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Achievement Unleashed: Strategies for Personal and Professional Growth

human achieving growth
Achievement Unleashed: Strategies for Personal and Professional Growth

What is it?

In my last blog, I talked about Daniel Goleman’s four domains of emotional intelligence (EI).  Within the second domain of EI, self-management, one of the competencies he identifies is achievement orientation.  

Achievement is the desire and drive to improve your own performance, reach challenging goals and achieve success. Individuals high in achievement orientation are motivated by a desire to improve, excel and accomplish tasks effectively. They have a strong inner drive to succeed and are willing to put in the effort required to reach their objectives. 

Why is it important? 

Recognising the power of achievement and its influence on our actions can be transformative. When we align our goals with our values, we pave the way for realising success. 

Leaders with high achievement orientation can set ambitious goals, embrace challenges, and consistently strive for excellence. They appreciate constructive feedback and use it to improve their performance. 

However, it’s vital not to lose sight of your purpose in pursuit of achieving success. Balancing personal ambition with organisational goals is crucial for effective leadership. Failure to do so may lead to burnout or total dissatisfaction, ultimately diminishing your enjoyment and fulfilment in what you do. 

How do you build, grow, learn, and develop it? What gets in the way? 

Here are some suggested areas for exploration to help develop your competency in this area.   

A useful starting point is to check in on your motivations to understand the reasons that may be driving your actions. Consider the following questions: 

  • What am I pursuing because I can?  

  • What am I pursuing because I “should”? 

  • What am I pursuing because I want to? 


When it comes to goal setting, it’s not just about identifying the benefits you want to gain, it’s also about considering the costs you are willing to pay. Sacrifices come in different forms, including time, money and relationships. If you are procrastinating or struggling to get started on your goals it may be that you are not ready or willing to give something up.  

Another consideration for goal setting is to really focus on what it is you want to achieve. One of the fastest ways to make progress on your goals is to focus on one goal at a time. If you set too many goals they will be competing with your time, attention, focus and energy. You may need to do some prioritisation to reorganise which goal is most important to you right now. 

Establishing the goal you are going to focus on sets the direction for what you want to achieve. The next aspect to consider is what systems you have in place for achieving your goal. This is what is going to enable you to make progress. A good tip if you want to try and speed up the process is to learn from someone who’s successful at this.  

If you want to improve your systems around achieving goals, it’s helpful to explore the role your habits and routines play in contributing to or hindering progress. One consideration that often gets overlooked is whether your environment is conducive to helping you make progress. Aligning your environment with your goals, also known as choice architecture, can help create conditions that support desired behaviours or outcomes. Are there any simple changes you can implement to make it easier for yourself? For example, turning off notifications or closing your inbox to minimise the number of distractions.  

Measurement plays an important role in achieving goals. By measuring your results, you see whether you are making progress. Seeing tangible progress will boost your motivation and confidence, and continue to drive momentum. It will also help you gain insights and understanding on whether you’re spending time on the things that are important to you. 

Success is not just about reaching the destination; it's about the journey. Stay mindful of your purpose and values as you pursue your goals and be willing to adapt and grow along the way. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and don't be afraid to seek support and feedback from others. 

If you’re looking for actionable steps to build and strengthen your achievement drive here are a range of coaching questions for you to explore: 

  • What is most important to you in life? 

  • How does achieving this goal align with your core values? 

  • How do you feel about your progress towards your goals at this point? 

  • What successes have you experienced so far, and what challenges have you encountered? 

  • What sacrifices are you willing to make to achieve your goal? What fears or concerns do you have about making this sacrifice? 

  • Are there any habits or routines that you believe may be hindering your progress towards your goals? 

  • What support or resources do you need to effectively optimise your systems for goal achievement? 

  • How will you know when you've achieved your desired outcomes? What does success look like for each goal? 

  • What rewards or acknowledgements will you give yourself for reaching certain milestones or making significant progress towards your goals?


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