Goal Setting Works

My first job out of college my boss Steve Delay taught me about goal setting. Now, this was a guy that didn’t even own an TV and thought your life should be all about your job & reading biz books. At the time, i thought he was a lunatic. Now, i realize i’ve kinda become him (except for the 100% work part, although sometimes its close. But even that isn’t a bad thing when you love what you do and you maintain balance.)

Anyway, back in 1996 i wrote down some work goals with his help in 90 day increments. I learned 2 things that day.

1 – Writing something down is about 70% sure to make it possible. (again, i have no scientific research on this but i’m going to go with the whole accountability factor of the written word. Specifically, things you promise the boss. Just trust me – it works). And its really that simple. The pure act of writing it down is usually the hard part.

2 – Writing things down helped give me clarity about where I was going and how I was going to get there. It forced me to think about my next steps rather than just do them. In the biz sense, it helped me align with company objectives.

In addition he asked me to write down some personal goals I want to accomplish in the next 3 years. Keep in mind I was 21 years old at the time. It was 1996. Looking back, i am surprised by my goals. They were huge, goals. I wrote down the following:

1 Skydive (did this in summer 1997)

2. Travel internationally (did my first international trip to Paris/Germany summer of 1996)

3. Run a marathon (did this summer of 1998)

4. Become a big sister as part of big bros/big sis (did this 1997)

5. Give blood (did once summer of 1999, fainted. No longer on goal list)

6. Write a book (NOT ACCOMPLISHED… YET)

I was amazed after the first 90 days of accomplishing my business goals how it changed my perspective. Even more amazing was the personal goals. Do you know less than 1% of people will ever run a marathon? I was accomplishing things i never thought possible.

Since then, goal setting is something i’ve taken with me to every job. I think it’s a key managing tool for my staff.

Now, most of my staff hates goals. In fact, in one job my staff called me Lynn on regular days and Lynnette on Goal Days. It made them nervous b/c i gotta be honest; I’m tough on goals. I have high expectations. I normally give people about 2 “grace” periods of goals before Lynnette comes out. Again, you can read my previous blogs but i have low tolerance for people without passion and even less for those who come “entitled”. And let me tell you, if you work for me and continue to put down goals you aren’t reaching, then you & me are gonna have some problems.

Here’s what i tell one of my staff when they first prepare for goals.

We are having 90 day goal meetings. Bring your year goals and then break out what you can accomplish in the next 90 days. This is not your normal daily tasks, this is above and beyond. Things you want to accomplish but can’t.

Use the S-M-A-R-T acronym:

S – state your goals

M – make them measurable.

A – make they attainable.

R – Make them results oriented (do they fit within overall company goals)

T – time bound (this one is done for you – 90 days)

I find this rewarding for 2 reasons. First, it makes me spend time with my direct reports every 90 days & give them feedback so they aren’t just hearing it in a year review. Two, it helps me learn more about them.

I almost always make them read a book (or take an online class) as part of their goals. Why? B/c reading is something people generally toss aside. Especially reading for learning. This forces them to read something that will make them better at their job as well as give them new ideas.

In todays world, we are overwhelmed with information. Technology comes at us from all directions. I think the whole world has A.D.D. i know I do. Setting goals sets focus. It keeps you from getting bogged down in your day to day duties. It forces you to have vision. It takes you outta the trees and into the mountain top for a clear view. It gives you perspective.

I challenge you to write down some goals for the next 90 days. Let me know what you accomplish 🙂

PS – I have been thinking about writing this blog for a few days now and the day i did the first draft @michaelhyatt comes along with the following post http://michaelhyatt.com/2007/01/goal-setting-the-90-day-challenge.html and steals my thunder. HA. Actually, i was happy to see i was kind of in agreement with him. Anyways, he is MUCH smarter than me, been doing this alot longer, has pretty pictures and actual factual data in his blog so check it out.

My run in with Chachi (circa 1996)

At the request of now 3 of my good friends, i am adding some humor to my blog. They said i’m too serious with work stuff on here and that’s only half of my life. Since nothing really good in terms of humor i asked them what am i supposed to do. My best friend replied “Just post your Chachi story”. So, here you go. And thank you to my friends for keeping me real.
The people in this story are real. They are not actors (well, chachi is, technically by trade. Or was a legit actor at the time of this story. Well, I count Happy Days as legit, not sure about you. However, I could debate how he is not now. Even though he has a reality TV show which if you watch will prove this story is true)
DISCLAIMER: You will not be a better person for hearing this story. I am not a better person for living this story. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m a worse person and you will be too. Sure, you might laugh but if you laugh it’s at my expense and frankly, that’s just not nice. So, read at your own risk.
Facts you need to know:
1. This true story takes place in 1996. It is being reincarnated today b/c we didn’t have FB or Twitter in 1996 so none of you heard it except the few people I called. And I’m not even sure I had a cell phone to call people on. It was 1996. And I was living on ramen noodles in an overpriced shoe box in Redondo Beach. So, I was broke. And had no communication. So, this story probably didn’t make it to many of you.

It’s also being reincarnated b/c I mentioned it in my dinner with my Garth and Trish blog and had about 30 requests for the story. So, for the 30 of you who care, here you go.

2. In 1996, I was a year out of college. If you know me, you know I have sayings or songs I repeat often. Like in 1993, I played Ice, Ice Baby loudly from the sorority house about 57.68 million times a day. I know that’s a lot, right? Ask my sorority sisters; they loved it. Or currently, I’ve been on “what is wrong with you?” This question is not a legit worry of mine; more just a response to ridiculous questions or behavior. You wouldn’t believe how often I have to use it.

So, in 1996 my phrase was “Easy Chach”. Not sure where I got it from but I sure did wear it out. If you approached me and were agitated, my first response was “Easy Chachi”. If you were driving behind me and got to close I’d give you the ole “Easy Chachi” (silently of course. I do not suffer from Road Rage). Anyway, you get the drift. A couple of my guy friends even started responding to this by saying “Easy Joanie” right back at me which I of course, LOVED.
Please pay special attention to this point. It is critical to understanding the story.

3. I was working in LA for the Kings at the time. I was 22. My job was to sell tickets and in doing so we got assigned season ticket accounts. As a Midwestern girl this was my first time being around “celebrities”. I got my account list and here are just a few of the names. Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. You know, D list actors. No big deal These were MY accounts. All mine. Other people had their own celebrities. These, I owned -MYSELF. I was 22 and I was big time. I was gonna meet them and win them over.
NOT SO MUCH.
See, the Kings weren’t that great at the time. Our previous owner had been put in the slammer and stole a lot of money. And we sucked. So, apparently that’s not a big draw for celebrities to actually attend games. Who I did meet were their agents or more like their personal assistants. Some were nice. I remember, Tom Hanks person was great. Some were not. Jim Carrey – BOO! Or boo hoo which is the sound of me crying b/c I think his assistant was the first person to make me cry at work. However, some called me direct. Ok, so that’s a stretch. Only Al Michaels called me direct and he wasn’t so nice. I put him in the same category as Jim Carrey’s assistant. Anyway, I quickly got over celebrities. To be honest, 99% of them were a pain in my ass. Plus, we really didn’t see that many.
4. I had 3 childhood crushes growing up. Don’t expect to be surprised. I think every little girl in America had the same ones. And the order of these are important. Drumroll please.
a. Bo Duke – oh howdy, I loved me some Bo Duke. Those blond locks and carefree spirit and this little girl was sold. I even had a Daisy Duke outfit but I was careful to point out that I was NOT Daisy Duke b/c that was his sister. And that was gross if I was his sister and thought about Bo like that. So, I was Daisy’s twin that wasn’t a sister but just a twin friend.
b. Charles in Charge (of our days and our nights). So, I didn’t really know Chachi that well. The few times I watched Happy Days I was much more into the Fonz and his thumbs than anyone else. I also really like Ritchie Cunningham but not in a crush sort of way. However, when Charles in Charge came on I was a goner. Loved myself some Charles in Charge. Wanted him to be in charge of my days AND my nights if you know what THAT means (WAIT, get your head out of the gutter. I was like 12. My nights were literally me sleeping but I just wanted him to look over me in a good, clean, wholesome way). Anyway, the whole point is that Scott Baio to me was Charles NOT Chachi. This is another very important point to remember for the story ahead.
c. Ricky Shroeder. That dude had a train. Wasn’t sure if I liked him or his train. It all kinda runs together but he had it going on and I know I for sure wanted to live with him. And his dad. AND HIS TRAIN. FOREVER.

Ok, that’s enough of the background information. Sorry to have to relive that but it’s a decade later so some of this story may not make sense unless you have all the facts. I don’t want to be misinterpreted in case a legal battle breaks out.

THE STORY:
At a Kings game at the Forum. Yep, we are going old school arenas here. The building didn’t even have a concourse that went all the way around. It was like 2 half moons placed together where you could walk to the top or bottom but not actually cross onto the other half moon. We had a Forum Club where all the celebs hung out after the game. Well celebs and players and the puck bunnies (can’t leave the girls out of it). Now, I can’t remember if that Forum Club had a bathroom. Logic tells me it must have but you never know. Again, the building was OLD. And now, I’m old and my memory is fading.

What I do know is there is a hallway in the Forum that goes from the bathroom in the offices to the Forum Club. The hallway is what you would call “tight”. Like, I’m not sure two people could cross paths without one of them having to turn their shoulders. Yep, like I said ‘TIGHT”.

What I also know is on one particular night after a Kings game in 1996, I was in the above described hallway just trying to get some work done (by work I mean making copies which is what the low lever people who ate ramen noodles had to do)when I noticed someone coming down the hallway. Why did I notice this person you ask? One b/c he yelled out “Where’s the bathroom?” and 2 b/c he was weaving from side to side crashing back and forth into the hallway walls of course. And when you do this it’s loud and also noticeable. My first thought was oh this is gonna be “tight” when he tries to get past me.

But, then I recognized the guy. As he approached 3 thoughts raced through my head in rapid fire succession.
1. OH MY GOSH. Its Scott Baio.
2. OH MY GOSH. He’s like 5’2” (inserting whatever sound your heart makes when its crushed here b/c when I saw how short he was my crush was OVER)
3. OH MY GOSH. I think he’s drunk.
I hope you read that QUICK. Like in 3 seconds. QUICK. B/c that’s about how much time I had until I was within 5 feet of him. Or more like that’s how much time I had before he started yelling at me.

At first it was just aggressive “Hey Girl” and a poke on my shoulder “Where’s the bathroom?”. To which of course I respond “Easy Chachi”. Of course, I do. You read point #2 on the preface right? It wasn’t personal. I barely even registered that I was saying “Easy Chachi” to the actual one person on the planet named Chachi. It just came out. It couldn’t be helped. Truly, it was not intentional.

Now, I have thought about this a lot. More so, 10 years ago than recently but a lot none the less. I ask myself, WHY? Why oh why could I have not just told him where the bathroom was. Why did I have to say “Easy Chachi”. I really wasn’t trying to be funny. I was in shock. I mean it was Scott Baio for the love of all and he was SHORT. Why “Easy Chachi”? I think I will never know.

But, the point is I said it and it could not be taken back. Believe me, if I could; I would.

Now, I can’t speak for Scott Baio. I tried his publisher in order to report this story fairly and she could not be reached for comment. But, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Scott Baio did not like being called Chachi. Here were some tell tale signs that brought me to this conclusion. Keep in mind: I am not a body language expert or a therapist. I am just Lynn. And this is just one girls opinion.

First, it took him about 32 seconds for what I said to register (to be fair that probably indicated his intoxication more than his “not liking the chachi part”. Then, his face turned RED (not oh how cute he’s blushing type of RED but oh crap, I think he might hit me type of RED). Then he took his 2 fingers and poked me square in the collar bone (which was about eye level for him) and said “I am not Chachi. I am WAY MORE THAN CHACHI (and since I’m a Christian, and I’m trying to not exaggerate and just state the facts I will ask that you please insert about 47 cuss words in here and a lot of statements about his career and how he was bigger than Fonz and more than just Chachi and yada, yada, yada and how I was a nobody and did I know who he was and how dare I) Also, insert a lot of “who’s your boss? And “im gonna get you fired” into this rant.

Now, please reread preface points 3 & 4 now. I was not particularly into celebrities but he was my #2 childhood crush as Charles. So, please believe me when I say what I said next was meant to comfort him. And relax him, and let him know I knew he was more than Chachi. I really thought “Yes, I loved you in Charles in Charge. You were so great” would let him know he had my support.

Alas, my friends, it did not.

Apparently, he took this as sarcasm and literally lunged for me. I say lunged but it was more like a slow reach. (b/c he was intoxicated. Again, I did not have a breathalyzer on me so this is just my opinion. It can not be proven) However, I stepped out the way and he fell into the bathroom. The Men’s Bathroom. Which is exactly what he was looking for, right? I helped him just like he wanted. It had been right behind me the whole time. Your welcome, Scott Baio. YOU ARE WELCOME.

I say this now but at the time, I saw him fall and got the heck OUTTA there. I was 22 and scared to death he would report me and the fact I called him Chachi. I didn’t know if you could get arrested for that or not. I was new to LA and didn’t know all the state laws yet so I decide to just hightail it outta there. Needless to say, when Scott’s new reality show aired. I was relieved b/c now I could be sure he wasn’t still in that Forum bathroom. He made it out and I didn’t get arrested so all is good.

Like I mentioned, you aren’t any better for knowing this story but I hope you enjoyed it.

Passion & Why it’s Important

I know, alot of passionate people but never thought i was one. Believe me, i have no self confidence issues:-) I just could never place a finger on exactly what i’m passionate about. I mean i know i love travel, my family, Florida, the Seminoles & muenster cheese. And i can talk about any of these subjects at length and given time could probably convince you of how great they are.

However, i know alot of people with very specific passions. Here’s an example. I am honored to know 2 National Champions in my life. These are people living their passion and living it at the highest level. 

One is my brother. He is a National Champion skydiver. Yes, he jumps outta perfectly good airplanes multiple times a day. And if you get him talking about skydiving you will want to jump out of a perfectly good plane yourself. He has a true passion for it and it’s contagious (and yes, i’ve jumped bc of him & will jump again – it’s actually one of the top experiences i’ve had).

The other is a great friend of mine from college who is a National Champion triathlete. Celia is inspiring just to be around. But she has a true passion for health and fitness and again, it’s contagious. I call it “working out against my will” b/c she’ll present an activity and you don’t realize you are exercising b/c she makes it fun. It’s her passion.

I’ve always been slightly jealous of them both. Mainly b/c they are so focused on their passion and they are both making the most of it. I’ve never thought of myself this way. Yes, i’m motivated. Yes, i’m energetic. But, there’s not one thing in the world that i can think of i’m crazy passionate about. I don’t think i can be defined by one singular passion

Then, yesterday, i had a conversation with our new CEO. It was brief. Under 5 minutes. I was asking for some direction on a project and he said “Lynn, it’s obvious your very passionate about success, am i right?”. His words hit me like a brick. Only b/c it was so simple and so dead on. I am passionate about success. Period. End of story. And there you have it. And it’s true.

Life is too short to not be passionate about what you are doing. We live in a very mediocre world. My entitlement post from yesterday stirred up some very interesting conversations with friends/co-workers. There is a lack of excitement in our every day lives quite frankly b/c we are overwhelmed with the “mediocre” and there is so much stuff that is average. I have a theory on this. It can be summed up with two words. Instant Gratification.  When everything is at your fingertips, it’s hard for things to stand out and have value. Here is an example i used with my friend JLiv yesterday:

Used to be that having knowledge was important. When hiring, i wanted to be surrounded with smart, educated people. If you graduated from Harvard, I took an extra hard look at you. If you had a certain skill set or knowledge in an area i didn’t, i took an extra look at you. Now-a-days, if i don’t know the answer on something i do the following. I google. And now, instantaneously, i get multiple opinions not just one of the expert i have on staff (of course, within reason).

Now, i want to hire people with different personality traits that are getting harder and harder to find.  I want someone who will prove to me they are more valuable to me than google. I want self starters, I want people not afraid to take risks, I want people who take initiative. I want people with passion for life and being the best they can be. I want people that make things fun. I want people who will talk about their jobs with passion. Why? B/c passion is contagious. And contagious passion sells.

Are you doing something you are passionate about? If not, go do something else. Life’s too short for “mediocrity”.

Entitlement – Lose the attitude

My mom told me this story the other day about my nephew. Noah turns 3 today and apparently they were at a birthday party and one of his friends gave him a card with $25. When Noah opened the card, his eyes got HUGE and he grabbed the money and yelled “My Money” and shoved it down his shirt. Which is hilarious. That is my kind of boy. It’s a cute story. Funny. Totally natural reaction for a 3 year old.

Not so much for a grown adult.

As a manager in the world of sports, i hire often. Usually its for people right out of school mainly b/c when you work entry level in sports you don’t get paid very much so we look for young, energetic people that are willing to make $25k a year in exchange for a huge amount of learning and education.

96% of the people i talk to or interview have an air of entitlement. And truthfully, it seems to be at an all time high. Not sure what these kids have been taught in school or by their parents but it’s hard to find people that understand what it takes to be successful these days in a business.

What is entitlement you ask? Well dictionary.com defines it as “a right or claim to something”. I’ve met more than my share of new graduates who expect a silver platter and ridiculous salary for no other reason than they graduated. Big Whoop. And they expect it for working 9-5. It honestly amazes me. It has been a long time since i’ve hired someone that i’m really excited about.

Let’s face it. In this world, we are entitled to nothing. We are guests on this place called Earth and our time here is short. I know some of you think, “well, i earn this or deserve this”. Really? You don’t. Nothing we have in terms of material possessions is permanent. It’s all borrowed. You can’t take it with you.

Now, for those that know me, you’ll take this in context. I’m aggressive. I like aggressive people who work hard and “earn” & “deserve” things like a promotion, raise, more responsibility. I do think this is different from entitlement. Entitlement is thinking you should have something before you do the work. That’s not entitlement. Thats called a gift.

For instance, take my nephew. He didn’t deserve the $25. He didn’t earn it. Heck, all he did was get born which he had little to do with. That $$ was a gift; yet he felt entitled to it. As soon as he saw it he said “My money”. He claimed it. Again, cute for a 3 year old. Not so much for an adult.

So, as a follow up to my previous post on you wanna work in sports? Here’s my point. When you are starting a job, specifically a new job or your sports job; quit worrying about the small things or the things you “think” you are entitled to. Instead, how about this approach. Work. Be Grateful You have a Job. In this industry, be grateful you have a job in an industry you love (and you aren’t selling copiers). Think about the experience (which is more often than not, invaluable. Invaluable, whether good or bad) that you are receiving and just chill out and try to enjoy life and be a contributing member of society.

More often than it has a way of working out in the end. And the rewards are not often “possessions”.

So, You Wanna Work in Sports (and I care why?)

Not to sound harsh but i’m writing this b/c i’ve had no less than a dozen requests in the past month for me to talk to someone’s friend, relative, hairdresser, guy they met in a cab (you get the picture) about how to get a job in sports.

Here’s the thing. I don’t mind. Really, i don’t. I love helping & am more than happy to talk about the great career the wide world of sports has afforded me.  In fact, i’ve decided to write this blog so i can just direct people here. Specifically the ones I don’t know so well 🙂 b/c frankly 12 hour to 90 min conversations a month is alot of my time and my time is valuable.

Now, i’m not necessarily an expert but i have worked in sports for over 15 years. I’ve working in the NHL, MLB, NBA and various minor league sports not to mention my current job with the PBR.

Why did i want to work in sports and how did i get started? Luck. Seriously.

I did an internship in college with the FSU Athletic Association and then spent 1 summer my junior year working for a sports agent. When i graduated FSU i sent 1 resume to the Chicago Bulls and be some miracle was chosen as 1 of 6 interns. Not sure why i was chosen but i was and I’m grateful.

Before you decide sports is for you. Here’s my words of caution.

1. You will work your tail off (50-60hrs/week min) and not get paid the equivalent of minimum wage.

2. You do actually work. If you are some highschool/college athlete that couldn’t make it in the BIG TIME and are trying to delay your entrance into the real world b/c you think it will be fun, this is not a good choice for you. If you are a girl, looking to meet a million dollar athlete to marry you, this is not for you. (I could go into alot more detail on both of these but i’m trying not to be rude).

If it still sounds like a good idea to you read on…

Here’s my best advice for getting involved in sports.

1. Get an internship. All sports teams want free help. So, just be persistent. Volunteer your time. Now, this is easier when you are in college or maybe with the current economy if you are jobless but that’s the way to go. I didn’t get paid (anything other than commission) until i was on my 3rd job in sports in LA with the Kings. And even then, I made $18k that first year outta school (yep, Mom & Dad were REAL proud :-))

2. Next. Work. It amazes me how few people actually work. WE’ll get intern after intern and they are lazy. L-A-Z-Y. You want to work in sports? You finally get your chance, and then you goof off all day. Here’s a newsflash for you: In sports, everyone knows EVERYONE. If you intern for me and you suck, i will never ever recommend you again. I don’t care if you change. All i know is how you are with me that first time. So, Take initiative. Do MORE than is asked. People that impress me are people that work.

That’s pretty much it. Decide you want to work in sports. Go volunteer your time. And then WORK. Oh yeah, and start where you are. It’s pretty unlikely you will work for the Cowboys or the Yankees for your first job. I got lucky to get an internship with the Bulls in the height of MJ. Not everyone will be that lucky. The most important thing is to get into the sports industry and start working.

I can honestly say, i’m not smarter than anyone else but what i’ve done is literally just out-work people. And i have a passion for success. Here’s the good thing about the small world of sports; if you work hard and are successful people will always want you. Its really that simple.

Now, i’m going to do another post later in the week called “Entitlement” which is something i see more an more in recent graduates (and i promise I won’t tell you all how i had to walk uphill BOTH WAYS in a snowstorm when I was growing up).

Until then…

Why I love the rain…

I grew up in Florida. Orange Park, FL to be exact. 13 great years of my childhood. 4 years at FSU and 3 years in Tampa working for the LIghtning. 21 years total which accounts for well over the majority of my life.

You can’t live in FLorida and not have rain be part of your life. In fact, i’m in FL for work right now and stopped to write this b/c out of nowwhere it is raining. And it is raining hard. I was heading into the hotel and a little girl was crying “Mama, i’m so scared of the rain”.

I believed her. And i totally get it. If you were to look out my window you’d see palm trees shaking in the wind. It’s raining so hard you an barely see and the sky is black. But, for me it’s calming.

Seeing that little girl brought back a flashback to my own childhood. See my mom loves the rain. As a child, everytime it would rain she’d set up a “Party in the Garage” which pretty much consisted of her sitting in a lawn chair reading while me and my brother did whatever it is we did to entertain ourselves. All i know is it was always FUN!

I remember one particular bad storm with lots of lightning and i must have sounded exactly like the little girl i met in the lobby today “Mama, i’m so scared of the rain”. And my Mom, just pulled me on to her lap and told me (again) the story of Noah. To little 7 year old me, knowing that God promised to never again destroy the world by flood was more than enough reassurance and hence, my love of rain begin.

I’m not scared of death but i do think even at 37, this is why i love the rain and why it’s calming to me.  I wish my hotel room had a garage so i could grab a lawn chair and throw myself a “Party in the Garage”.

The Value of Time

Nothing makes me crazier than waiting on someone who is not on time. In my opinion, you are pretty much telling me, “your time is not important to me”. Of course, this irritates me on a much higher level in the workplace than in my own personal life.

Today, I waited on someone I should not have been waiting on. After all, they requested the meeting with me.

I value my time. In fact, time is probably 1 of the things i value most in life. Time with loved ones, time to myself, more time. If some1 were to propose a 36 hour day, i’d vote a resounding YES (please)!

My current boss always says “I’m a dollar waiting on a dime” meaning his time is more valuable than mine. And while technically, i agree, (if he is making $100/hour & I’m making $10/hour; the cost per hour of his time is much more valuable than mine) my overall thought is i really don’t care who you are or what your perceived “value” is. If you ask for my time, be on time. Plain & simple. (btw, this has nothing to do with my boss i’ve just always wanted to say “i’m a dollar waiting on a dime” and now i have 🙂

So, here’s to respecting each others time on this fine Friday afternoon.