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The Cycle of Achievement

28 Dec

The Cycle of Achievement is a concept referenced in the best selling book Launching A Leadership Revolution, authored by my good friend and mentor Orrin Woodward, and his colleague Chris Brady.

This cycle outlines the key steps every leader needs to make in order to achieve success.  The cycle has five main areas; Vision, Goal Setting, Game Planning, Working, and Seeking Counsel.  “Repeatedly rotating through the Cycle of Achievement compels the leader to grow in ability, understanding, experience, discernment, and wisdom.”

CofA

Vision

The Cycle of Achievement begins with vision.  Leaders must have wisdom of where they desire to take themselves and their organization.  A leader’s vision comes from the picture of a dream in their mind.  “We don’t get what we want, or what we deserve, we get what we picture.”

Goal Setting

A leader’s vision can not be arbitrary, it must be directed at something specific.  “Without specific goals at which to direct energies and ambitions, all efforts will be wandering generalities at best.”  Leaders set goals using specific techniques to develop such goals.  There are nine foundational principles that must be combined to make a goal worth achieving.

  1. Goals must be Specific
  2. Goals must be Written
  3. Goals must be Set in Stone
  4. Goals must be Measurable
  5. Goals must be Realistic
  6. Goals must Provide Motivation
  7. Goals must be in Line with Priorities and Values
  8. Goals must be Prominent
  9. Goals must have a Specific Time Period 

Game Planning

After goal setting, but before work starts, there is another step that leads directly to the accomplishment of the goal; formulating a game plan.  “A game plan is a leader’s strategy or map, it provides guidance towards the goal.”  Like Goal Setting, Game Planning has a few certain aspects that will help leaders make more effective game plans and therefore hit their goals.

  1. Game Plans are set in sand: the game plan must be fluid, adaptable to changing conditions, and able to be scraped at a moment’s notice if its not working.
  2. Game plans drive the prioritization of tasks: without the prioritization of tasks the leader will spend time on things that are “good” to do or even “great” to do, but not “best” to do.
  3. Game plans are developed at the macro, mini, and micro levels: the macro level is the overall top layer, the issues that will have the biggest impact for a given task.  The mini level is just below macro, where issues are smaller and not quite as important.  The micro level is the tiniest, detail level where the issues are the smallest.  When a leader understands these levels, they know exactly where to focus to have the highest impact on reaching the goal.
  4. Game plans are best when effective thinking is used first: When drawing up a game plan, the leader must ask “what are the major dominoes that will knock all the others down?”  Effective thinking leads to a proper game plan that prevents the common mistake of working on dominoes that don’t knock any others down.

Working

The third component of the Cycle of Achievement is “Working”.  When applied to a leader, the term “working” encompasses several categories. Each of these is necessary in the daily actions of a leader to produce effectiveness. There are many areas that leaders have to work in to ensure that the organization understands what they are working towards to ensure effectiveness.

  1. Working: Casting the Vision.  The whole cycle of achievement begins with vision, but that vision must be cast and recast before the organization to make sure everybody is working in unison and understands the overall picture.
  2. Working: Leading by Example.  A true leader sets the example with his or her actions on a daily basis.
  3. Working: Demonstrating a Strong Work Ethic.  True leadership is being willing to live down in the trenches where the action is and do whatever is necessary.
  4. Working: Taking Responsibility.  Leaders take responsibility for their actions and for their decision.  Taking responsibility means holding oneself to a standard of results.
  5. Working: Orchestrating and Aligning Resources.  A true leader assumes responsibility for orchestrating and aligning resources.  This involves equipping others or making sure that they are adequately managing resources.  The best leadership team in the world cannot function if it runs out of what it requires to operate.
  6. Working: Solving Problems and Removing Obstacles.  Leaders anticipate problems or obstacles that will impede plans so they can be solved and removed before negative consequences result.
  7. Working: Searching for Opportunities.  It is the job of the leader to seek and identify opportunities and help the organization take advantage of them.
  8. Working: Being Consistent.  Since the actions of a leader are the example for the organization, consistency of temperament and performance is a must.  Leaders must be who they are on a constant basis.
  9. Working: Maintaining Focus.  A leader must be like a magnifying glass, focusing all of his or her efforts upon the main points or priorities.
  10.  Working: Staying Persistent.  Leaders must recognize that they must hang in there and continue the fight even when all seems lost because many times, victory is just around the corner.
  11. Working: Striving Ahead of the Group.  Leaders must exert a “pull” on their organizations with the strength of their own performance.  This is the opposite of “pushing” an organization.  Managers push, leaders pull.
  12.  Working: Giving Praise and Recognition.  Leaders specialize in catching people in the act of doing things right, and they don’t hesitate to lavish praise.
  13.  Working: Providing Guidance and Course Correction.  An effective leader or coach helps people go places they want to go but are unable to reach on their own.  To do this they provide guidance and direction.

 Seeking Counsel

“Experience is not the best teacher; other people’s experience is the best teacher”.  For this reason, every leader must seek out and find credible mentorship

  1.  A leader seeks counsel to learn: Leaders know they always have more to learn, the greatest leaders are also the greatest learners.
  2. A leader seeks counsel to gain perspective: Properly defining a problem, with the correct perspective, is by far the biggest component in finding the solution.  Often leaders are simply too close to a situation.  They struggle with it and fight it but lose the overall perspective that a mentor can provide.
  3. A leader seeks counsel to make mid-course corrections: Even when a leader is clear on the objectives and implements a well-thought-out game plane, things can go awry.  When these issues occur, mentors can provide invaluable insights into changes in the game plan that will still allow for the attainment of the goal.
  4. A leader seeks counsel to receive feedback: It can be difficult at times to know if progress is being made toward overall objectives.  Mentors slice through the confusion and clarify the picture, providing the leader with clear feedback on his or her performance.
  5. A leader seeks counsel to be held accountable for results: When results are lacking for one reason or another, leaders hold themselves accountable to their mentors for improvement.
  6. A leader seeks counsel to grow personally: Mentors are there to provide guidance and place a continued emphasis on personal growth.
  7. A leader seeks counsel to earn respect: There is nothing better than earning the respect of someone who has been instrumental in teaching and guiding our own growth and success.

Seeking counsel is the last step in the Cycle of Achievement, but leadership does not end there.  A true leader starts over at vision again and keeps rotating through the cycle over and over to get a bigger vision, set new goals, make a better game plan, do more work and get more perspective from their mentor.  There is no end-point in this cycle.  One must keep rotating to gain more success.

 

God Bless,

Wayne

 
 

14 Responses to The Cycle of Achievement

  1. Michele Lewis

    December 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks for the post Wayne. A great reminder for starting out 2014 on the right foot.
    John and I appreciate the counsel you and Raylene have given us over the years and look forward to an awesome 2014!

     
  2. Kody Ellis

    December 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Awesome blog Wayne. You did an awesome job outlining the LLR. You finished it perfectly by saying “There is no end-point in this cycle. One must keep rotating to gain more success”. That is a perfect saying to what exactly you are doing. Thank you for your leadership.

    Kody Ellis

     
  3. Carrianne Hall

    December 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for the blog Wayne! You are a great leader; continually showing by your own example what it means to be a student in all 5 areas. Looking forward 2014!!

     
  4. John Lewis

    December 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    This will be an article that I can refer to many times throughout the coming year. Thanks for inviting us to systematize the process of gaining success in life using these 5 steps. Looking forward to an exciting year ahead!

     
  5. Aaron Knelsen

    December 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Tons of great info Wayne for anyone wanting to move on in leadership.

     
  6. chad waters

    December 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Wayne!

    Great topic! Great book!

    God Bless

     
  7. natalie

    December 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    A very helpful post.Wayne and raylene – you guys set a great example of continually striving to grow in your leadership abilities. Thanks for mentoring so many of us as we strive to work intentionally and with vision.

     
  8. Rob Duxbury

    December 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Thanks Wayne for the refresh and reminder for the new year.

    God bless.

     
  9. Joseph P Keller

    December 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Great Blog Wayne and one that we can re-use throughout the year. 2013 has been an amazing year and now it is time to refocus, reset and reach those next goals. Thanks for the reminder its time to dip into LLR once again and get a fresh perspective and game plan from my mentors. You both are such a great example to so many and we know that 2013 was only a stepping stone to 2014 but what a stepping stone thanks. Keep the inspiring blogs coming pal.

     
  10. Eleanor

    December 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the latest blog! I appreciate the excellent overview.

    We’d like to get together with you for some one on one time. Hope yourr busy schedule will be able to accomodate this request.

    Thanks for the example you set as a leader.

     
  11. kim ansty

    December 29, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks wayne. Compiling all that info in one spot is so helpful. Definitely a keeper for year in and out. Again, can’t wait for your book.

     
  12. Melanie Gingrich

    December 30, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Wayne, thanks for outlining the cycle of achievement. You are a great example of a leader who is excellent in all those steps. Thanks for setting such a high standard for your team to follow.

     
  13. Sharon Lalor

    January 4, 2014 at 6:48 am

    This was an awesome break down of the cycle of achievement. It was very helpful when re-writing my goals list. Thank you very much.

     
  14. 網站SEO

    July 7, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Excellent post! We will be linking to this great post
    on our site. Keep up the good writing.

     

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