For the past two weeks, I've been participating in Lisa Haneberg's "2 Weeks 2 A Breakthrough " (2w2aB) program. Lisa, who I discovered through her Management Craft blog, is also the author of "H.I.M.M. - High Impact Middle Management" which is a tremendous resource for managers at all levels.
Anyway, I was part of the 2w2aB program, which involved picking a specific goal and being willing to accept coaching and suggestions from Lisa every day for 14 days. It also involved a personal commitment to spend about an hour per day working on specific types of activities to advance toward your stated goal.
This was one of those "hurts so good" kinds of activities for me. My goal was to really kickstart a new project which resulted from me taking on some new responsibilities at work. This new project required me to do a lot of networking, discovery, and evangelism and really pushed me out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways (I don't yearn to do cold calls, I assure you).
Lisa's approach was very effective at forcing me to approach my work in a more reasoned, discipline-driven way. It also encouraged me to enlist others in my goal and established a daily discipline routine that I think will help me beyond Day 14 of the program.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lisa for giving me the chance to participate in the Pilot of this program, and I look forward to what she puts in place as a result of this (she is running 4 pilot teams through the process, in an effort to improve her methodology).
My main take-aways from this process:
- I reaffirmed the importance of specific, written goals
- I realized the power of small, persistent actions toward a goal
- I discovered the effectiveness of asking / allowing someone else to poke me on a daily basis to keep me focused on my goal
- I found I could make far more progress in two weeks than I'd ever have thought possible
- I confirmed that discipline is not just a choice - it's a bunch of choices and opportunities - if you missed one opportunity, get right back on track by siezing the next
This process reminded me of something a friend of mine once told me: "If you figure out what you really want, and ask for it, you just might get it."
The breakthroughs are ours for the taking. Thanks, Lisa.
Update June 15, 2005:
Last night, I got to the end of Lisa's book, H.I.M.M. - High Impact Middle Management, and there is some great information toward the end of the book about how to achieve performance breakthroughs, including how to coach others to achieve their own breakthroughs. Good stuff.