Over the last few weeks as 2013 has drawn to a close and the prospect of a New Year has become reality, several people I’ve spent time with – friends, colleagues and acquaintances – have talked about what 2014 may bring; their desire to start something new, create an impact, or to make a change. Several of them referenced this post from September 2013 and the fact that it had resonated with them.
Regardless of their circumstances, the question which then followed was always the same one:
How do I start something new? How do I create an impact? How do I make the change?
The best way I’ve found to approach this question is to apply a seven-step coaching model I’ve created that uncovers the critical success factors which will not only provide answers, but a clear approach to the achievement of whatever it is you want to start, impact or change. And because this is GO NAKED, it means taking a chance and opening up to others along the way.
1. Get Clear
Be clear on what it is that you want. It is the what which provides clarity and focus. But importantly you also need to know why you want it. Your why has to be of high enough importance that you’ll keep going even when times are tough – knowing only the what doesn’t give you that.
2. Open Up
GO NAKED and Open Up. Forget the conventional wisdom which says that you shouldn’t disclose to others what you want for fear they may laugh at or steal your ideas. The first doesn’t matter and the second is highly improbable; both are irrelevant. Open up to those people whose advice you trust, whose ideas you value, and who you think could give you a different perspective or challenge your thinking. Open up without expectation or agenda.
3. Never Give Up
Once you know what you want and why you want it, and assuming the why is important enough, then you need to have a high level of self-belief. Rate yourself on scale of 1-10. It needs to be at least an 8. If it’s not, then ask yourself what you could do to increase it. In the event that you can’t find ways to increase it, then pull the plug. You need to have self-belief before you take the plunge.
4. Take Personal Accountability
No one else is going to hold themselves accountable for the achievement of what you want. Only you can do that. It’s the critical success factor to this whole process and without it, nothing else matters. You have to hold yourself to account; from answering these questions, to creating the plan, to doing it and adjusting along the way.
5. Know Your Plan
No one takes the plunge without a plan. And whilst it won’t be bulletproof or account for changes which may need to be made along the way, there needs to be at least the basis of a plan which considers what you could possibly do and what you choose to do.
6. Establish A Team
GO NAKED and involve others. But this time with expectation and agenda. Look either for those people who can augment or amplify your skill set or those who can bring something which you don’t yet have. Get other people around you who can support you and whom you can leverage.
7. Do It
Start. Take the plunge. Hold yourself to account and just get going. Understand what is working and what it not, and adjust along the way if needs be.
These seven steps are not linear or terminal, but cyclical and systematic. They are interconnecting and require you to continue to review and revise along the way.
This is a model you can apply personally and professionally, with projects or initiatives; and to anything you want to start, impact or change. And if you have any questions or comments in the meantime, you can contact me directly here.
Good luck for 2014 and have a great New Year.