For those who have had the “pleasure” of working with me anytime in the last 10 years, you know that I’m a bit, umm, obsessed with goal-setting, tracking to-do lists, etc. And I search the cosmos regularly for the Platonic ideal of the perfect paradigm for goal-setting for personal use. Sure, lots of tools exist for the working world, or for subsets of the personal world (finances, for example). But very few of them resonate with me. Because my weakness isn’t about what goals to set, or figuring out plans to get from A to B, or even sticking to the plans. My bigger problem is having too many goals, and having to balance them against each other with finite time available to move forward, leading to a potential to be either unfocused (everything at once) or too myopic (rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic).
About three years ago I started working on a new strategy for goal-setting using large categories to help keep the balance going and it worked — to a certain extent. But what I was missing from the approach was an easy way to remember them, a visual that would reinforce my plan in my mind, a logic that I could not only grasp analytically but also visualize.
So as I’m updating my planning guide, kind of half “2011 resolutions” and half “getting my crap together”, I thought I would re-jig the categories and, at the same time, create the missing visual. Some of you have done the “colour” wheel of personality traits (based on Jungian psychology’s breakdown of major personality types), and there are a lot of different companies out there offering versions of it (similar to Meyers Briggs). I was introduced to it back in 2004/05, and it really resonated with me. So I wondered — could I merge the two into a “colour and goal-setting” wheel for me?
If you’ve seen it before, there are four main personality types that it works with — the “cool blue analyst”, the “fiery red leader”, the “sunshine yellow socializer”, or the “warm green harmonizer”. And while the primary colour is interesting, it is really only when you map all four together that you start to see useful information. So, for example, a blue analyst whose secondary colour is “red” (for leadership) is a very different personality from an analyst whose secondary colour is green.
Interestingly for me, I would normally have rated myself up until three years ago as Blue / Green / Red / Yellow; at work, though, I’m more Blue / Red / Green / Yellow or even B/R/Y/G. Over time, too, I think my personality at home and work has started to merge a bit more, probably leaving me with strong Blue and Reds, and weaker Greens and Yellows.
The goal though is basically to have all four colours about equal — balance.
(The danger of course is one colour overshadowing the rest — the blue analyst who is so obsessed with numbers and analysis that he can’t see people; the red leader who becomes the dictator and doesn’t listen to anyone else; the yellow social butterfly who flits from party to party, never accomplishing anything; or the overly-sensitive green harmonizer who cries while watching long-distance commercials.).
So, why am I posting anything about this? Because I’m interested in feedback.
For me, I’m still primarly an analytical blue — and I think that maps to a combination of lifelong learning and planning / organizational needs. Not sure “intellect” is the right word, but something “cerebral”, or even perhaps just “curiousity” for a different bent.
Red is the expansionary side for me, how I go beyond who I am today — a combination of leadership (on whatever front) plus career (a specific front, of sufficient import to be listed separately, I think). It also includes expanding my horizons through travel …I toyed with making the two headings simply leadership (including career) and travel, but I don’t think I travel enough for it to be a separate 1/8th of my planning. But overall it is about “role enlargement”…
Green to me is about connections, both through relationships (family and friends) and through connection with my self (spiritual, health, etc.).
Finally, yellow is more about “expression” — a shared expression through social activities, or a more personalized expression through creativity (writing, cooking maybe, etc.)
Here is the diagram…I welcome your thoughts!