Dreaming through T.A.S.K.S. Based Goal Setting

This has been a fast and furious (no pun) year; lot's of movement and changes that I never would have expected. But....that's why I should continually re-cast goals.

Note 1. this is an updated repost from 2/2/2011

Note 2. I've added comments about "dreams" in August, 2013

Note 3. Personally, I don't do goals well in the typical "goal-setting" sense. My goals are very short-term (rarely do I set a goal past this Friday). What I do though, and I'm very driven, is DREAM.

One generation ago, we were a society that feared and resisted change. Now many accept change as unavoidable and do little to prepare for the consequences. Instead, most people I know flow with the times, struggling to make the necessary adjustments life throws at them.

How about you….how do you engage in the changes in your business, your life? Do you plan, set goals and prepare for changes? Or, are you in the more common camp of “go-with-the-flow.” How about dreams? Do you still have dreams? A few people seem to do well in spite of themselves with this “ready-shoot-aim” method. But that doesn’t work for most of us.

To be effective, we know we need goals and a plan of action, but we’ve set and missed so many goals that it’s gotten us down and we’re scared to set them again. In default we’ve taken to the go-with-the-flow or ready-shoot-aim method and we’ve failed.

So, how does one properly set and stay engaged in achieving goals? And what do dreams have to do with anything?

First, there needs to be a dream. You might call it a passion, desire or purpose. I call it a dream and define a dream as something I want real bad and when things get tough and rough, I can think about my dreams (a dream) and it will get me through the moment, the day...the event.

Whether your role is as a leader, manager, follower, single-contributor or combination thereof, you'll get better results from your goal setting by having a dream and practicing and staying engaged in T.A.S.K.S. - Based Goal Setting.

• Time
• Attitude
• Skill
• Knowledge and
• Style

In order to achieve a goal you must align the goal with your capabilities. If you don’t have the Time, Attitude, Skill, Knowledge and/or Style needed to accomplish that goal, then you’ll need to gain those particular capabilities.

This is the true essence of having long and short-term goals and the time in which you set to achieve them. Achieving good-meaningful-goals is a daily practice that with a few modifications to traditional goal setting rules you will achieve results.

Here is how to practice TASKS - Based Goal Setting:

1. Dream big, dream small, but dream and Put Your Dream To the Test (check out John Maxwell's book: click here)

2. Start growing by associating with what it's going to take to move towards your dream. Zig Ziglar said "you'll be the same 5 years from today as your are today except for what you listen to, who you associated with and what your read." Make the decision to grow.

3. Set short-term goals that drive you to grow towards your dreams

4. Evaluate and correct (learn) the Time, Attitude, Skill, Knowledge and Style you’ll need to accomplish each of your dream, your growth and your goals.

5. Increase your capabilities one-day-at-a-time.

6. Evaluate and correct your growth and goals on a continuous basis. Goals should be “living documents.” Things (life, lack of capabilities, etc) will get in the way that will cause you to not achieve many of them. But, you must be in a constant practice of evaluating, correcting and re-implementing the goal setting process. When it seems too tough, too rough, pause and reflect..think about your dreams. Let your dreams replenish your energy.

Brad McCoy, football coach and Dad to pro-football quarterback Colt McCoy, explains how he coaches football and takes on life; “prepare the player for the path, not the path for the player.”

So, with that in mind, continuously prepare yourself and you’ll do much better on the path you find yourself on. Don’t let your tolerance for change cause you to give up on something prematurely – focus on the dream and depend on the growth to help accomplish the minor goals that require minor changes that lead to big results.

To that end…..live purposefully.

Margins....must have margins, more margins. And clarity.

My daughter, Sunne, texted me one Sunday morning in 2009 that "you have to listen to Tim's sermon series" about margins." I did, and re-listened this past March.

Since that text I've also read the book Tim Hawks recommended "In Search of Balance: Keys to a Stable Life." Those lessons have been instrumental in practicing and living out God's plan these past 2 1/2 years.

In essence....like water in a glass, if I'm too full, I'll overflow when as the day and week builds. Eventually, something's going to get wet and it's rarely a good thing. I need margins.

Michael Hyatt wrote a piece yesterday about margins and mentioned "clarity." Clarity's another big thing for me (one of those trust behaviors)...being clear about my purpose. That purpose isn't just a big holy audacious goal purpose, but today's purpose, this morning's purpose. The type of purpose I need when one-day-at-a-time is too long and I need to just be purposeful about putting one-foot-in-front-of-another type purpose (and being purposeful about where I'm stepping purpose).

Margins are a big deal. Clarity gives what fills my glass focus.

To that end.....

Godin, Trust ....and not being lazy!

As do a few hundred thousand others, I enjoy reading Seth Godon's Blog, and today he hit home with a very short post titled Where does trust come from?

Godin nailed it right up front with a hint.....it never comes from the good times and from the easy projects.

This week I've had the pleasure of working through some good times, projects, files, conflict. In some of it I was a sounding board, some good, some not-so-good, but all of it included people and/or processes.

And through it all, I came out with a bit of knowledge of who and what I can trust, and at what level I need to be checking on what I'm expecting. I know if I get lazy about trusting, I'll get burned...that's just the way it is. BUT, as Godin eludes...it's those engaged well in the battles we stand with.

To that end....tell the truth in ways in can be verified!

How about you....what causes you to trust?

With Baited Breath

Returning a colleague's call today, I left a message and laughingly said I was "waiting with baited breath" to hear back what he was calling about. Hanging up, I thought about how often I'm "waiting with baited breath!"

Being a mortgage loan officer and processor, one tends to always be
  • waiting for something to happen
  • in a stage of restrained anticipation
  • waiting anxiously, or excitedly, or great suspense!
Or, as one dictionary defined it...."having subdued breathing due to high emotions."

To that end...

It's a great Day!

oh...I and like the baited versus bated.

Communicate Well by Deluting the Junk!

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to
entertain a thought without accepting it.
- Aristotle

I'm a bit hung-up on the talking-to-yourself lately and don't apologize. How I communicate with myself is important to having a propensity to trust myself and others. And it's important to have that propensity to trust (trust well, but trust!...I'm reminded of Ronald Reagan's trust but verify).

Almost a year ago I wrote a post about strategic thinking leadership and this post connects in many ways with that...

Notice that Aristotle (above) did not say an "educated person" but rather a trained or educated mind. Hence, a disciplined way of thinking,

As we think, we're talking to ourselves - as we're talking to ourselves, we're thinking about how good or bad we....(you get the picture). We have to pay attention to the noice, the talk, going on in our heads.

Hint....it's many times better to have some "easy listening" music going just to drown out the thoughts going on it our heads. Can't sleep at night? Plug in a good sermon and let your pastor put you to sleep.

Heck, I can't wait to get to heaven for a number of reasons. And when I do, I look forward to eventually running into some pastors (McArthur, Piper, Keller, Hawks, Chan, Carter....) and let them know how much I enjoyed their teachings and how they even helped me sleep.

To that end.......discipline yourself by deluting the junk!

Great Loan Officers as are Great Team Builders

The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with team members smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting this and are willing to pay for such talents.

Amos Parrish

(This is an update of a post from 2011)

Great Loan Officers and Great Team Building

Great Loan Officers -
  • know that Great Loan Officers have Great Teams
  • are Level 5 Team Builders and work for companies that appreaciate and support Level 5 Team Builders
  • believe that the key Sales and Marketing Person is the one delivering the product or service at any given moment
  • know that good customer service is the sign of a good hire and bad customer service is the sign of a bad hire
  • practice, practice, practice at being a Great Loan Officer and a Great Team Builder
  • work hard at all Top 10 Characteristics of a Great Team Builder
  • are passionate about being a Great Team Builder

Please don't confuse this list with a complete list of characteristics of a Great Loan Officer; this is just about Great Loan Officers building Great Teams.

Supporting the loan officers that want to build and do their part in building great teams is an incredible purpose to have. This isn't easy and support goes both ways; it isn't just about the LO, nor is it just about "support staff." It is about the TEAM, about the "I" in wInning.

To that end....

Where Rubber-Meets-the-Road: Living Out the "Levels of Leadership"

I had the privilege of speaking to three different groups this week about some of my favorite topics: Trust, Asking Good Question, Levels of Leadership and Talking to Yourself.

Practicing the disciplines of these topics myself and watching how they naturally play out in life is another privilege. One of those "played-out" settings I've pondered has to do with a non-profit. The leader of this very important organization, Larry, is the epitome of living WELL Maxwell's "five levels of leadership." 

While those on Larry's board are all following him at levels 2, 3, 4 or even 5, there are undoubtedly those he is attempting to gain favor and assistance from who are at a distant 1, if at all. 

When we're not leading someone, they're not following and we could actually be chasing them. Being led in this way is not always an enjoyable form of  following. But many times extremely necessary.

As I thought through and prayed for Larry's struggles (struggles are part of doing something well), I was reminded how important it is to lead "ourselves" well as we chase our passion, wants and dreams. My thoughts further carried me to:
  • How important it is to talk-smart to ourselves. 
  • How talking-smart means, in part, to have a "propensity to trust" ourselves and others.
  • Trusting-well means I must practice a good balance of evaluation and correction.
  • Trusting-well and talking-smart means always asking-smart-questions.
And.....I must always remember I'm leading at all 5 levels at all times.

To that end....talk-smart to yourself FIRST!


Talking To Yourself

I had the privilege of speaking to a group this week about "how" we talk to ourselves and "what" that talk can do. Getting ready for that talk I re-read much of Shad Helmstetter's book "What To Say When You Talk To Your Self." ( This is the first book my wife saw me purchase back in 1986).

My talk focused on Trust. In particular, how we trust ourselves (or not), and the impact the words that come out of our mouths have on our trust. How much we trust our self, and others.
Three other books were used to illustrate factors in that 45 minute presentation - John G. Miller's "QBQ," Stephen M. R. Covey's "The Speed of Trust," and God's "Bible." The Bible references came from John Maxwell's "Leadership Bible."

The application I left everyone with was pure QBQ (the question behind the question) -

1. Don't ask questions that start with When, When or Where and/or contain Who or They.

2. Ask questions that start with HOW or WHAT, contain I and focuses on ACTION.

To that end.....become a become a better leader through talking smarter by asking better questions (it's not just others that hear you...you hear yourself)


Who do you trust with your mortgage referrals? I use my 28 years of experience to lead you through the home loan minefield: www.ImpactMortgageGroup.com

Notes from the book "The Talent Masters"

Notes from Conaty and Charan's book "The Talent Masters" -

1. An enlightened leadership team, starting with the CEO. We find that such leaders invest at least a quarter of their time in spotting and developing other leaders; sat companies such as GE and P&G, it's closer to 40%.

2. Meritocracy through differentiation. Warning....differentiation breeds meritocracy; sameness breeds meritocracy. Talent masters dig into the causes underlying performance so that they can recognize and reward leaders according to their talents, behaviors, and values.

3. Working values. By whatever name the values are called, masters repeat and repeat and repeat their values, and reinforce them by linking recognition and rewards with them.

4. A culture of trust and candor. A company can develop its people only if it has accurate information about their strengths and development needs.

5. Rigorous talent assessment. Talent masters have the same goal and results orientation in their people processes as they do in their financial systems.

6. A business partnership with human resources. Talent masters use human resource leaders as active and effective business partners.

7. Continuous learning and improvement. Talent masters recognize that a fast-changing business environment requires constant change and updating of both their leaders' skills and their own leadership criteria.

A couple of my thoughts - Conaty and Charan's background lends their writings to experience, not opinions (this is good). As I read this book, I'm taking notes and underlining (as I do in most books), but I'm finding that I'm tending to correlate much of what they have to say with others.

This is also good and gives credibility. I'll bring those out in coming posts.

Good stuff!!!

To that end.....