention and your goals.

If you can't really feel your goals in your bones and are not passionate, you've got no chance of achieving what you want and your thinking will stop you from doing what you need to do. If you don't feel really excited about your why and your goals, your thoughts are telling you that you are not serious, and therefore you're gone, because doing follows thinking as thinking follows feeling and feeling follows intention.


I define strategy as "the reference points from which we make all the key decisions about exchanging value." Exchanging value is what a business is all about. You demand, desire, and feel you deserve something from me and you are prepared to give me something in exchange for it.

What are your reference points? If you can't get clear on this give me a call some time and I will help you.

Execution plans

Strategic planning is an oxymoron. Never confuse strategy with your plan to achieve it, as millions of business people do. I strongly recommend that you never think about strategy and execution at the same time.

Strategy is how. Execution is who, what, and when. Please don't confuse these.
And remember it will all be academic if you are not clear on why (your intention) and where (your goals).

Decision making

Please download here a little slideshare I put together about decision-making for you to reflect on and then change what's normal for you where you need to. This is my gift to you this month.

The company you keep

Do you hang out with happy people?
Are you surrounded by happy people?
Decide today to only belong where there are happy people.
Remember this: happiness is not so much a result of what we do, it is more a decision we make to be happy. Happiness then is an intent, and then we feel, think, and do accordingly.


Only collaborate with people when you have achieved a shared view with them about the following:

Where you are going together.
Why you're going there.

If you can't agree on these two, collaboration is not possible.

When you can agree, the steps then are: reaching a shared view on who will do what, and when, and how progress who will be measured.

Appreciation and accountability

We probably have no greater need that our wanting to be appreciated. The journey begins with appreciating ourselves for the one-of-a-kind each of us is. We then lead my example by showing genuine appreciation to others when they do their work in a such ways that exceed the norm and inspire others. Start really appreciating yourself and others today and you will change what's normal in your life for the better.

Appreciation and accountability are two sides of the same coin and one will fail without the other. Be accountable. Keep your promises and help other people keep theirs by asking great questions like the ones outlined in the Double A technique you can read here. Please put ceo in the password box at this link. The Double A Technique is also in the Changing What's Normal vault.


Intention, real goals in the first place, and aligning feeling and thinking with these, are the place to start to get on track to ensure that on the 31st December 2011, when you look back, you will be glad and not sad or mad.

Make sure of your success by being really clear about your strategy, not confusing your execution plan with your strategy, and making the right decisions at the right time.

To be doubly sure of your success, only hang out with happy people and only collaborate with people with whom you have achieved a shared view about where you are going together, and why you're going there.

Finally, nail it by appreciating yourself, appreciating others, holding yourself to account, and making it simple for others to hold themselves to account.

Special events on this month

I am presenting book launch seminars as follows:

Sydney next week, the 6th, with the one and only Allan Parker. You would need to register today to grab the few remaining places.

Adelaide on July 20th on with the funny and feisty Colin Pearce. Registrations close on the 13th.

Melbourne on July 28th with The Ideas Architect Geoff McDonald and The Get More Guy Warwick Merry. Registrations close 14th.

These seminars are just $40 per person and you get your copy of my Changing What's Normal book.

I will be conducting these seminars in Brisbane, Dubai, London, Oxford, Manchester, and Auckland in September and October. Details soon.

In this little black page-turner-of-a-book, Ian got my attention from line one - and kept me to the end. His short, sharp, compelling words of wisdom resonated at every point. He had me drooling as I scribbled copious notes and wonderful reference points that have already proven their worth. Changing What's Normal - as we shift, and we are shifting, every home, office and handbag should have one!
Susan Furness, CEO of UAE-based Strategic Solutions, a global Edgewalker and guide for Conscious Communications.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

PS Don't forget I conduct free mentoring sessions on most Monday mornings. Details are here.

PSS To receive articles every month please subscribe to my Changing What's Normal monthly newsletter here.

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