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Bridging the gap between knowing and doing by Brian Chernett

Brian Chernett

Brian Chernett

Back in January, I talked about setting motivating goals by experiencing your goals as if they had happened using all your senses and then looking back along the timeline to see how that happened. Once you could hear, see and feel those goals, creating a SMART goal for each.

Now, in December, you should be able to see the outcomes of that process. Did you achieve all of your goals or did some just seem to get stuck there in the planning stage?

“Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both.” – John Andrew Holmes

When we set goals, we intend to pursue and complete on them. Yet, a lot of goals are not achieved – the question is why don’t they get done?

For some the circumstances or priorities change. A process of continuous review of goals would pick those up and allow you to change them or drop them.

For others, the business case may have turned out to be weaker than you thought and carrying the business with you proved too much effort compared with the outcome benefit.

After all is said and done, more is said than done. Aesop (7th Century BC)

Some, however, would have stayed viable, had a business case and yet they still didn’t happen – why?

Here are some reasons –
Too big a chunk so you can’t see what the first step would be so no action happens.
Not in your control. The goal needs someone else to do something so you are not able to complete alone.
Poorly expressed. Despite your best efforts, you can’t actually feel, hear and see the outcome and believe in it. Probably means that you haven’t refined the goal enough
Put to one side. Other priorities require the goal to be deferred and replaced by other priorities. Many businesses suffer the tyranny of the urgent driving out the important

You can make 2011 a year of growth and achievement, getting more done and building a habit of achieving. Here are a dozen ideas that might help –

1. Set goals that are SMART and consistent with your business direction and your ethics.
2. Make those goals stretch you whilst still being achievable.
3. Keep refining them until they live in your senses and then they will become easier to achieve.
4. Break them down into smaller chunks, get small wins and build on them
5. Make them visible – post them on a wall or whiteboard where you will see them every day
6. Do what is in your control and set joint goals where you can’t.
7. Get buy in – shared goals are harder to ignore
8. Make goals equally important to all parties involved.
9. Start something – your brain will be waiting for you to finish it
10. Put time in your diary for goal review and action
11. Consider simplifying your role to allow you to concentrate on important tasks and delegate urgent to others.
12. Book time out of the business alone or with key people – ‘awaydays’ – to ensure the underlying important priorities are addressed.

2011 will be a year where business growth will be essential to national economies around the world. Deliver on your goals and make a difference.

Brian Chernett is founder of The Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) – He has 43 years’ experience as managing director of private and public companies, including subsidiaries of Booker Bros McConnell, the Landmark Group, and several other major companies. Find out more at

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