Outcome-led thinking, the secret to getting what you want

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP was founded on the science of human excellence). John Grinder and Richard Bandler joined forces and modelled genius to create the field.

A distinction I observe in high achievers is they know what they want in life. They have a deep commitment to doing whatever it takes to get their goal and there is no doubt about getting it. In NLP speak we call this being congruent with your outcome. This is demonstrated by people like:

  • Roger Bannister, the first human on the planet to run a 4-minute mile when everyone had decided that it was beyond human physical capacity.
  • Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb who used a combination of intellect and persistence to unlock the scientific boundaries that had been held by many of his counterparts for an age.

In financial services it is quite common to hear this phrase:

“There are two types of people, those who set goals and those who don’t. The people who don’t set goals end up working for those who do.”

What is the difference between a goal and an outcome?

In some ways a goal and an outcome are similar and in other ways they are different. A goal is very specific, measurable in the sense it can be touched and is generally linear.

An outcome is higher level, multi-dimensional and usually includes multiple small goals. In terms of creating change in your life an outcome can be something that is not necessarily tangible in the sense it can be touched i.e. you could have an outcome to be ‘financially free’ or ‘ultra-fit’, the evidence criteria for the outcome is what is measured.

Here are the 6 BIG frames you can implement

  1. Make your outcome POSITIVE. Your brain is hardwired to thrive on safety and security, often masquerading as comfort and logic. We are more motivated by being secure and not losing something than being happy. Crazy right!?
  2. Make it RESOURCEFUL. Think time, money, people and things. Ask yourself “who else can support me in my quest?”. “How much money will it cost and where can I find this?” “How much time will I need to dedicate to this?”. “How long will this take me and how will I measure my achievements?”
  3. Add in CONTROL. In order to achieve success, you need be in control of most of it. Ask “Is this outcome in my control, and if not, what can I do to change that?”. “What can I control and what can’t I control. Now, where do I sit with my outcome and is it something I can realistically achieve?”
  4. Next think about IMPACT. This is where you need to really ensure that the outcome is going to be a fulfilling experience and not too damaging to other aspects of your life. So, “What will be the consequence of following my dream?”. “What will be the impact on my health, my family and my friends?”. “How can I limit the negative impact on XYZ?”
  5. Now try FEEDBACK. This provides a level of insight outside of your own desire to achieve the outcome. A rounded view if you like. “Who do I trust can give me helpful feedback on my outcome?”. “As I progress what feedback do I need to focus on?”. “What feedback loops do I need to create that can help me achieve my outcome?”
  6. And then IDENTITY. Please ensure it is aligned with who you are. If not, you can become incongruent and this can derail your outcome. “Is this outcome truly in-line with who I am and what I believe, and if not – how come?”. “Who do I know has achieved something similar and what can I learn from them?”

Don’t forget, these questions are simply a snapshot of many that we use when coaching and training in an outcome-focused mindset so keep building on the answers and creating more to add into your outcome recipe. Enjoy the journey!

Mission Possible

Most serious companies, including most of the Fortune 500, have corporate mission statements. Mission statements are initially designed to provide direction and focus to employees within an organisation, an enduring statement of purpose.

A mission statement should be the vision that guides you and the people in a business. A mission statement explains the motivation for being present and answers the questions, “What are we about and what business are we in?”

When Stephen R. Covey wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, he explained that you must create your own mission as part of his second habit: begin with the end in mind. Even now personal missions are used by high achievers to keep them focused and on track.

Just like a business you are your own brand. To become a successful business brain you need to think as yourself as a market leader with a clearly defined mission. Think of this not as arrogance – but more as possessing a resourceful purpose. You cannot make a difference or be a serious contender if you don’t believe in yourself and clarify your personal mission. Here are some real life examples for you to ponder…

Corporate: Google mission looks like this – “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Personal: Gandhi’s mission was brilliantly delivered in a short list of ‘live’ statements. You can also bring your mission to life using this style, starting each sentence with “I shall” or “I will.”

“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:

I shall not fear anyone on Earth.

I shall fear only God.

I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.

I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.

I shall conquer untruth by truth.

And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”

Entrepreneurial: Sir Richard Branson – “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.”

He added that “In business, know how to be a good leader and always try to bring out the best in people. It’s very simple: listen to them, trust in them, believe in them, respect them, and let them have a go!

Committing to a personal mission offers you the opportunity to establish what’s critically important to you and helps you keep on track . Steven Covey in First Things First refers to developing a personal mission statement as “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it.”

Create YOUR personal mission today. Be specific. Be creative. Be purposeful.