Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Mojo Scorecard

Here’s my personal Mojo scorecard for a typical day in my professional life:

Task 1: The first discrete measurable “event” of my day was a three-hour teaching session, from 8 A.M. to 11 A.M., that I conducted for a group of thirty human resource professionals in Stamford, Connecticut. I love teaching. It is probably what I do best. I didn’t learn as much from teaching on this day as I learned from some of the other elements of my job (hence the lower score on learning), but I found this teaching experience to be both meaningful and rewarding.  I gave a lot to ‘it’ and it gave a lot to ‘me’.

Task 2: From 11:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. I made scheduled phone calls to clients. I love interacting with my clients—and this was one of those times when everything seemed to go just right.

Task 3: From 12:30 to 1 P.M. I engaged in “housekeeping” chores via the phone with my San Diego office while riding to the airport for a flight to Chicago. This is something that I may need to do, but don’t love doing. Upon reflection, what I learned from my score is that I don’t have to do all of this myself. (A benefit of the Mojo scorecard – it causes us to question the elements of our lives that are just not working.)

Task 4: Devoted two-hour flight to Chicago to writing MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back When You Lose It!. On this day, writing was very tough for me. I got distracted—and didn’t do a good job.

Task 5:. Had early dinner with a coaching client, the chief operating officer of a family-owned manufacturing company. This session went well, but by the end of the dinner I was tired—and not sure I should have scheduled this meeting—at this hour.

Task 6. Originally scheduled two hours for writing time on MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back When You Lose It!, but then spent first hour of the time answering e-mails. This is an activity that I felt I needed to do, but didn’t love doing. My scores show it.

Task 7. Spent second hour of planned “writing time” surfing the internet. This was not really a ‘professional’ activity—so I didn’t score the ‘professional Mojo’ boxes. Upon reflection, it wasn’t even personally rewarding; it was largely a waste of my time. My learning point—beware of mindless net surfing!

Task 8. Phone calls to my family. This was one of the most meaningful and rewarding parts of this day.

Task 9. Regular 10 P.M. telephone check-in with my “coach” to review checklist of my goals. On this day, my session with my coach was both personally and professionally rewarding.

While I am often described as an executive coach, it is clear from my Mojo scorecard that my life is filled with a variety of activities.

When looking at the scorecard, I noticed I experienced high levels Mojo when I was teaching or coaching. I also loved learning and communicating with my family. My job as a writer is very important to me, but much more challenging. I tend to be extroverted and love interacting with people. It is tough for me to spend the ‘alone time’ needed to be a great writer. Over the years I have improved—but still believe that I have a lot of work to do in order to write at a level of quality that my readers deserve. 
When I was dealing with the basic chores of maintaining my business life, my Mojo scores dropped significantly. Like most humans, I just wasted part of the day. On this day, ‘surfing the net’ didn’t bring me any professional benefit—and wasn’t even that much fun. It was just a waste of my time!
We can learn a lot about ourselves from our Mojo scorecard. We can learn where we may need to spend more time—and where we should try to find others to help us. We can learn when we may need to ‘adjust our attitude’ in situations where we may have to do something that we don’t normally enjoy.
I’m not trying to paint complexity into my work life. In many ways I lead a simple life. I teach leaders in group sizes that run from several hundred to just one person. I talk on the phone alot. I sit at my laptop and write. And I spend an inordinate amount of time in airport lounges and on planes getting from one place to another. Different tasks, different roles. But each of those activities represents a different facet, a different part of my life. I need to account for this when I ask myself, “How am I doing?”
In reviewing the complexity of my life, I’m not that much different than most successful multitasking businesspeople in the twenty-first century:
• The hard-charging executive, who’s still single and spends much of his free time taking care of his aging parents, has two major roles, one professional, the other personal: businessman and son.
• The creative director at an advertising agency wears more hats than she can count: She writes, she illustrates, she pitches for new accounts, she manages people, she nurtures talent, and she is often the high-profile public face of the entire agency. That’s at least six roles, perhaps more.
• The founder of a small business who can do (and has done) every job in the company, from the shop floor to the back office to the showroom and the front office, could conceivably lay claim to so many roles that we would simply give up and lump them all into one macro-job that we’d label entrepreneur or owner.
Everyone’s day requires different skills with different levels of Mojo. That’s why the first step in establishing or recapturing your Mojo is a test to determine what you bring to each activity in your day—and what each activity brings to you. Without the test, you might never pinpoint all the daily tasks that gobble up your time, or realize whether these tasks actually matter to you. Also, you might never appreciate that each activity, in some form or another, represents a different facet of you, a different part of your life. Once you add up the numbers on your Scorecard, you might finally be forced to pause and ask yourself, “Is this what I should be doing?”

Life is good.


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MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back When You Lose It!

What Got You Here Won't Get You There


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