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Five Steps to Winning

There are five ingredients in the recipe for creating positive, winning feelings. When you structure individual and team jobs around these five items, you will release a continuous stream of energy and enthusiasm toward improvement and excellence.

Step 1. Clear Goals
You've heard it said that "you can't hit a target that you can't see." And the follow-up is, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there."

Clear, specific, written, time-bounded goals are absolutely essential to creating the environment in which people can win and feel like winners. The 10/90 rule in goal setting says that the first 10% of the time that you spend developing absolute clarity about what is to be done will save you 90% of the time once you begin. It can also save you 90% of the mistakes, the costs, and the lost time of other people involved.

In both personal and business goal setting, you should use the SMART model of goal setting. SMART stands for:
S—Specific
M—Measureable
A—Achievable
R—Realistic
T—Time-bounded

Step 2. Concrete Measures
For a person to win, he has to know where the finish line is. He has to know how you define winning. He has to know exactly what he has to do to complete the task and cross the finish line. A marathon is 26.2 miles, an almost heartbreakingly long distance for a runner. Fortunately, the organizers of the marathon have posts or markers every mile, and sometimes every half mile, so that the runners can measure their progress in shorter, more achievable increments. The smaller and tighter the increments, the easier it is for the person to feel like a winner. It is the same at work. Each time that staff members achieve a mini-goal, they feel like a "mini-winner."

Step 3. The Success Experience
For a person to feel like a winner, he must succeed at the task. He must achieve the goal. He must fulfill the responsibility and get the result that he was tasked for. He must clearly win.

It is the job of the manager to help each person to have success experiences. If a person has been given a job that is too much for him, the job of the manager is to adjust the job, assign parts of it to someone else, and make it more manageable for the employee. The focus is always on making sure that, whatever job people have, they are capable of doing it successfully sooner or later.

Step 4. Recognition for Achievement
Everybody needs to be recognized for their individual accomplishments by the people around them, and especially the people above them. Since your team members are internally motivated, it is often the anticipation of the recognition they will receive for the completion of a task that motivates them internally to "go the extra mile." Positive recognition for an accomplishment raises people's self-esteem, improves their self-image, and motivates them to do even more and better in the future.

Step 5. Tangible and Intangible Rewards
This is the icing on the cake. You can only get by with offering praise and recognition for task completion for a limited amount of time. At some point, you must give some kind of reward to acknowledge superior results. If there are no rewards following extra efforts, people lose their enthusiasm and in their minds conclude, "What's the use? Even if I work hard and do a good job, I don't get any more than the other people around here who don't work as hard."


About the Author(s)

Brian Tracy is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. One of the top business speakers and authorities in the world today, he has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the United States and more than 60 countries worldwide. He has written 65 books and produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on management, motivation, and personal success.