What do numbers mean? For me, in my diabetes journal, they literally mean the difference between life and death, health and sickness. Diabetes is a strange disease. The treatment, when you get right down to it, is to get yourself healthy. You know, eat right, sleep right, lose weight (or gain muscle mass if you don’t have it) and most of all, get control of your blood sugar numbers.
It was actually a graph of such numbers that was my first clue, my inspiration really, that I could beat this thing through the numbers. If you’re interested, here’s the link:
That graph inspired me with a figure, a visual image of what I hoped to accomplish. I found it though, before I knew I was going to win this battle through my journal. So, how did I deal with my numbers? The answer to that question gives us our starting point – and immediate bridge to your recruiting application as well! The term is “log” or possibly “numbers log.” The line between art and science is numbers. In fact, we better turn to your own recruiting journal right now.
If, before you get started each day you simply ask yourself a question like: “What’s the most important thing to get done today?” and then answer this question in writing, you can begin studying the art of recruiting in your daily journal.
The other question to ask, at the end of the day, is: “How well did I do?” Let’s list those again for emphasis:
• What’s the most important thing to get done today?
• How well did I do?
For these two questions, there is no requirement that you go metrical or numerical in any way. You can, of course. You might answer that today you must hit your goal for minutes in the market on the phone, for example. That might be the most important thing. But, you might also simply state that you must get through to the one hiring manager who has failed to return your call. In that case, while we have the number “one” in there, it really is “get through to” that rises to the level of most important thing. So you see, the art of a journaling can be done, clearly, without any need for numbers at all.
A log is a thing of a different color, completely. A log does not have to have numbers either, but if it doesn’t then it has to have the closest thing to them, raw facts. You can keep a log of facts without any numbers, such as who you called, why you called them and what was the outcome. But if you look at any such list of facts you’ll immediately see how the numbers are there, just waiting to be counted. For me, a log is a place where we keep the numbers, for ourselves. The line separating a log from a journal is just that, the numbers.
In a journal, by my definition:
• I analyze and assess,
• I figure things out like cause and effect, and
• I attempt to explain how things happened the way they did, as well as
• Make guesses and propose theories
• And then test my theories with predictions
• Where I will then watch for the outcome to see if my theory was right or wrong.
In a journal, I use concepts. In a log, I track numbers.
Getting back to you – should you get started with a log, a journal or both? That is absolutely and completely up to you, of course. My recommendation is to consider what you feel closest to. Are you closer to art or science? Do you care more about what you think or do you prefer just the facts? On the other hand, if you just don’t know, then here’s the step to take. Start logging first, and let your log, like my diabetes log did, evolve into a journal over time.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you the story of how my diabetes log got started, before it began to evolve into my journal.
[originally posted October 11, 2011 at my LinkedIn Discussion Group]