In a cold, callous, and complex world, introverts must have a winning strategy for achieving goals.
A winning strategy for introverts is essential because they typically lack the gall and gumption often demonstrated by extroverts.
Introverts must invent strategies and tactics that suit their personality and moral compass.
And for any viable strategy to be effective, there must be a goal and end in mind.
All too often, people use amorphous and “safe” words because it protects them against the possibility of failure.
In short, if I wasn’t trying to succeed, I couldn’t fail. And if I wasn’t specific, any win will suffice, no matter how small or limited.
For years, when asked how much money I wanted to earn in a lifetime, my standard answer was “Enough to be comfortable.”
Anyone who knows about goal-setting knows that the first step is to be specific.
Business guru, Peter Drucker, is credited with developing the SMART goal-setting process. According to Wikipedia, the first known use of the SMART term is credited by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Product Plan, a company that helps clients build and showcase products, outlines the SMART system as:
1. Specific: Define a clear, specific goal.
2. Measurable: Make sure your goal is measurable to track progress, which helps you stay focused and meet deadlines.
3. Attainable: Create a realistic goal. It shouldn’t be limiting but should be attainable.
4. Relevant: Ensure your goal matters to you and aligns with your other goals, as well as the needs of the organization.
5. Time-bound: Assign a target date so that your SMART goal doesn’t get lost in the mix of day-to-day demands.
The SMART goal-setting process is an excellent start for beginning the journey towards goal attainment.
Pablo Picasso is credited with the saying, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Other sources suggested that he said, “Bad artists copy, good artists steal.”
We will explore the common takeaway that “Great artists steal.”
What is ethically derived from this statement is that introverts should use previously created material as the foundation for strategy.
The concept behind best practices is to replicate the aspects of success to develop an evidence-based strategic plan.
Much like the scientific method, we want to extract the kernels of what and why something works towards achieving optimal results.
William Duggan, in his book, “The Art of What Works: How Success Really Happens,” proposed that whatever has been successful in the past can be successful again with modifications to suit contemporary tastes.
Some examples include hit records, fashions, and movies.
Historical events pave the way for present and future progress.
Critical thinking and introverts
The SMART goal-setting process is an excellent skeleton for what should go into a winning strategy for introverts.
However, the IBAR Critical Thinking Method (IBAR) puts skin on the SMART goal-setting process.
With Picasso and Duggan in mind, The IBAR Critical Thinking Method uses industry leaders, standards, and best practices for building a winning strategy.
IBAR is an acronym for Issue, Benchmarks, Analysis, Application, and Recommendations.
The 5-step process of The IBAR Critical Thinking Method is as follow:
A winning strategy seeks to dissect an issue or problem by asking who, what, when, why, where, and how.
It moves the process to optimal results by diagnosing the issue and covering the initial vital questions.
Benchmarks or benchmarking looks to industry leaders, standards, and best practices to determine what related solutions have worked in the past. By perusing various industries, elements of an effective strategy can be discovered that may not exist within any one vertical.
The analysis uncovers how and why a benchmark may work in this situation. Benchmarks should be included if there are compelling similarities to consider within a strategy based on industry leaders, standards, and best practices.
Any pros and cons should also be included within the analysis phase.
The analysis is inextricably tied to the application.
Although benchmarks have been identified, they must align with addressing the issue. Although there may be some “trial and error,” benchmarks are fact-based and should be modified to ensure alignment of the solution.
An evaluation of strategic success is built into the recommendation phase. The best solutions to an issue must be triaged from best to good. Ultimately, recommendations should have at least three solutions.
If one solution does not provide optimal results, the next recommendation should be applied.
If no solution warrants the desired result, the process must start again from the beginning.
In developing a winning strategy for success, introverts cannot afford to play the same game as extroverts.
A popular actor once said that he didn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed for whatever movie roles he accepted or actions displayed publicly under the guise of living authentically.
I cringed at these statements because, as a mature man, he has often expressed ill-conceived and unintelligent points of view.
As a self-aware introvert, I believe in image management and strive to be credible and respectable, particularly in public.
Introverts who share my feelings can’t afford to take strategy lightly nor create a strategic plan that offends their sensibilities.
Fortunately, the internet and social media level the playing field so that introverts can play by their own rules.
In a smart world, introverts will always thrive because they have the aim and sensitivity to consider how their work and image show up in the world.
It may appear that buffoons and charlatans are winning on the world’s stage, but in the end, it is enlightened introverts who will remain the bedrock of civilization.
Picasso, P. (n.d.). PabloPicasso.Org. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3tWrudJ.
Product Plan (n.d.). SMART goal setting. Product Plan. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3KDHRCS.
SMART Criteria (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3vZNjvF.