Make It Happen Tipsheet
Translating Knowledge to Action

Reverse Engineering

How often have you admired someone else's accomplishments, and said to yourself, "I wish I could do that!". Or when faced with a daunting goal, are not sure where to start?

Conventional wisdom suggests that you start at the beginning, and take small, easily accomplished steps. Doing so moves you closer to your goals, and also builds your confidence. Unfortunately, taking small steps also can result in an outcome far from your original goals.

Instead, start with the end in mind, and reverse-engineer each step. What happened just before the other person accomplished their goal: what precisely did they do? Building the process backwards might seem counterintuitive, but it guarantees you'll end up where you want to be.

This week's action plan: Reverse engineering works on just about everything - your career, business plans, even your relationships. If you have a goal in mind, the process to achieve it can be reverse engineered. Give it a try this week. (When you succeed, it will be the others who say, "I wish I could do that!")


Randall Craig is an expert on Social Media Strategy and Social Media Policy; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through, or by email at

Make It Happen Tipsheet
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Copyright © 2010 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: September 21, 2010

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