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You can't have a measurement without a goal

I am continually amazed when I see measurements without goals. A lot of them do, but way too many don’t.

Goals let people and teams understand the expectations. It drives behavior. It sets a target. It helps everyone understand if they are on track or if they need to step up their game.

So why don’t people have goals? I can think of a few reasons - all of the bad.

  1. You can’t miss a goal you don’t set. You may laugh at this, but I’ve heard managers say this. They think they are gaming the system. In reality, they are showing a failure as a manager (and the team knows it).

  2. You don’t know what a “good” goal is. Goals should be attainable, but still a bit of a stretch. You may not be comfortable with what that number is, so you give no number.

  3. You think the measurement is too subjective. This is understandable, but wrong. It may take a little more work to make it less subjective, but you can do it. Also, don’t be afraid to deal with subjectivity.

Set a goal - if it is the wrong one, you can adjust it. Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there (Lewis Carroll).

PS: That isn’t the exact Lewis Carroll quote, it is a paraphrase. The exact quote is “If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter what path you take.” From Alice in Wonderland.

PS again: For you DISC fans, this should be a clear sign that I am a high C.

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