In last week’s post (here) we addressed a common question, how are you? In that post I referenced redundant instruments on an airplane. We discussed why more than one instrument can help guide a pilot if they are experiencing spacial disorientation.  The instruments tell the pilot how they are flying versus how they might feel they are flying. The difference is dramatic and can save their lives. The example led to how we can better respond to the question how are you. We respond based upon our feeling relative to the current circumstance. This is where we introduced the idea of a life scorecard. A scorecard can help answer that question based upon evidence of life versus impact of current circumstances.

Let’s face it, most likely no matter what is happening in life, most of the time the answer will be “fine” and you keep walking. However, as we have discussed many times on, life doesn’t get left at the door when an employee comes in. How an individual is in life will often times impact their productivity. It behooves leaders to pay attention to how individual team members might be doing because how they are impacts what they are doing. Back to the scorecard. This is not anything special, nor is it prescriptive, nor should this be the first time you are hearing about it. There are many examples online that can be used as a guide. A few weeks ago there was a post published on about hunger. If you remember, I was participating in a 21 day fast of sorts to help focus on setting goals for the year. My life balance sheet is no more than a monthly review of progress towards those goals. That’s it, nothing complex. Take some time to think about what you want to accomplish relative to finance, fitness, family, friends, and faith. If you need some help, look at the One Page Personal Plan (OPPP) from the book Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. This exercise is not rocket science at all but it is amazing how few people will actually do it.

How are you? Well, how do you want to be? Writing down where you want to be in certain areas of your life is the best way to start to believe you can get there. I started doing this several years ago and my life’s story has been a ride that has gone much further than I thought it would go. Now, I am barely scratching the surface. I hope I don’t run out of time before I run out of goals! Of course as leaders, we are not inwardly focussed, we focus on inspiring others and raising up a generation of new leaders who are productive and focussed. Part of raising leaders is making sure they have tools to answer the question how are you. At the very least, ensure they have access to tools like the scorecard and that they know you are genuinely concerned about and want to help them with their life goals.

  • ACTION ITEM: Find or create a goals sheet and put at least one goal for the month on it and get that thing done!

Imagine someone you know at work walks by and says, “Hi, how are you?” You look at them and answer something like this, “Well, my spouse and I go out on a date once a week, I have saved 5% of my paycheck every month so far this year, I finally joined that softball team I have been wanting to, and have been reading and meditating every morning.” It may never get to that level. “Fine” may always be the answer. But based upon your scorecard, your indicator for flying through life, you will know the truth of where you are relative to your goals in life rather than your current feeling or circumstance.

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