6 June 1944. D-Day.
The day crucial to the outcome of the Second World War.
The goal: to get Allied forces onto the Normandy beaches, secure a foothold in mainland Europe, and push east to Berlin.
Establishing that foothold, getting onto mainland Europe, was the clear mission.
Most people set themselves too many short-term goals, and they make the goals too small. They end up overwhelmed, without focus, and making only incremental progress… almost stuck in a quagmire.
It is better to make just a few big breakthroughs that have an immediate impact and a lasting effect, than to be overwhelmed by having so many goals that it’s impossible to focus on them or keep track.
At all times, if you know what your long term Vision is, when it comes to making real short-term breakthroughs, I suggest a 3 month focus on around 3 key projects (some people can do 5, or 6; some prefer just 1 or 2).
The term “Projects” is too dull a word for me, I’m afraid, and rekindles images of third year geography lessons. Hardly dynamic!
So, I use the word ASM, which stands for Awesome Special Mission.
ASMs are short-term Breakthroughs which unlock specific doors to lead to your long term objectives.
Perhaps the best way to define an Awesome Special Mission is that:
it must have an immediate impact (in terms of results… a very specific and tangible result)
and it must have a lasting effect… it’s sustainable, and has an impact on the overall long term growth of say a business, or a team, or an individual.
So why the term “ASM”?
ASMs are “awesome” because they represent the accomplishment of stretching goals and significant feats. The target is big, and significant, and to use the modern parlance, it is “awesome”. Setting such a big goal should give you butterflies in your stomach. Some people think that is fear, and they shrink away from the goal, and even dismantle it before they’ve started. But, that “Butterfly moment” is in fact the first sign you are excited by the goal. … and that’s critically important!
ASMs are “special” because they engage our hearts and minds. We care about them, deeply. We are proud of them… for the whole team to look back on them in years to come and say, “Do you remember when we did x….”, or for you personally to have a special pride in what you achieved.
ASMs are “missions” we are compelled to achieve them. They take absolute priority in terms of our focus, time, energy, and investment. We must draw on all our resources to achieve them.
Like military operations on a raging battlefield.
Like the hostage siege which must be broken.
No place for faint hearts, or long drawn out meetings to think about, pontificate, postulate on what must be done next. Once the start line has been crossed it’s all action. And all productive action. This is about overcoming major challenges, achieving speedy and effective breakthroughs. It requires Bold Action.
So what are your ASMs?
● In business terms it could be setting a particularly huge quarterly sales goal.
● Or it could be creating and launching a new website.
● Or developing a new product and launching it to the world.
● Moving premises, taking on new people,
● Overhauling the existing premises, offices, factory floor,
● Overhauling the systems in the business.
● Or completely transforming the service you offer.
● Or breaking into a whole new market.
And your ASMs don’t just have to be business-related.
● For example, you might set a fitness ASM, of say running a 10 kilometre charity run, or a marathon (depending on your starting level).
● Or even an ASM to clear your garden, or totally overhaul a part of your house, renovating and decorating specific rooms.
● Or even to learn a new language, or to write a novel… you know, the one you always wanted to get round to writing.
The interesting thing is that once you know your ASMs, you feel immediately compelled to get on with them, to super-perform. They inspire energy and enthusiasm.
So, what are your 3 most important goals RIGHT NOW?
Why not turn these into Awesome Special Missions for the next 3 months.
Focus on them as priorities.
Set a specific objective for each.
Generate energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to each one.
Decide on specific actions you will take to achieve them.
Visualise the end result… already achieved.
And don’t forget to set a reward for achieving them.
Whatever your ASMs, I wish you the very best of luck with them!