Ready, aim, fire!

There’s never a shortage about things we can improve, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to be focusing on and working on first.

From a performance point of view, you’ll want to focus first on stuff that’ll get results! That might be strengthening your strengths, or improving a weakness.

This tool helps you know what to start improving first and how to do that.

Reading time: 4 minutes

What will it do?

This tool gives you a focus, some measures and a way of reviewing progress. Use it with the kitbag What affects your performance? to identify what will have the biggest impact for you.

To start with it will take you 15 – 20 minutes to complete. Progress reviews can be carried out ideally weekly or fortnightly (minimum quick 10 minute reviews are fine) or at least monthly (a slightly longer, say 20 minute review, by you or with a manager/coach).

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you

1. Where’s your focus?

Think of a current task, project or activity that you need to focus on right now.

2. Identify what to improve

Use the table to identify what to improve and what the impact is you’re looking for.

  • 1 strength to strengthen
  • 1 less strong area to strengthen
  • 1 new quality to add to your profile
Performance factor Current level
Target level
Impact of improvement
Strength to strengthen
1 less strong area to strengthen
1 new quality to add to your profile

3. Next steps

Now for each thing you’ve identified be very clear on your first step

Performance factor First step towards improvement (a conversation, a mindset, an action…)

Your plan

Get a plan Stan. This is about getting going. The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? This bit is easy – it’s the 3 things you listed above.

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to do these things? You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great.

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be doing them? Getting great has a lot to do with making things a habit.

    Check-in frequency and dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.