Podcast

Being that it is late January 2019 now, I’m sure most of you have already made and broken at least one new years resolution. There’s nothing wrong with that… we all do it.  But let’s focus on why you created that resolution in the first place.  Some common resolutions are to eat healthier, get in shape, be nicer, work harder, stop drinking so much, stop eating fast food, etc.  If you picked one of those, or something totally different, ask yourself why it is important for you to stop or start those things?   We’ll dig more into the why in a minute…Ever wonder why we do resolutions and goals at the beginning of the year?  There is a good book about timing that digs into this by Dan Pink, called When.  It talks a lot about the best time of the day, week, month, or year to start or do certain things.  Its super fascinating, but basically our brains like new beginnings.  That can be a birthday, or the start of a week, or what better time, than the start of a new year.  We tend to have an easier time starting something during one of these new beginning times. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to keeping it up.  Habits and motivations are important for that (check out the episodes with John Hitler on The Motivation Trap and Jeff Haden on The Motivation Myth to learn more about motivation).

For me, when I start something and begin to struggle seeing it through to completion, I begin to feel discouraged.  I’ve found that it is helpful to ask “why am I doing this anyway?” So let’s take the get in shape scenario as an example.  Why do I want to get in shape? To be healthier… to look better at the pool… but why do I want to be healthier?  Why do I want to look better at the pool?  If I keep going down this rabbit hole of ask why using something called the five why protocol, I will likely find that the end game is to be happier. When I change my focus away from the task of working out, and point it at the correct goal of happiness, I find its easier to stay on task and accomplish my goals.


The Five Why Protocol

Wikipedia has a really good breakdown of the history and rules for the five why protocol so I’ll link to that instead of boring you with all of the details. But the basics are, ask Why, from the customer point of view, at least 5 times to find the true root cause of the problem you’re trying to solve.  I’ll read the rules on the podcast, but you can go find them at Wikipedia.


S.M.A.R.T. Goals

I’ve spoken about, used, and stood by SMART goals for many years.  SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goals.  When you’re setting your goals, you need to make sure you check all of the boxes for these in order to make the goal useful.

An example of one of my SMART goals for 2019 is: To increase 1st quarter podcast downloads by 10% over the 4th quarter 2018 download numbers. Let’s break it down:

Specific – Increase Podcast Downloads

Measurable -By 10% over the 4th quarter 2018 download numbers

Achievable – a 10% increase is doable with more marketing and/or more episodes

Relevant – increasing downloads is a direct metric that relates to an increase in good content and more listeners to the show

Time-bound – 1st quarter downloads means that it has to be achieved by end of the 1st quarter in 2019.


I hope this information is helpful for you in 2019 and beyond.  I hope it helps you start back your failed new years resolutions or helps you keep them going.  Or maybe it helps you redefine better goals for the rest of the year. If so, please leave me a message on LinkedIn, on Twitter, through the website or in an ITunes Review. Thanks so much and have a great 2019!

 

January 24, 2019
the fifth why

AGL 088: The 5th Why

Being that it is late January 2019 now, I’m sure most of you have already made and broken at least one new years resolution. There’s nothing wrong with that… we all do it.  But let’s focus on why you created that resolution in the first place.  Some common resolutions are to eat healthier, get in shape, be nicer, work harder, stop drinking so much, stop eating fast food, etc.  If you picked one of those, or something totally different, ask yourself why it is important for you to stop or start those things?   We’ll dig more into the why in […]
January 18, 2019
justin-james-speaker-coach-author-blogger-nerd

AGL 087: Giving Your First Talk with Justin James

About Justin For over 20 years, Justin has been architecting software, leading teams and sharing his knowledge.  Justin is the founder of Let Your Nerd Be Heard, creator of the Ultimate Presentation Formula for Nerds, an Award Winning Entrepreneur,  an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author, and a Microsoft MVP.  He is hired by nerds to take their public speaking skills from zero to hero so they can speak to more than 1s and 0s and are seen as the go to expert.  He makes the seemingly scary world of public speaking, simple and easy to understand.   You can find […]
January 7, 2019
Tricia Broderick

AGL 086: Leading Amazing Teams with Tricia Broderick

Tricia has more than twenty years of experience in software development and is passionately focused on facilitating high-performance software development environments. Her leadership at all levels of an organization helped lay the groundwork to shift teams from one-year product cycles to feasible, daily delivery of quality software and services. Tricia openly shares stories from her firsthand experience to inspire people to reach new heights through continuous reflection and growth. As a principle in the Agile For All team, she is dedicated to making a difference in the workplace. She is an exceptional leader, coach, mentor, facilitator, trainer, and popular speaker at national conferences. […]
December 20, 2018
retrospective 2018

AGL 085: 2018 Retrospective

2018 has been a great year.  I rebooted the podcast with both solo shows and more interviews than ever before.  The number of listeners and total downloads have blown my mind.  The number of platforms where you can get A Geek Leader has grown remarkably as well. I learned a lot of valuable information that I can apply to my day job and my life outside of work.  I met and talked to some of the coolest people on the planet.  I suspect 2019 will be even better.  All good retrospectives usually answer 4 questions: What went well? What didn’t […]
December 17, 2018
Mike Sarraille

AGL 084: Michael Sarraille, Navy SEAL, EF Overwatch Co-Founder

Today on the show we’ve got Mike Sarraille, EF Overwatch Co-Founder, Managing Partner & CEO.  Mike is one tough guy.  Being a Marine wasn’t tough enough for this guy, so he became a Navy Seal.  We talk about leadership and ownership in this interview.  Its a must listen! About Mike Mike Sarraille is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer, founder and board of director for the VETTED Foundation, a 501(c)3 Veteran executive education platform, a graduate of the University of Texas McCombs Business School, and a leadership instructor and strategic advisor for Echelon Front, a management consulting firm. Mike served fifteen […]
December 10, 2018
Carl Kinghorn

AGL 083: Growing as a Leader with Carl Kinghorn from EFC Systems

About Carl Over the past decade Carl Kinghorn has had the opportunity to grow as a leader within EFC Systems. He has championed changes to culture, processes, and development techniques that has enabled scaling the company’s ability to deliver quality software to its clients in the agricultural space. During this time, he’s seen the company triple in size; and in his role as VP of the software development group, he gets to be a leader and a teacher with a goal of enabling his teams to succeed. ​​ Carl is active in the Nashville development community as a technical speaker […]