Anthony from Hong Kong loves projects which involve team sports. 

Dragon boat racing, organizing soccer tournaments and getting a team up and running (at very short notice) for a sedan chair race*. Even when he was not engaged in sports, Anthony convinced colleagues to join the talent show at the UBS Hong Kong Charity Dinner.

We asked Anthony about the role goal setting plays in meeting such challenges.

Aim high and have a plan

"I like getting involved in projects that combine sports, meeting people and being part of a team, because I enjoy the challenge, collaboration and fun that are part of them," says Anthony.

However, enthusiasm is not enough to start the ball rolling. "Without clear goals and a plan, motivating team mates and achieving team goals would be so much harder," he adds.

Playing soccer is a case in point: before starting a match, both individual players and the team as a whole must be aware of their respective objectives and of the game plan. Nonetheless, everyone must be flexible and collaborate with each other, because nobody has full control of what is going to happen.

"Actually, from that point of view, playing soccer in a team is not that different from my daily work as a private banker: like soccer, my work involves clear goals, much planning and collaboration with colleagues," Anthony explains.

Thinking outside the box gets bankers dancing

Last year, Anthony wanted to get a group of colleagues to take part in a UBS talent show to help raise funds for charity. The group's contribution was going to be a choreography which involved wearing luminous costumes. Recruiting performers for this project turned out to be challenging, as people were reluctant to dance in front of their managers and colleagues.

Thinking outside the box saved the day. Adding masks to the costumes convinced colleagues to join and helped them overcome their embarrassment. The dancing bankers did a brilliant job. "Having a goal, and a strategy to achieve it, is good. But when the unexpected happens, you need to be flexible and creative so that you stand a chance to reach your objective."

*A sedan chair is an enclosed seat for one person, carried by two others. In Hong Kong, sedan chairs were popular amongst the wealthy until the end of the 19th century. Today, racing sedan chairs is a charitable tradition!

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