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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Queen of Diamonds

Do you watch the game show Jeopardy? The format is interesting because contestants are provided the answers and they have to come up with the correct question. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case in the real world. Most of us have plenty of questions and are continually trying the find the answers. The Queen of Diamonds can serve as the moderator of periodic question and answer sessions to provide direction when needed. Four of the most common questions that we consider on a regular basis are: Who (Clarity), What (Color), When (Carat), and Where (Cut).

Who do you want to be when you interact with others? Labels are often used to describe us based on the characteristics we display. Do you bring peace and harmony to the table or are you often in the midst of conflict? Are you perceived as a team player? Do people want to work with you? When people speak about you, do they use words like reliable, generous, honest, trustworthy, nice, and fun. If so, then you add value to your relationships and make a positive impression on those who come in contact with you. Allow your light to shine and showcase your best qualities. Minimize the inclusion of attributes that can contribute to a negative view of you. Using our diamond theme, seek to be known as someone with flawless clarity.

What is your plan to achieve your goals? Is it high level or detailed? Initially, you might have an agenda that resembles a light yellow diamond. It looks nice, but there are still some areas that are not clear. As you refine it, the color goes from light yellow to very light yellow. Now it is more polished, but still needs work to provide an accurate description of what you are trying to do. You may need to invest more time and money in order to reach certain milestones. As the plan is modified to reflect progress, the color becomes faint yellow. The end result is within view and you become more comfortable sharing your vision with others. Maintain your focus and keep working. Make the necessary adjustments to turn your plan into a near colorless diamond. It is ready for implementation now. Sometimes a phased approach works better. The first phase will reveal where enhancements might be possible or endorsements might be beneficial. The final phase will yield your perfect colorless plan.

When will you accomplish your objectives? What is your timeline? Are some tasks set for today? Those are your 1 carat goals. They may not weigh much individually, but when combined represent a larger impact. Maybe others cannot be accomplished in one day and might need a week. You can consider them to be 2 carat goals. What is the plan for the month? The weight will be more significant so you can refer to it as the 4 carat plan. How will you measure progress at the end of the year? It may help to look at the year in terms of quarters (3 month blocks).

Where do you need to go? What map are you using to get there? Establish landmarks that will help you navigate from beginning to end. Be prepared for detours. Should your route be compared to an emerald cut diamond? Are the paths straight with right turns that clearly indicate your position directionally like a compass (North, South, East, or West). Maybe a pear cut diamond is a better description of how you will move toward your destination. There are curves and narrow lanes that will require you to pay close attention. It is important to learn from the people and challenges that you encounter along the way. Sometimes your route will be more circular like a round diamond. This is where the landmarks and detours are important. If you feel like you are going in circles because you keep passing the same thing repeatedly, change your course. Do not get discouraged. Find another way to reach your destination.

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