A Blank Canvas Measure, Benchmark, Change, Measure = Progress
Jan 09

PULSE had John Ludwig, founder of SDI Networks (among other companies), speak to a packed room on Tuesday, January 8th, 2008.

The topic: “Becoming a Goal Achiever.”

Quick background: John was raised on a chicken farm in rural Georgia, is one of only two members of his family to earn more than a high school degree, and graduated from Furman in 3 1/2 years while lettering all four years in football. He sold BSA Sales, a 170 employee technology sales firm and then started SDI Networks, which has grown to 9 offices and has been named to the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies three years in a row.

Now that’s a mouthful. And oh, he did all of this before reaching the ripe age of 34. He’s qualified to speak on becoming a goal achiever.

Now, back to the talk. John gave great examples of setting goals, how he encourages his employees to set goals and how he goes about achieving them. Surprisingly-or not so surprisingly-it was straight blocking and tackling. He presented the SMART goal setting acronym and used classic examples such as Sir Roger Banister and Pat Tillman.

But what I took away from the talk was John’s observation of setting goals in areas of your life that are important to you. He used an example of a professional football player who had a mentor that had him setup goals based on God, Job and Family. The football player soon found that all of his goals didn’t fit so neatly under those three categories. So he later added ‘Personal’ to the other three categories.

I’m familiar with similar models that have Personal, Finance, Spiritual and Physical categories. It could be anything. But the key is not to get stuck on a category. If travel is really important to you, have a travel category. If the arts is important, have an arts category.

It was a simple suggestion, but profound. John has proved with his achievements that the sky is the limit. The last thing we need to do is to limit ourselves in what categories we should set goals. Whatever is personally important to you, that’s a valid category.

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