Paul J Meyer – a personal tribute

The recent remembrance services held to honour all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts around the world, particularly members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces who served in the First World War, really made me reflect on loss and legacy.

My melancholy mood was already in place before November 11, with news that on October 26, LMI were to celebrate the life of its founder Paul J. Meyer, who lost his personal battle with cancer on that date in 2009, aged 81.

Clearly, I recognise the tragedy that swept across Europe for four years from 1914 was of far greater importance and requiring of greater sympathy than the loss of a single man; but what a man.

At an early age, Paul became interested in the principles of personal development and professional excellence, which he applied successfully to his own sales career, becoming a millionaire by the age of just 27.

He was keen to share his success and a new role in sales management allowed him to teach his principles of goal-orientated success to members of his team. As Paul’s expertise supported the success of large numbers of individuals, he decided it was time to develop a structured approach.

The swinging sixties

In 1960, Paul founded a business dedicated to ‘motivating people to their full potential’ and in 1966 the LMI brand was born. The plan was to take the newly developed offering to companies and help them develop the leadership skills of their people.

This company, of which I am the UK franchise director, has grown to international prominence and is now represented in more than 117 territories. It markets a comprehensive range of programmes, all designed to help individuals reach their full potential and realise their goals.

Paul J. Meyer’s expertise and lifelong commitment to helping people be all they can be, brought him worldwide renown, with a large number of awards and honours bestowed upon him.

The list of honours includes: International Man of the Year, World Lifetime Achievement Award, Who’s Who Registry of Global Business Leaders, International Directory of Distinguished Leadership and The International Order of Merit, to name but a few.

I met him on many occasions and was always impressed by his capacity to listen and show interest in everyone he met. After just a few hours in his company, you were aware how sincere was his ambition to help everyone be more successful in their business and family life.

LMI has developed in line with Paul’s original principles and at the heart of every LMI programme is the Plan of Action for goals achievement, developed by Meyer through decades of research and testing – all started using butcher’s paper on a kitchen table.

Our programmes and courses have produced sales unmatched by the works of any other living author in the fields of personal and professional excellence.

His vision of ‘motivating people to their full potential’ lives on in every programme undertaken and despite the continued success of the worldwide business, I for one sadly miss the driving force behind the LMI brand.

At a time when we remember all those who had the opportunity to fulfil their potential cruelly taken from them, it reminds us to make more of what we have and seize each day as if it were our last.

As Paul would say, “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”

Creating SMART goals for success

The issue of workplace productivity has long been debated in the popular press, as organisations look for new ways to boost performance and measure the output of their employees.

Of course, measuring productivity accurately can prove difficult, especially when looking for a general method that can be applied across all industries.

Increasing productivity means surpassing your previous best, without significantly increasing your resources and it can only happen once you identify new goals and build on past performances.

To facilitate positive change, you must first gain the commitment of your wider team and instil a new positive attitude of working to ‘beat your best’.

Establishing effective SMART goals can help lay a foundation for future success.

S stands for SPECIFIC

Goals that are easily defined can be classed as specific. While general goals can be difficult to complete, specific goals have a much greater chance of being accomplished. To set a specific goal, ask yourself:

  • WHO: Who is involved?
  • WHAT: What do I want to accomplish?
  • WHERE: Identify a location,
  • WHEN: Establish a time frame.
  • WHICH: Identify requirements and constraints.
  • WHY: Purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

M stands for MEASURABLE

If a goal can be quantified, then it qualifies as being measurable. It’s important to establish detailed criteria for measuring your progress, allowing you to stay on track towards completing your goals. Progress management also enables you to keep to pre-established timing plans, while embracing the personal satisfaction and exhilaration used to promote self-motivation.

To determine whether your goal is measurable, ask questions such as…

  • How many?
  • How much?
  • How long?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

A stands for ATTAINABLE

Only once a goal is humanly possible to accomplish can it be classed as attainable. After outlining the goals that you want to accomplish, you should begin creating a plan of action that can help you achieve these targets.

This may involve learning new skills or developing the abilities and financial capacity needed to make them a reality. This new-found attitude will allow you to embrace opportunities you once turned down.

With a clear and effective plan, you can achieve almost any goal you set, as you follow the steps needed to succeed.

Those targets that once felt out of sight and impossible to accomplish now move closer and become attainable. Not because they are easier, but because you have grown as an individual and have developed the right tools.

When you list your goals, you build a positive self-image. You slowly begin to develop the traits and personality needed to possess them.

R stands for REALISTIC

For a goal to be realistic, it must represent an objective that you are both willing and able to work towards. Just because you set the bar high doesn’t mean it is unrealistic.

Often the hardest tasks are simple to complete but feel longer due to a lack of motivation and passion. It’s crucial that the targets you set yourself represent substantial, measurable progress.

A goal becomes realistic once you truly believe it can be completed using the time and resources available to you.

If you have completed similar tasks in the past, then this can be a good indication that a goal is realistic – ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to complete the goal and then create this environment.

T stands for TANGIBLE

A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the five key senses – taste, touch, hearing, smell and sight. If you’re dealing with an intangible goal, you have a better chance of making it more realistic and attainable if you can attach a tangible to it.

Although tangible goals are easier to accomplish, intangible goals are vital to developing the personality characteristics needed to experience more success. Therefore, giving close attention to them and finding ways to monitor progress is vital for future development.

As you seek continuous professional and personal improvement, it is vital for you to set specific productivity goals – to reach any destination you need to know where you are going so you can plan the best way to get there.

You will achieve more with a clear plan

You may set goals with enthusiasm and believe you are committed to them, but find yourself unable to achieve what you had hoped. You might make big plans, but seem unable to follow through and reach the desired outcome. If it all sounds familiar, you probably need a good shot of discipline.

We’re not talking ‘six of the best’, but the sort of discipline that trains you to develop the consistency and persistence you need to achieve all your goals.

Discipline is typically defined as; “training expected to produce a specific pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.”

In simple terms, discipline is a matter of forming and maintaining a good habit. Whilst many consider discipline the preserve of top athletes and highly motivated business people, in reality anyone can develop the discipline they need with just a little effort.

To instil discipline within and achieve your desired outcomes:

 

Set attainable goals

Make your goals specific and measurable. For example, you may want to learn a new language, subscribe to an online resource to improve your mental faculties, or you might want to increase your income by a certain amount this year, or finally make that once-in-a-lifetime holiday a reality.

Create a plan

Outline the specific steps you will need to take to meet your goal. It is this written plan and the process of writing it out, rather than typing on your laptop that will help you track your progress until the new habit is established.

Really want it

For change to occur and be permanent, you must want to change your present behaviour; it has to be your choice if you are to improve mentally and morally. Change begins with a conscious choice of the will.

Commit to it

You will have to be persistent to carry out your plan on a daily basis. This will require real commitment and dedication; it will be easier if you visualize the benefits you’ll obtain by making these changes. Switch from just hoping, to believing in yourself, to change nice habits into great habits.

Repeat for success

For the change to be permanent, you must repeat the new behaviour until it becomes an established habit. Even if you slip up once or twice, do not become discouraged, be strong and believe in yourself. Pick up where you left off and continue practicing the desired behaviour.

Remember, you can change your behaviour with a clear plan and you will reap the benefits when you do. Our Effective Personal Productivity programme will help you understand the goal-setting approach to changing your life and achieving more – interested in learning more, then please get in touch.

Don’t shy away from challenges

Being able to face challenges head on, deal with problems effectively and bounce back from setbacks quickly are all important leadership qualities.

No matter how much time and attention you give to preventing workplace issues, there will always come a time when communication challenges arise. However, by reacting positively to such challenges, you can turn a potentially stressful situation into a learning curve and an opportunity to make important, much-needed change.

The method for dealing with such problems is always best decided before the issue arises. By having a go-to strategy for dealing with workplace dilemmas you can resolve problems quickly and efficiently, minimising the damage caused to your company and getting things back on track swiftly. Taking the time to anticipate possible obstacles and planning for any potential hiccups ensures that you are never paralysed by surprise, and can deal with issue at hand promptly.

Top tips for handling difficulties, challenges or problems:

  • Maintain a positive attitude about people and their worth, encouraging your colleagues and not putting them down.
  • Deal with causes, not symptoms and deal realistically and effectively with the issue. Spending time treating the symptoms will not resolve the issue causing the damage.
  • Avoid arguments as they do not achieve anything but causing stress and they waste time and energy that could be spent dealing with the problem at hand.

Be willing to accept personal responsibility for your part in solving any problem.

Setting personal goals can shape your future

Setting personal goals establishes a relationship between where you are currently and where you are aiming to be. Although the process sounds basic, many people do not follow a goal setting programme, as they do not know where to start.

Firstly, they are unsure of where they currently stand, and have no clearly stated priorities or values, so find it difficult to determine where it is they want to end up. Even if they have managed to grasp the basic concepts, there is a lack of experience in selecting the challenging goals that can help drive success. They need help and direction to put theory into practice.

Committing your plan to serious goals that you are determined to stick by is crucial. Definite plans produce definite results, without this structure there is no way of measuring progress or success. These are the benefits of putting your plans to writing:

  • Focus: Written objectives serve as a reference and reminder of your objectives. They keep you on course to progress, while eliminating the unwanted distractions and interruptions from your life. A written plan also helps conserve time and energy because you always know where you are, and where you are going next – there is never a need to stop and delay moving on to the next step.
  • Motivation: Naturally, writing down your goals and aspirations makes thinking a lot clearer, which in turn motivates action to achieve. Just by seeing your goals on paper lends clarity to purpose and dedication to achievement.
  • Measurement: Written goals are a good indicator of success, and give individuals a target to work towards. Without goals, it is more difficult to judge progress, and motivation is lost as a result.
  • Compatibility: Transferring your goals into writing assures their compatibility. Once they are spread out before you, it becomes a lot easier to check each of the goals and spot any inconsistency between goals and value. Any conflicts between individual goals in requirements for time and resources becomes immediately visible, allowing you to alter targets accordingly. This practice enables you to highlight the priority goals, and eliminate the elements that are time-consuming and unimportant.
  • Stimulation: Committing your plans to writing stimulates and helps form the habit of visualisation that, in itself, lends creativity to all you undertake. Being able to visualise the end result helps self-motivation and breeds success through a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy: By clearly outlining and defining your plan, strategy and goals, your commitment to achieving them becomes firm. Over time you begin to shape a clear mental picture of who are, and who you want to become. When goals are vivid and clear they act as a magnetic force to draw you to them.

Learn to incentivise your hard-work and determination. It is important for self-motivation to remind yourself of the rewards that will be yours at the end of the journey. Detail the advantages to be gained and the losses to be avoided by accomplishing each goal – these are the compelling reasons you have for taking action. By taking the time to appreciate the rewards that you will enjoy after completing every goal, you will find the inner-strength to overcome every roadblock along the way.

As you list the anticipated rewards, include those both tangible and intangible. It is important to highlight the physical possessions you will enjoy as well as the deeper, more emotional satisfaction you will achieve by persevering. It doesn’t matter what the rewards are, if they’re important to you then include them in the list. Anticipating the enjoyment of the rewards will encourage you to redouble your efforts to achieving your goals. Visualising the rewards of your success is a concrete step towards achievement.

A positive attitude will define your success

To qualify as an effective leader, you must first hold a positive self-image. Effective leaders have belief in their own ability, and command respect from their team by behaving as a role model. Individuals with a positive attitude combine inner strength and courage to feed the self-respect and self-confidence needed to be an effective leader of themselves and others.

Your success as a leader is largely determined by the mental image you have of yourself, and the best leaders understand the importance of positive visualisation. The more personal success you experience, the more your organisation will achieve too – it is that simple. By improving the positivity of your self-image, you can unlock more opportunities for yourself and your company.

The definition of success varies from person to person. For some, success means earning a promotion within your current organisation. Others view success as making meaningful contributions to the lives of others, inside and outside of work, while some individuals judge success on the size of their bank account. In most cases, it will be defined by a combination of all these elements, but in any case, here is a definition of success that works for everyone:

Success is the progressive realisation of worthwhile, predetermined personal goals.”

This definition implies that success is the result of your own choice – the choice to decide which specific goals you value and want to pursue. When it comes to making satisfying choices, positive self-image is vital. By holding a positive self-image, you can set the goals that reflect your values and personality, offering the greatest sense of fulfilment once accomplished.

Those who understand the power of holding a positive self-image use their confidence and courage to overcome the challenges they are faced with. According to psychologists’ research, on average people use less than a third of their actual potential, so by using only a small portion of their additional potential, can a sizeable difference be made. This increase in effectiveness can be easily achieved with minimal effort, so it’s important to push yourself forward, motivated by the goals you have set yourself.

The factor controlling the amount of true potential you use is your self-image. Your self-image is acquired almost immediately after birth. As people in your environment reacted to you with approval and disapproval, you began to shape a mental picture of who you were, based on that feedback. If some of the messages you received implied that you were too young, immature, inexperienced or not ready in some way, there is a chance you may have internalised and believed it. You may still be limiting yourself today by believing these messages when, in reality, you are a lot more capable and experienced than you were when you were younger.

In contrast, if you were regularly praised or encouraged during your early life, with plenty of support offered from those in your environment, then there’s a good chance you are using a lot more of your potential. Regardless of your background, what you are now is what counts. In order to be the most successful version of yourself, you must first change what you are willing to believe and become, while dedicating time and effort to improving your self-image. The more positive your self-image, the more successful you become as a motivational leader – enhancing the relationship between your self-image and success.

Taking the decision to develop your self-image is the first step to making significant contributions to your team and organisation. Owning a positive self-image enables you to proactively spot opportunities for your organisation that can also benefit your personal success. You will then be ready to develop clear plans for the achievement of organisational goals. Using your strong, newfound inner belief, your team will be positioned to achieve the goals that once felt out of reach.

Choose courage – not comfort. The only way you can develop your personal and professional self-image is by embracing a courageous attitude. Courage is the state or quality of mind needed to face threatening situations with self-assurance and self-reliance. Courage is bravery, and the quality that many famous athletes refer to as ‘heart’. Courage is inner strength, moral stamina and the inherent capacity for rising to a challenge with passion and intent. Courage is having faith in yourself. Courage is self-confidence.

The process of improving your self-image, like the process of setting and achieving any other goal, is quite straightforward yet extremely effective. Once you commit yourself to adopting winning attitudes of self-confidence and courage, you will notice immediate improvements that make all the difference to succeeding.

The biggest surge of courage necessary for remarkable outcomes is simply the courage to overcome inertia and to get started. If you are constantly in rest-mode, then your body will remain in a rested state until you decide to shock the system. More energy is required to start a plane than it is to keep it moving – this is the same with human willpower. Courage is the fuel that supplies the extra surge of energy needed to initiate change. Once changes have been made, desire and motivation will ensure you generate the momentum to keep going. It takes courage to change – to change your attitudes, to change the way you organise your time, to change relationships, to change who and what you are.

Once you find the motivation to get started, the hard part is then out of the way. A body in motion, tends to stay in motion. After realising the benefits of an improved self-image, you will begin to enjoy even greater self-confidence and courage, for nothing breeds success like success. As you develop and thrive in a world with a new outlook and sense of self-confidence, you will learn that holding a positive self-image helps propel yourself and your organisation towards bigger and better things.

Sometimes simple gives the best results

Your Best Year Ever