Some is Not a Number – Soon is Not a Time

Some is Not a Number – Soon is Not a Time

Some is Not a Number – Soon is Not a Time

Posted by on January 21, 2017 in

By Rick Melmer – Leadership Coach

I rarely “re-read” books. Most of the time, I take a “one and done” approach to most books I read. Recently I made an exception with Chip and Dan Heath’s book entitled SWITCH. This book is a tremendous resource for leaders who are interested in making changes in their organizations and are wanting to develop a change strategy that will work.

Early in the book the authors are sharing information about the importance of a detailed plan which will define the change you are seeking for your organization. The phrase that the authors use to illustrate the need for detail was terrific – “some is not a number and soon is not a time”. What a pearl of wisdom for all of us as leaders!

As a leadership coach, I work with people in a variety of areas. In most cases, our conversations center around individual goals, personal or professional, that the leader has developed. I am reminded regularly that goals based on a measurable metric are more likely to be accomplished than goals with no specific outcome defined. In addition, a time-oriented deadline increases the urgency to complete the identified goal. Goals that might be well intended but lack definition (I will improve my communication skills OR I will establish a better work/life balance) are nice in theory but lack the number and time to help them become a reality. How often and in what ways will you communicate? What specific strategies will you use to be sure you are “present” at home for your family?

If you are developing individual goals in your personal or professional world, remember the advice from the book SWITCH – “some is not a number and soon is not a time”.  Give your goal a metric that can be measured and a deadline for the goal to be completed. If you want to improve the likelihood of success – share your goal with a co-worker, friend or coach. Establishing an accountability partner will increase your motivation.  Set specific goals and watch your productivity improve!


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