...Sink not in spirit; who aimeth at the sky,
Shoots higher much, than he that means a tree...

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Scroll down to my PS, on an online book discussion.
Gracious reader,

At work, we don't make resolutions.  We set goals.  Or at least many of us do.  

I've been surprised to see how many people don't have goals at work, or whose goals aren't terribly useful. 

Whether an organization is a business or a not-for-profit, it exists to get stuff done.  Customers and clients expect reliable products, services and experiences. And philanthropists, private investors, and public markets all expect financial performance from organizations and institutions they fund.

These expectations are goals. 
Shoot for the Moon
  • When you say, "I want to (fill in the blank), it's a start.  When you decide in January that you will complete the October, 2017 Chicago Marathon, and that your time will come in under 5 hours?  That's a SMART goal:  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.  In my experience, unless a goal is SMART, it's more of a hope -- or maybe a resolution.
  • Do your work goals align with your personal values and goals?  Since I first encountered Stephen Covey's classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in the 20th century, I've revisited it again, and again.  Recommend.
  • When people on a team don't have a common understanding of each other's goals, it can create friction and misunderstanding.  Are you sure that you and your manager agree on your goals?  Don't wait until your performance review to find out:  use 1:1 discussions to discuss your goals year round.
Getting (The Right) Things Done
By month's end, many of you will have tangled with performance reviews. 

Goals are a prerequisite to any meaningful discussion about performance at work, including good reviews.  I'll come back to this the next time in How to Have a Job.

And welcome, new readers!  Many thanks to my advocates at The Wharton School who shared my newsletter.

Anne Libby
P.S. Book Club, a test!

I'm looking for a small group of curious readers to test an online book club discussion.  We'll convene via Zoom on February 22, at 7pm EST. 

Before then, you'll read two wilderness adventures:  My Side of the Mountain, a childhood favorite I've been trying to get my nephew to read.  And Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer.  Both are commonly available at public libraries, and also at your local indie (or mega) bookstore.

The question at hand:  can we really ever be individual contributors? 

Here's the link to sign up:  please join me!
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