Why An American Express Executive Believes Goals AND Growth Should Be Your Focus in 2022

Lori Joe Brown, Sr. Manager within the Global Field Enablement Center of Excellence in Global Commercial Services at American Express, and 4word Board member, explains why she focuses on both goals and growth when planning out a new year.

Don’t have time to read this blog? Listen to it below!

Do you enjoy setting goals for yourself? What motivates you to want to see yourself grow? 

Honestly, I know the correct answer should be “yes,” but no, I don’t always enjoy goal setting. When you know you should be setting goals but lack the motivation to do so, you start the goal setting process with a negative cloud hanging over your head. You then have to work through your negative mindset first to make the goal setting process truly productive. I had to learn what motivates me to set goals and that motivation is “growing.” I am motivated by learning something new, like a new skill, capability, online application, or a new thought process.

Do you think companies and organizations today are cultivating a goal or growth-centered environment?

I think companies are cultivating a goal-centered environment because they have to. Goals are not evil or negative; we need them to measure our productivity and gauge how we are driving results. But…goals might be set at the expense of promoting the importance of growth.

What resources are available to someone who wants to set professional goals for 2022?

Let me reiterate that setting goals is important, but make sure you place an equal amount of importance on your growth, because that focus will drive you to attain your goals. If you can grow by 10% in a year, I can almost guarantee that you will reach your goals. I encourage you to find resources that can help you to set professional goals AND push you to grow. 

Books are a great tool to spark growth that will encourage you to set professional goals. Mentorship is another resource I have used my entire professional career. 4word has an amazing Mentor Program that connects seasoned professionals who have successfully navigated their industry with up-and-coming professionals who want a jump start in their career.   

What has been most helpful to you in not just setting goals but achieving them?

Accountability! Find an accountability partner. I have two within 4word, two within my company, and a few personally, and I need them all! Your accountability partner is also a cheerleader, can be a prayer warrior when things get hectic, and can also be a confidant.  

If, at the end of 2022, someone doesn’t have a list full of completed goals for growth, how can they deal with the disappointment or feelings of failure or guilt?

Forgiveness is a powerful tool that Christ talks about often. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asked Jesus how many times will my brother sin against me and I forgive him, and Jesus says seventy times seven. Most of us find it easier to give others that kind of grace but not ourselves. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Forgive yourself for not completing your to-do list. Forgive yourself for forgetting a birthday. Forgive yourself for not completing your goals. Forgive yourself for being human and not being able to have or do it all! Jesus was the only one to have ever done it all, but it cost Him the Cross so we could forgive ourselves.  

Can you share one goal you have in mind for 2022?

One goal I have is to read more, so I can grow. I would like to read at least one book a quarter! 

Lori Joe Brown has been with American Express since 2005 and is currently the Sr. Manager within the Global Field Enablement Center of Excellence in Global Commercial Services. Her primary responsibilities include increasing productivity and equipping the sales and account development teams for all of Europe, Asia, and Latin America.  

Her true passion lies in workplace ministry as the co-lead of the American Express Christian Colleague Network – SALT, that has been an intricate part of the Amex colleague experience for the past 25+ years, as well as assisting other Fortune 500 companies start their own faith-based employee networks.  

Currently she sits on the board of 4word providing insight and expertise in starting faith-based programs in the workplace.