The Awareness, Application And Achievement Approach

There are many ways to do fine work. One approach is to go through the stages of awareness, application and achievement. Awareness is a good starting point but application is crucial. People can then work towards achieving their goals.

Some people become awareness junkies. They simply want to collect more ideas but seldom translate these into action. This can lead to frustration, both for themselves and other people. Application is crucial in order to achieve the goals.

Looking back on your own life, can you think of a time when you went through the stages of awareness, application and achievement? You may have wanted to improve your health, develop a skill or reach a specific goal.

What was the specific situation? How did you increase your awareness of the topic? How did you apply this knowledge? How did you do your best to achieve your goal?

Different people follow these principles in different ways. Let’s consider these themes.


Imagine that you want to explore a topic or tackle a challenge. Your first step may be to gather knowledge and develop your awareness about the theme. One person described their approach in the following way.

“Every year I had a regular health check. During one of these I got news about warning signs of a particular illness.

“At first this was a bit of a shock but then I went into research mode. Like many people do in this situation, I searched the web for information.

“This led to me finding one of the world’s leading authorities in the field. Eventually I managed to get treated by him. I could not have been in more capable hands.

“He did the application part – the operations – rather than me! These were successful and hopefully I am now clear of the illness.”

Good leaders also often focus on developing their people’s awareness. Bearing in mind the team’s strengths, they sometimes take the following steps when communicating with their people.

They describe what is happening in market, the team’s future opportunities and the picture of success;

They describe the strategies the team can follow to give itself the greatest chance of success;

They describe the steps that people can take to translate the team’s strategies into action and do their best to achieve success.

As mentioned earlier, awareness is a good starting point. This can then lead to the next step.


Imagine that you have gathered enough information. Bearing in mind your goal, you may then aim: a) to clarify the strategies you want to follow; b) to translate these into a clear action plan. The next stage will be to apply yourself to the task.

Different people do this in different ways. One approach is to pursue their chosen strategies and take the following steps:

They follow their daily disciplines – they keep doing the right things in the right way to get the right results;

They focus on continuous improvement – they build on what is working and tackle areas for improvement;

They deal with any dramas along the way – they find solutions to challenges and work towards achieving their goals.

This final point is crucial. One person described their approach in the following way.

“I am good at following daily disciplines but it took time for me to learn how not to be distracted by dramas. Some events needed immediate attention but others could be dealt with at an appropriate time.

“Working as a leader, I aimed to anticipate potential situations that could throw us off course – such as crises in the market, staff issues or other challenges. It was possible to prevent some of these events happening.

“Sometimes we met unexpected challenges, however, which came out of the blue. After a while I learned how to buy time when faced by such events.

“My approach involved aiming: a) to keep focusing on the end goal; b) to understand the drama and explore the possible solutions; c) to implement the chosen solution and return to working towards the end goal.”

Great workers continue to apply themselves to their chosen task. This can lead to the next step.


Different people have different views regarding what constitutes achievement. Much depends on their approach to life and picture of success. Here are some things that people mention when exploring this theme.

Achievement For Me Is:

Being true to myself … Being a good parent … Staying sober each day … Enabling my students to shape their futures … Sharing knowledge that helps people.

Doing satisfying work … Caring for people in Accident and Emergency … Delivering peak performances in my sport … Getting recognition … Giving everything and having a sense of peace.

There are many ways to do fine work. One approach is to work through the stages of awareness, application and achievement. You will, of course, have your own definition of achievement in your personal and professional life.

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to follow elements of this approach? How can you do this in your own way? What may happen as a result of taking these steps?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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