The Worksheet

The worksheet below aims to help you get the pain and frustration out of work and help you achieve your destiny by stopping to identify and articulate where you are and what it is you really want.

Continue below with the worksheet, or click here to download the PDF.


Becoming the CEO of Your Own Destiny

Just what does being the CEO of your own destiny look like? It’s different for everyone, but the only way to achieve your goals is to set them.

For some, it can be intimidating to set goals that are both aspirational and achievable. Where do you start?

I’ve come up with a new way, a set of questions that I’ve used personally and that I’ve also shared with the employees of eBay and LiveOps. We start with a game of imagine. (Work with me here):

Picture yourself on stage in front of work colleagues or people whom you admire the most from your industry. You have the opportunity to tell them your story: all of the challenges, all of the accomplishments, all of the choices you’ve made. When you are finished, you get to see their reactions. There are only three choices:

A. They are amazed.
B. They think this is what you should have accomplished.
C. They are unimpressed.

Clearly we know which camp we want them in. But what’s the most likely response? Probably B. That’s OK. It gives us tools to know what we would like to do differently, and the worksheet below will help you get there.

Take some quiet time by yourself to go through these five steps. They will help you determine what getting to “amazed” means to you. And by helping you articulate what you really want, this process will also provide the first step in designing a road map to achieving amazing results.

As you go through this exercise, it’s important to remember that this is your plan and no one else’s. This is a tool intended to help you build a credible and achievable path to your dreams.


1. AIM HIGH

Project yourself five years into the future. You are back in that room on stage. Tell your audience where you are in your life. What has your audience in awe? What would you view as wild success?

If you hear “I can’t,” when you try to think about your dreams, take some time off, and write down the impediments that you see.

Realize how much is holding you back. Now, consciously let it go.

Start again. Think about what you want. Dream big. Think about your personal and professional lives synergistically. These are not separate dreams. What is your potential, your life purpose? What does success look like to you?

Now, what does success look like in nine months?

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In two years?

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In five years?

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NOTE: This Aim High step is not easy. If truly done well, this will take some energy and soul searching. When you take time to really ponder what YOU want to do, it is very likely to be hard and even uncomfortable. That’s okay.
If you are having difficulty articulating clearly what your “Aim High” goals are, stop and answer the following questions.
  • Does combining personal and career goals cause the problem? If so, do the worksheet separately for each and then do the consolidated one.
  • Can you articulate “Aim High” goals in your personal life? If not, think about the things that are holding you back from being able to articulate the goals. Write them down. If it is still unclear, you may need to seek help from a mentor.
    The most important aspect of the Aim High exercise is to be totally honest in what YOU want to achieve. Don’t get intimidated by the sacrifices required to achieve your ultimate potential. This section of the worksheet is about your aspirations, not your impediments. (We’ll worry about those later.)

2. THE SPIRIT OF “AND”

What matters most to you in your life? Life is not a single purpose. We all have many roles and we’ve compartmentalized our work and home lives. People have looked at these as separate spheres. I encourage you to look at them holistically. Here’s what most people don’t understand: these dual roles do not have to compete. They can co-­‐exist and work together, even complement one another. Achieving this, however, requires some planning. You can’t have it all with a haphazard approach.

List the different successes that you want to achieve. Be specific. Some examples: ensuring that you are fully available for your children; providing for their college education; being a fully present partner or spouse; achieving economic freedom; having a successful and fulfilling career. The trick here is to recognize what is most important. Prioritize the list.

NOTE: I want you to dream big, and with the advances we talked about you can achieve more than ever, but you still need to determine what matters most to you. Even if you’ve embraced the spirit of “AND”, AND you want to do it all, you must recognize that you can’t always achieve everything. You must make decisions to determine what’s most important so that you can ultimately achieve your goals.
You must always ask the hard question: What trumps what?

Write down your goals as they come to you:

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Take time to prioritize them:

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How can I?

Are there examples, role models, and resources available that illuminate how to achieve your goals? Who else is doing what you want to be doing? What can you learn from them?

List the people you are inspired by who can serve as role models (you do not have to know them personally):

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Determine how you will figure out their secrets to success, or whatever it is you admire most about them. What will you read about them? Is it possible to engage with them?

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Based on what you’ve learned, what have you determined your path should be?

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4. DO WHAT YOU SAY, SAY WHAT YOU DO

Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher once said, “We have a strategic plan…It’s called doing things.” It’s time to do things. It’s time to commit to an action plan—one that you can follow.

List 3-­‐5 things in each of the following categories:

  • What you will START doing (that is new and different)?

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  • What you will STOP doing (that is holding you back from your dreams of success)?

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  • What you will CONTINUE doing (that you want to take with you on your journey)?

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Get feedback from your professional network as well as your personal network (your partner/family/friends) on what you have here.

Take a look at what you’ve written down and determine if your outlined actions, if implemented, will lead to your desired goals. Don’t go forward until they are credible, achievable and aligned. Iterate accordingly. Once everything is aligned, pause and commit to doing each of these items.


5. STEP BACK AND REFLECT

Now that you have gone through this process and have some perspective, go back and think about your Aim High goals. Do they still resonate with you? Has anything changed?

Success builds on success, so checking in frequently on the goals and readjusting them as you progress is important.

Look at this list every week to determine what you should start, stop, and continue. Reengage in the process every year.