Leverage Your Power: Set Healthy Goals, Hire a Great Coach!

Jan 1, 2008

So here it is, New Year of 2008, and I am reflecting on what a fabulous year I had, everything I accomplished, what I learned, and how I have grown.

Wouldn’t that be a pretty incredible way to start the year, already visualizing what you intended on accomplishing already happening?

A few years ago I was introduced to a goal-setting format called the “Best Year Yet” that, along with the work I have done with Jack Canfield and the law of attraction, has really given me access to setting clear goals and defining a strategy to get there. Another key was taking responsibility for who I am in the matter of being accountable to myself and to my goals.

A fundamental aspect to being accountable for achieving my goals is aligning myself with a coach who can deal with the “Magi” in me as well as the “Margaret” in me. There is this fun, crazy side that if someone calls and the opportunity sounds good enough, I am in, even if it is a Monday. And then there is this part of me that is the “don’t mess with me – I am working.” I suppose my greatest challenge is finding the medium between the high I (fun and creative side) and the high D (dominant and intense side).

In creating what is next for you, it is a good idea to complete what was last for you – what worked, what didn’t. Doing this exercise and being 100% responsible for what you accomplished and what you didn’t will allow you to experience freedom, joy, and power.

For me, 2007 was a year when I had too many goals, of too much magnitude, and my reaction to attaining those goals had me flailing more than sailing through my 43rd year. Lesson 1 learned.

Not having a coach who was on board with my goals and who was checking in with me on the attainment of those goals is my Lesson 2. I chose a coach who would help me access things other than business goals, and in the process, I allowed myself to get sidetracked.

Lesson 3 – Create a purpose worth giving your life for. Through thick and thin, and there has been a lot of both this year, it is my core purpose that has continued to ground me during those tough times.

Work, play, lead, and follow with authentic shared values. Lesson 4 – Surround yourself with people who share your core values. Every time I have compromised myself and what is important to me, the consequences have been disastrous.

Whether it is hiring that one person whom I shouldn’t have, giving someone far too many extra chances after they have already proven they cannot do the job, waiving a process for that perfect candidate, or not holding my ground for the retainer I wanted, or even going on a third date when one was surely enough, it always comes back to me in the form of a wakeup call to bring me back to who I really am and what is really important to me.

To be great in the recruiting business or even good, we have to have a solid combination of instinct and logic, and on those tough days when nothing seems to be going right, it is easy to enter into the gruesome world of self-doubt. Lesson 5 for me is to stay home on those days, make no important decisions, and get coaching immediately. After 22 years in this business, consistently earning at the top of my game, I find that what my common sense and instinct tells me is usually right, and I know that compromising either just doesn’t work.

My lessons are my lessons. What are yours? Take a day, half a day at least, and mentally complete 2007. Acknowledge what worked, and have a martini to celebrate; acknowledge what didn’t work, and deal with why and share that with the person in the mirror or your coach, your therapist, or Mom. Then set a theme for the year. What will you say about the year when it is complete? What will you be celebrating on December 31, 2008? Next, set a theme for each area of life that is important to you: firm, fitness, family, friends, finances, etc., then set one or two goals in each of those areas. Next, set in advance a structure for accountability, because a goal with no status checkpoint is simply a pipe dream. Last, find a coach whom you trust and respect, and who shares your values, and then be vulnerable enough to hear them when they coach you.

Here is to a wonderful 2008.

Margaret Graziano, CPC, CTS, and mother of three, has been a top producer in the staffing and recruiting industry for the past 20 years and owned her own firm since 1991. She prides herself on client retention and making the right hires. She has earned over $5 million in personal “desk production” income and has placed over 2,000 candidates in direct-hire positions. With the competitive business world and the war on talent in full force, Margaret’s company, Alliance HR Network, has ventured into new realms of talent acquisition, organizational development, and human capital consulting services, thus diversifying Alliance’s revenue streams and gaining new and exciting talent acquisition and assessment consulting opportunities. Margaret’s email is, and her phone number is (847) 690-0077. The strategic planning forms are listed under a Strategic Planning Downloads section at

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