The Difference Between Dreamers and Doers

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In many ways, setting goals is similar to dreaming of success – goals are desired outcomes. But achieving goals (and with them, success) is infinitely harder and more complex. While many things on the road to success like Estée Lauder’s are beyond your control, how you apply your energy toward success is something you have a great deal of control over. To put Estée Lauder’s maxim to work, consider these four tips for using your energy and capacity to achieve greater professional success.

1.  Align goals up, then break them down.
Make sure you are crystal clear what the organization and your boss expect and need from you. Next break down longer-range goals into actionable elements and defined tactics for each quarter and then each month. Validate these with your leadership team to make sure you invest your time and energies on the right things.

2. Work harder and work smart.  
Very successful people typically work very hard, in addition to working smart. They put in more effort than their staff and peers, and they often get more done. What they work on and how they work sets them apart even more. Have an unwavering focus on creating value for customers and the organization above all else. Work with purpose and passion every day. Take a minute to genuinely assess your commitment to value creation and your energy and effort levels to see if they’re calibrated with the success you’d like.

3. Keep your own score, ignore everybody else's.
Be relentless about your own goal achievement and hitting the milestones you set for yourself. But waste no time or energy on what others are doing (or not) or the credit they may be getting organizationally — tempting though it may be. Focusing all your energy on your own results will keep them high, while focusing on others’ takes time away from your achievement and diminishes you in almost every respect.

4.  Face forward.
Things will inevitably go wrong, so practice quickly analyzing why they did and then moving forward fast. Replaying the situation or getting caught up in real or imagined dialogue around it wastes time and often exacerbates the situation. Once you’ve harnessed the learning, just drop the angst, stop the replays and get back to the value mission.

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