Seven Principles for Setting Goals that Work

Matt Perman is the former director of strategy at Desiring God and is now an author, consultant, and speaker on productivity and leadership from a faith-based perspective. He is the author of the recently released What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done. He blogs What’s Best Next and you can also follow him on Twitter.

Executives who do not ask themselves, ‘What can I contribute?’ are not only likely to be aiming too low, they are likely to aim at the wrong things.

— Peter Drucker

How do you make change happen? More than that, how do you make the right change happen? When there is a gap between what is and what you want to be, how do you cross that gap?

Winter Landscape in the Matterhorn

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/pchais

This is where we enter the realm of goals.

#087: How to Monetize Your Platform [Podcast]

When I started building my platform, it never occurred to me to make money from it. When someone suggested I start accepting advertising, I resisted because I thought (erroneously) it would compromise my integrity.

shutterstock_164636990

image courtesy of shutterstock.com/koya979

Then I realized that all professional creatives charge for their work. In fact, this is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.

Click to Listen

Play

Change Your Life with These Two Words

Mary DeMuth is the author of sixteen books, including her latest Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse. She’s spoken around the nation and the world about how we can discover and live an uncaged, freedom-infused life. She lives in Texas with her family. Check out her website and follow her on Twitter.

My word for 2014 is focus. I chose to focus on only three tasks in 2014—releasing a sexual abuse recovery book, beginning the Uncaged Podcast (still in the works), and ramping up my speaking.

Focus on the Positive

Photo courtesy of ©ShutterStock.com/Gajus

Even with focus, I’ve run into a wall—and it looks oddly like myself. In the midst of launching a highly vulnerable book, I’ve invited the naysayers, and they’ve robbed me of productivity and joy.

#086: What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed [Podcast]

Today, I was thinking back to perhaps the busiest time in my career: the first few months right after I left Thomas Nelson, almost three years ago. At that time, I was spending all day, every day buried in administrative detail—responding to emails, making travel plans, and filling out expense reports.

shutterstock_126729563

image courtesy of shutterstock.com/Andrey_Kuzmin

Finally, I decided I had had enough. Something had to give. I needed to take a different approach if I was going to get my head above water.

Click to Listen

Play

3 Forces That Shape Character

Charisma may be useful in attracting a following, but it is largely useless when it comes to achieving a long-term, positive impact on the people and organizations we lead. For this, we need character. Effective leadership is an inside-out job.

Character and the Potter’s Wheel

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Thirteen

In helping people build their platforms, I often meet individuals whose public image is better developed than their personal character. They are one person on stage and another when the spotlight is off. It is this fundamental lack of integrity that undermines their effectiveness and, left unchecked, can destroy their legacy.

Why I Ditched My MacBook Air

I have had a love affair with the MacBook Air since I bought my first one in December 2010. I have loved the elegant design and super-thin profile. I upgraded three times in the last four years. It has been the best computer I have ever owned. Until now …

MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Right before Christmas I happened to be in the Apple Store and had a chance to play with the new 13″ MacBook Pro. I had actually switched from the MacBook Pro originally, so I couldn’t imagine going back. The Air was just so much thinner. But the new MacBook Pros are entirely different machines. Wow.

#085: What to Do If You Work for a Bad Boss [Podcast]

If it hasn’t happened to you already, it will soon. Eventually you are going to work for someone who is immoral, incompetent, or just mean—maybe all three!

by ArtFamily

image courtesy of shutterstock.com/ArtFamily

The good news is that you often learn more from a bad boss than a good one. But only if you are open and teachable.

Click to Listen

Play

The Reflex of Character

The foundation of effective leadership is character. Nothing else has more impact. Nothing else has greater reach. And nothing else can make up for its lack—not education, experience, talent, or contacts.

Every now and then you hear a story about someone’s character that brings this principle into sharp focus. I had this experience just last night.

The Beginner’s Guide to Task Management

I have been making to-do lists since college. In terms of physical systems, I started with the Seven Star Diary, graduated to a Day-Timer, and then landed on the Franklin Planner. At the time, it was state of the art.

My Task List for Today in Nozbe

After reading David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, I decided to go digital. I did almost everything in Microsoft Outlook and then, after switching to a Mac, Microsoft Entourage. But ultimately, I switched to Nozbe, which I have been using since 2007.

#084: Why Effective Leaders Cannot Afford to Be Easily Offended [Podcast]

As a leader, you are going to draw fire. People will criticize you. Some will second-guess your decisions. Others will impute motives that aren’t there. A few will falsely accuse you.

Man Taking the Bait

If you are going to be effective as a leader, you can’t afford to be easily offended. Don’t take the bait! Nothing will derail you faster and consume your energy—energy you could be using to do what matters most.

Click to Listen

Play