I don’t know what industry you work in.
I don’t know what your position or title is.
I don’t know what your job is.
I don’t even know what your goals are.
But I don’t need to know any of that because I know what your problem is and I know you want to solve it.
Below the surface, problems are the same.
The fix might be complicated or complex but your problem isn’t.
My career in adult education, management consulting and high-performance coaching have all boiled down to a fundamental objective, to help others achieve their goals. Of course, goals range in scope and complexity but the finish line, the checkered flag, the podium, or the summit, are always the destination.
Regardless of who I’m working with they all struggle in at least one of the same three ways.
You do too.
First, you’re inconsistent.
So often you know exactly what to do. You know you should exercise, read more, eat more vegetables, be patient with your kids, go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, face conflict, and so on. Yet, you don’t do it…. at least you don’t do it consistently. You do it in fits and starts and moments of self-reflection but you fail to sustain it over the long haul. Inconsistency leads to negative self-talk and can leave you feeling like an imposter or self-betrayed. After all, you know what you WANT to do, but you’re left asking, “WHY DON’T I JUST DO IT?”
Secondly, and often coupled with the above, you lack technique or skill.
Even if you’re disciplined enough to be consistent, it doesn’t mean you are effective or producing the right results. When consistency is present, and skill is low, you grind along in pursuit of results that don’t come, or aren’t what you expected or hoped for. Every new business owner and executive experience this lack of knowledge to some degree. You might consistently log the hours while the results you seek elude you. You might meet with your team regularly (consistency) yet, lack the knowledge and ability (skill) to engage, inspire or direct so that meetings are well-received, value-adding and effective. At the end of the day, poor technique and lack of skill can leave you left to answer “What have I actually accomplished?”, or “Do my efforts even matter?”.
Lastly, you mismanage your intensity.
Mismanaged intensity can be hard to identify. On the one hand, it can look like pedal to the metal stressed out busyness (extreme intensity). While on another, it can look like Netflix chilling, Cheeto chowing, complacent mediocrity (no intensity). A third display, and more difficult to diagnose, is when you’re just going through the motions on autopilot. You’re “doing it”, but not really. Does this describe you? at work? At home? Are you flying toward a new opportunity with ferocious zeal? Or are you on autopilot, just clicking along through the cyclical, mundane day to day? Mismanaged intensity always leads to burnout, overwhelm, injury or unrealized potential and unmet goals. With poorly managed intensity, you might ask “how long can I keep this up?” or “is this really worth it?”.
By now you’re probably nodding your head a bit and acknowledging that in some area of your life (or several) you are wrestling with one or more of these challenges. And rest assured, you’re not alone. The good news is, there’s a solution.
Over the years I’ve observed that there is a METHOD for fixing this. First, you work to ACHIEVE CONSISTENCY in core habits. When you are consistent with core habits you are well-positioned to BUILD SKILL and TECHNIQUE. Eventually, this can give way to a safe INCREASE of INTENSITY. This is the Greer Method and the recipe for sustainable performance across time.
Here’s how I first recognized it.
Almost 10 years ago some work friends roped me into going to the gym during our lunch break. I didn’t really exercise much but I enjoyed their company so I went. Mostly I’d just talk while they lifted (yes, I was THAT GUY). After several months of this daily ritual (consistency), I had the thought “if I’m going to be here, I may as well get something out of it.” so I started asking more questions and learning about proper form (skill). Before long I was pushing myself harder than I ever had (intensity). After a little more than a year, our core group started to splinter because of changing schedules and career changes. Eventually, I was going by myself more than I would with others. In fact, I realized I was turning down other lunch offers to head to the gym. I had become consistent in the core habit of going to the gym which had provided a foundation from which I was building technique and skill. For me, the intensity naturally followed.
Now, by design, I’ve seen this method help leaders automate their habits, optimize personal and business performance and create sustainable results. They have more influence, better relationships with spouses, kids, and colleagues. They face fears head-on, have better health, resolve conflict in the moment, and they routinely realize their most important goals.
A word of caution
Although these principles are simple to understand, they are not always easy to address. Each comes with a different set of prerequisites, success measures, and pitfalls. The biggest threat to the entire method is the human tendency to constantly compare. We compare ourselves to our colleagues, neighbors, social media, friends, or other business owners. Comparison pushes us to prematurely jump from achieving consistency to another aspect of the method. As such, we don’t take the time to patiently build a solid foundation of consistency in fundamental habits. Without secure footing, ‘comparison’ can lead us to ignore proper technique and jump to intensity… trying to do too much too fast.
I’d say the old tortoise who beat the hair was on the right track. “Slow and steady” is the right place to start. Consistent habits lead to consistent performance and generate consistent results across time. Whatever your goal, and wherever you are, first, achieve consistency.
Greer Method Complete Coaching provides one on one coaching for executives and business owners. We give our clients the knowledge and tools to confidently and aggressively pursue goals with an integrated team of expert coaches, habit locking technology, and proven processes.
Jared J. Greer is the founder of Greer Method Complete Coaching. He is an executive coach, 7-time Ironman finisher, marathoner, ultra-marathoner, husband, and father of four.