A helpful strategy for achieving long-term goals can be “laddering” – a technique that encourages people to focus on the next rung (or next step) in the process rather than becoming overwhelmed by the long-term goal. For example, if you wish to earn an MBA, it helps to think of applying for admission or completing one course. If you aim to start a business, maybe you can begin a side hustle or work part-time in the field first. It’s not achieving your goal, but it helps move you toward it.

Yesterday I wrote about creating arbitrary milestones, a technique that can aid in short-term motivational power. These milestones can also be used as ladder rungs to propel you toward larger targets. No one says that the steps on your journey need to be even. You can invent your own incremental measurements and have the steps as close together – or as far apart – as inspiration and circumstances allow.

While having a long-term view is helpful to create the vision, keeping your focus on just the next rung may be just what you need to get you there.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: