What’s In It For You?
Alison Price is a Senior Performance Consultant for Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?, performance coach, author and chartered psychologist. Over the years Alison has become fascinated about the question: how can you experience well-being whilst pushing yourself hard to achieve? She has seen first-hand that people struggle to have enough hours in the day to progress exciting goals, make time for the people who matter and enough ‘you time’, whilst fitting in all those daily chores.
I recently attended the ‘Will It Make The Boat Go Faster’ five-year Birthday party with 140 of our clients at the Oxo Tower in London – Happy Birthday Will It! Although I’ve been honoured to be a part of the ‘Will It?’ team for 80% of this time, I never tire of hearing Ben’s story.
During this celebration, Ben shared some of the key messages that underpin our work, and, as always, I wrote copious notes! Here are some of the highlights that I took away from Ben’s, Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Birthday speech…
Over the past four years, I’ve seen first-hand, the results that can be achieved by clients who adopt the ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’ mind-set. However, there’s one ingredient that is absolutely essential to reap the benefits of this philosophy – this is the motivation to improve. You are very unlikely to become obsessed with improving core skills (that will take you in the right direction) if you don’t fundamentally care about the goal.
So, when working with clients who have set a Crazy goal, we have to work really hard to make sure that all members of the team know, ‘What’s in it for them’? If the Crazy goal is linked to financial growth of the company, one answer is to link corporate success to specific, tangible personal rewards. Alternatively, we focus on making the Crazy goal intrinsically inspiring. If people know what’s in it for them, then a fire is lit and you can feel the momentum building towards an exciting future.
However, there is another way to get people completely hooked on improving their everyday performance…
A fantastic set of transferable skills
I’ve been privileged to work with this amazing content for a while now, and I know just how easy it is to transfer the learning from a ‘work’ Crazy goal, to any goal in my personal life. When there’s something that I want to achieve, I’m now equipped with the words and wisdom of an Olympian, and I can apply these Olympic winning behaviours to accomplish my own hopes and dreams.
One of my own Crazy goals is simply to, ‘Feel great everyday’. So I’ve become fascinated with how to apply the ‘Will It?’ philosophy to improve my own daily well-being, for example:
What are my control layer areas?
I can’t directly control how great I feel everyday, but I can control big bucket areas that impact this overarching aim – for example, getting enough sleep and feeling in control of my daily to-do list (rather than overwhelmed by it).
Eat the elephant, one spoonful at a time
What are the 1% changes that add up to make a big difference to how I feel? (E.g. sitting outside and getting some fresh air whilst I plan my daily to-do list, rather than sitting at my desk).
How does my everyday environment support or hinder me to feel great? Getting blackout blinds has been a game changer in terms of how well I sleep…this now benefits my productivity, relationships and happiness day after day (with zero effort required).
Get curious about the recipe
E.g. what differentiates a successful morning versus one where I’m running late and feel out of control?
The best thing about applying the material in the context of my personal life is that I am highly motivated to practice. I am intrinsically motivated to want to ‘Feel great everyday’ and therefore to apply Ben’s philosophy. For example, I want to:
- Work fewer hours whilst still achieving the things I need to get done – how can I achieve the same amount of work in 5 hours, that I would in 7 and free up 2 hours a day for other things?
- Be ruthless about how I spend my time – the difference between 10 minutes mindlessly surfing the Internet versus 10 minutes being in the moment with my son.
- Become obsessed with my core skills – how can I learn to be great at sleeping and planning my work for the day?
- Practice having ‘me time’ rather than habitually ploughing through never-ending work or household tasks (and becoming inefficient in the process).
These are the right things to do, to take me in the direction of my Crazy goal. You can apply these principles too, to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve, whether it is running a marathon, losing weight or gaining a new qualification.
Train in your personal life and then apply the learning to work
Most organisations start with a business Crazy goal and teach the skills and mind-set of peak performance through working towards that goal. However, if you want to become obsessed with peak performance, or indeed you want your people to become obsessed, you might like to consider how you or your team could engage with working on a personal goal and practice these performance skills outside of work. Performance improvement is addictive – when you start seeing results in one area of your life you feel momentum building in other areas. When people engage with this content, they become literally unstoppable.
Take some time to think about what your Crazy goal might be – what things do you need to be doing each day towards achieving that goal? Write them down, and set daily reminders to get 1% better each time – good luck!
Creating actionable goals that inspire and excite you is the first chapter in the book – Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Click here to pick up a copy of the book for yourself or your team. It all starts with a Crazy goal!
Interested in taking your leadership team through one of our Crazy Goal Workshops? Click here to find out more.