The attributes and skills that will help to achieve certain goals, i.e: become healthier, wealthier, improve relationships, career growth, etc. aren’t easy to see. Many times is hard to identify a perfect correlation between certain personal skills and outcomes since there are random external factors that fall out from our control and may impact in regards to achieving specific goals.
Let’s imagine that Judith wants to become the top sales rep in her company. She wonders which skills will take her there. Intuitively, improving her speaking skills and learning all products/specs seem like a great plan. Judith’s first approach sounds ok, but there might be other plans that could increase more her likelihood of success.
Let’s say that she could practice inbound communication (actively listening) instead of outbound communication (speaking skills). There is strong evidence that the most successful sales reps are active listeners which helps them understand and recommend better products to customers. That would not only help to empathise better with customers but also would provide knowledge on how to improve products which eventually can turn into more sales because it’s solving their needs in a better/ more effective way.
Since there are several ways to achieve our goals and not all are trivial, we need a mental model to identify the best plan. Jim Collins “Personal Flywheel” is a great model to help envision which skills and attributes we need to keep improving and increase our likelihood of success.
Let’s imagine the first flywheel as a part of an engine that will make the next part move no matter what. In the previous example, Judith’s listening skills will help her understand and empathise with customers which will make her do better product recommendations which will turn into more sales. Also, being exposed to more customer insights will allow her to share with the team and improve the product to turn it into more sales.
Now, what’s your desired outcome? And what are your personal flywheels that will help you get there?