Creating the career of your dreams requires a firm understanding of your past and, even more importantly, your present. To get to where you want to be, you need to know where you are, and briefly looking into your past for clues of potential obstacles helps you improve and more effectively move forward. The IMBAR Mapping process is the perfect vehicle to do all of this.
Getting your process started with the exercise of creating your IMBAR Storyboard provides the primer for reflecting on who you are currently and the results of your past behaviors. This method simply gets you rolling. Often it is difficult to jump in to create clarity around your identity, so this process helps to set your psyche in the position of self-reflection. The IMBAR Storyboard defines the following six areas:
I AM… This category is a simple definition of you. Clearly finishing the sentence, “I am…” begins your journey of defining who you are and how you see your place in the world.
PROUD OF… Here you want to celebrate what you are proud of in your life. These are your most praise-worthy successes.
MY PROJECTS… These are the top projects you have successfully led or impacted as a team.
PEOPLE SUCCESS… These are descriptions of individuals or teams that you have most successfully impacted. These could be individuals or groups in your work or personal life.
MY LEARNINGS… These things you have learned in your life have been most impactful.
MY FUTURE… You see these things as elements of your vision of the future.
Once you’ve completed a solid Storyboard, you can create our IMBAR Maps. you start with creating a Current State IMBAR, meaning that you define who you are today. This process involves:
IDENTITY… Who are you? In this step, you assign a label to whom you see yourself professionally. The key here is to use your own definition, not one provided by others. It should not be your job title, but instead, a clearly defined projection of the vision you have of yourself.
MINDSET… How do you think and feel? What is your emotional state about your role? Defining these thoughts and feelings taps into your purpose, beliefs, and connection to the things you do.
BEHAVIOR… What do you do? What are the things that you actively do each day? Defining the most important elements of the things you set into motion clarifies your activities.
ACTION… What impact do you have on those around you? Your team, colleagues, and customers are all affected by the things you do. Look to their reaction and behaviors as evidence of your impact on them.
RESULTS… What are you producing? What is the outcome of your efforts and those of your team? These results indicate whether or not you are producing the things you desire.
One key tip for effectively constructing a Current State IMBAR is working in reverse mode. Often this is a process that simplifies the discovery of each step and makes things really come to life. Start with the “R.” What are your current Results? Then move to the “A.” What Actions are being produced by others you lead or influence? Then move to the “B.” What Behaviors are you producing that affect those around you? Then move to the “M.” What is your current Mindset that is impacting your Behaviors? And finally, clarify your “I.” Define the Identity that is producing your Mindset.
Then, use the same steps above to create your Transformed State IMBAR. Define the Identity, Mindset, Behaviors, Actions, and Results that will produce your desired outcomes. Again, working in reverse is often an easier method, as many of us understand what we want but have no idea whom we need to become to achieve it. This is a very powerful and eye-opening process that reveals many hidden truths about how we see ourselves. Hence, we must be open to this discovery journey and thicken our skin to be real and authentic.
Finally, you need to create a Plan for Transformation. This is a simple action plan to put in motion the steps necessary to make the Transformed State IMBAR a reality. Defining what you will do, how you will do it, and when you will do it, will provide the needed pathway to deliver the results you seek.
This process requires an open mind, a clear view of reality, and strong, determined action. It is not a simple, one-and-done method. It will become a living, breathing document that you will regularly update to adjust the things that are not working… while reinforcing what is working… to deliver on its objectives. Create momentum today with clarity and purpose through these well-defined and proven techniques to define your own destiny… and not simply accept the one provided to you by others.
*Listen to our full discussion on our Gapology Radio Podcast.