Unleashing Your Potential: Setting Goals for Analytic Professionals in 2024

Unleashing Your Potential Setting Goals for Analytic Professionals in 2024
Unleashing Your Potential Setting Goals for Analytic Professionals in 2024
Written by Heather L. Cole, December 28th, 2023

As we step into 2024, it's time to redefine our approach to career advancement, especially in the dynamic world of business analytics. The key? Strategic goal setting. This isn't just about climbing the corporate ladder; it's about making a real impact.

Align with the Company's Vision

First and foremost, understanding your company's strategic goals is crucial. Unsure of these goals? Take the initiative to ask your CFO or manager. When they inquire about your sudden interest, confidently express your desire to contribute significantly to these objectives. Your proactive approach will not only demonstrate your commitment but also provide clarity on how your role can drive the company forward.

Your Role in the Bigger Picture

As an analytics professional, your expertise in providing insightful reports and dashboards is invaluable. These tools are the compass guiding your company toward its goals. But the question is, how can you elevate your contribution? It’s time to think outside the box.

Adding Value Through Innovation

Consider how you can integrate advanced tools like AI-infused business intelligence into your work. If you're a Cognos user, spearheading an upgrade can be a game-changer for your organization. Embracing AI and its potential to optimize productivity is not just an option; it's a necessity in 2024.

SMART Goals: Your Blueprint for Success

Now, let's talk about SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These aren't just buzzwords; they are your blueprint for success. For instance, set a goal to enhance your AI analytics skills by enrolling in three online courses in the first quarter. This goal is precise, quantifiable, realistic, aligned with your company's direction, and has a clear deadline.

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." - Tony Robbins, world-renowned life and business strategist. This quote perfectly encapsulates the essence of goal setting in transforming aspirations into reality.

 The Power of Accountability

Here’s a crucial piece of the puzzle often overlooked: accountability. Finding an accountability partner within your professional network can significantly increase your chances of achieving your goals. This partnership fosters mutual support, motivation, and a sense of responsibility.

As Stephen Covey, author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," says, "Accountability breeds response-ability." Embrace accountability as a tool for empowering yourself to take responsible actions towards your goals.

Personal and Professional Symbiosis

Remember, your professional goals should resonate with your personal aspirations. Are there other skills you're passionate about developing? For example, mastering software demos can amplify your ability to showcase your work and ideas, adding another feather to your cap.

The Journey to 2024’s Success

Imagine ending 2024, looking back at a trail of achieved goals, each marking a step towards your personal and professional growth. It's not just a possibility; it’s within your grasp. Start planning now and let 2024 be your most remarkable year yet.

 Let's Make It Happen Together

If you're ready to take this journey but unsure where to start, Lodestar Solutions is here to help. We specialize in guiding professionals like you in setting and achieving ambitious yet attainable goals. Schedule a call with us, and let’s transform your 2024 into a year of groundbreaking achievements.  Please email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Here's to a year of growth, success, and making a significant impact. Let's dive into 2024 with purpose and passion!

Surrounding Yourself for Success! – Part 2

Surrounding Yourself for Success Part 2
Surrounding Yourself for Success Part 2
Written by Heather L. Cole, December 8th 2022

Are you ready to achieve your goals?  Are you ready to get promoted, make more money, or get your dream job?  If so, there is one step you can take that will help you get what you want faster!  It’s SURROUNDING YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS!

Last week I introduced you to the circle of success.  We shared the four categories of people I surround myself with that have provided the encouragement, accountability, and inspiration to help me succeed.

The categories are Leadership/Mentors, Team/Co-Workers, Growth/Learning, and Friends/Family.  Last week we covered Leadership/Mentors and Team/Co-Workers.  Here’s a link to Surrounding Yourself for Success! – Part 1.

It’s important to note that all of these categories are important.  If you are significantly lacking in one, it could slow down your success.

But I also want to challenge you to do a little reflection on your situation.  Are you surrounding yourself with the right people… Is it time to level up?

Surround success

My Story

Have you ever set a New Year’s resolution and maybe for a week or so you take the necessary steps, but then you slip.  Tomorrow you will get back to it.  Then you say Monday I’ll do it.  And before you know it, it’s June.  It’s so easy to go through our daily routine and wonder where all the time went.  

We all have done it.  But research shows that when you tell others about your goal, and you have someone who holds you accountable you are more likely to accomplish your goal. 

The challenge for many people is finding the courage to tell others about their BOLD Goals.  And then finding someone that will hold you accountable for doing the work it will take to accomplish those goals is even more difficult. 

For years I feared telling my friends and family what I wanted in life.  I felt alone on my own fantasy island.  But then on the encouragement of a long distant friend, I attended a Tony Robbins summit in San Jose.  As I walked into the enormous convention center the music was pounding, people were dancing and I thought, “What did I get myself into?”  I was way out of my comfort zone.  But as the event started and Tony bounded onto stage with his massive frame and energy, he explained that if we ever felt alone in having big goals, if our friends and family thought we were a little off, that we were in the right place.  The room of 5,000 people were all people like me!  Crazy goals, big visions and wanting to make the world a better place! 

What I learned is that no matter what your goal, or vision is, there are conferences and events focused on your topic and at those conferences are people even crazier than you.  If you surround yourself with people that also have lofty goals, magic can happen. 

Growth/Learn

The fourth category in the circle of success is surrounding yourself with people that help you grow and learn.  People that respectfully challenge your thoughts, and then add new ideas. 

This week I am in Huntington Beach, CA at a Coaching Summit.  The reason I am here is I needed a boost.  I needed to totally immerse myself in a room of positive, and inspirational people.  I need to learn new ideas in the coaching industry and meet new friends.  I know that when I attend summits like this it’s like a power pelt, I gain clarity, new ideas and meet people that will hold me accountable.  If you have been able to find people that help you grow and think differently in your hometown, fabulous.  I have never been that lucky.  But when I commit the time, and travel to remote locations that I know will have people that want to learn and grow, it’s game changing.   Some of my best friends I have met at conferences and masterminds around the world.   Heck, I even met my husband at a conference.

Heather and Gary

My success measure for a conference is to learn 3 new things and meet 3 new people I will keep in touch with. 

Putting yourself in environments where you are surrounded by people with knowledge and experiences that are different than yours provides new ideas, and perspectives.  Often these people are instrumental in learning new approaches to challenges, or they open doors you didn’t know exist. 

What is on your learning list?  What conferences are you going to?  What groups are you involved with. 

Do you need a little boost?  Ready to learn new things?  According to this Forbes article, lifelong learning is a key to thriving. (Embrace Lifelong Learning to Thrive in The Future Of Work)

Imagine attending an event to learn and meeting a learning buddy?  So do it today, join a new trade associate, user group or register for a conference.  Now that we are returning to in person, I recommend going and being physically present and put yourself out there.   

You might want to check out this blog, 14 Steps to Take to Build a Strong Professional Network.

If you are looking to learn more about building your team and hiring top talent join us for our upcoming webinar.


Tackling the Top 3 Performance Management and Budgeting Struggles: Talent, Time and Tech

Monday, December 12, 2022 10-11AM Eastern

Who Are Your Cheerleaders

Take a minute and think about one family member or friend that encourages you and is a positive force in your world.  Do they know your BOLD Goals?  Do they hold you accountable for showing up everyday to take one small step toward your goal?  Maybe you don’t have a family or friend that cheers you on. That’s okay most people don’t. 

As I mentioned earlier for years, I didn’t have the family and friend relationships that I felt comfortable sharing my goals with.  I felt alone on my island.  I even have family members that mock and joke about “Heather’s personal development”.  The more they mocked me, the more I pulled away. 

Have you ever noticed the people that don’t support your goals are always the ones who say you are “so lucky” when you accomplish them.  Hmmm.

Toxic friends and family are easy to find.  But when you find cheerleader friends, MAGIC HAPPENS!

Family/Friends -

The fourth and final category of the circle of success is your family and friends and here’s a reality check. 

MOST OF US NEED TO LEVEL UP OUR FRIEND GROUP!

Yes, that’s the brutal truth.  We have friends that are toxic and holding us back.  It’s time to find new friends.  I am not saying you have to completely disassociate with your toxic high school friend you have known for 35 years, just find new ones and spend more time with the positive ones.  Here’s an interesting blog on Frenemies.

The Five People

Chris & I met at a Conference years ago and talk every Tuesday!

Jess, one of my closest friends that I met at a conference in Spain.

Try this exercise, list the five people you spend the most time with.  Now score them 0-10 on how encouraging and supportive they are.  Are they helping you grow?  What’s the average? 

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.  Do you need some new friends?  A great way to level up your friend group is to do what I did.  Attend conferences, user groups, summits, or join a mastermind.  It can be game changing.  Heck I even created a virtual book club and invited random associates.  It was a great way to get to know them better. 

In Conclusion

The way to achieve your bold goals faster is to surround yourself for success.  If you would like to learn more how about the summits, conferences and events I have found most beneficial, email me at hcole@lodestarsolutions.com.

Surrounding Yourself for Success! – Part 1 of 2

Surrounding Yourself for Success - Part 1
Surrounding Yourself for Success - Part 1
Written by Heather L. Cole, December 2nd 2022

Can you believe it’s December 2022 already?  This week I celebrated my birthday by sitting on the beach and chillaxing with my husband, Gary.  Taking time out is essential to be a high performer and it allows for reflection and goal setting.  I decided this is the year!  This is the year I’ll make an even bigger difference in the world of Performance Management and Analytics!  But for me to achieve my goal, there is one extremely important step I must take!  This one step can change one’s life!  The step is SURROUNDING YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS!

What Does Surrounding Yourself for Success Mean?

Think about your biggest accomplishment.  Who was by your side?  Or who was in front of you leading the way?  Maybe they were behind you pushing you to achieve your vision.  In my life I have found that ALL my achievements had someone that somehow cheered me on!

The cheerleaders were employees and team members that were in the trenches with me, they were family members, and even strangers, but there was always someone.  So, what I have learned is that surrounding yourself for success starts with surrounding myself with the right people.  I believe there are 4 main categories of people that help me reach success faster.  However there have been times that I found myself in the company of people that not only were not my cheerleaders, but they held me back. Some people are even toxic. So, let’s explore these four categories.  It’s important to note that all these categories are important.  If you are significantly lacking in one, it could slow down your success.

But I also want to challenge you to do a little reflection on your situation.  Are you surrounding yourself with the right people… Is it time to level up?

Surround success

Leadership/Mentors

The first category is Leadership and Mentors.  This could be your boss or another leader in your organization, or it could be a mentor or trusted advisor, even a coach you hire.  These are individuals that aren’t just your manager, but they take an interest in your success, hopefully in all areas of your life.  They will ask you the tough questions and should help you become strategic about your actions and future. 

In my life these have not been my bosses, but I have found when I have hired the right coach or joined the right mastermind, it’s like getting in the express lane.  My goals get achieved faster without as much challenge.  Do you have the right coaches, and leaders in your life?  If you are thinking about a career change, I encourage you to not just look at the company and the job but are there leaders within the organization you would benefit from having in your circle?

Team/Co-Workers

The second category of people I put in my circle of success are team members and co-workers.  These are not necessarily just people in the company I work in but can be people working on a project with me.  When we have teams that have a common goal and work effectively, we will be successful.  Unfortunately, we see all too often that teams are put together without consideration of how the personalities will meld.  Organizations just look for skills and knowledge, and then wonder why projects fail. 

In the world of business analytics, I see organizations hiring people just because they know Cognos, or Power BI or IBM Planning Analytics and they fail to look at the most important component, ATTITUDE!

What I have discovered is that many hiring managers fail to define their core values for their team and then find people that have those core values and attitudes.   

When I first took the time to define the core values for our Lodestar Solutions Team and then evaluated our team members it was like lightning struck!  My struggles were because I had a few team members that did not have the right cores values or attitude for our goals.  This epiphany caused me to act.  I immediately talked to the team members in question and helped them find jobs elsewhere that was a better fit for them.  

If you are looking to learn more about building your team and hiring top talent join us for our upcoming webinar.

Tackling the Top 3 Performance Management and Budgeting Struggles: Talent, Time and Tech

Monday, December 12, 2022 10-11AM Eastern

Registration Link

Next week we will address the two other categories in the Circle of Success. 

X