As we look to 2018, goals are one of the first things that leaders set to ensure success in the coming year and beyond. As leaders, we set organizational goals as well as team goals and possibly individual goals focused on new hard skills to obtain and behaviors to adopt. However, our goals are often not ambitious enough and focus merely on incremental change. That's fine for some, but for those who want to truly break out in 2018, it’s critical to push ourselves a bit farther. But how do we do so without setting ourselves up to fail and creating goals that are unachievable and result in a lack of morale and enthusiasm when we miss them?
Instead of focusing merely on an ambitious growth or revenue goal (which tend to lack a strategy to achieve it), try setting a support goal related to calculated risk taking and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. For example, consider the following:
2018 GOAL SETTING CATEGORIES
- Discomfort Index (e.g. Number of Times Outside of Comfort Zone): At the most fundamental level, you can set a goal focused on the number of times you do something that feels uncomfortable and is a stretch in some way. For example, you could aim to do it one-time per week – this could include calling a high-value prospect, offering your true opinion during a meeting, or trying an unconventional method to achieve a task.
- Trial Balloons (e.g. Pilot Initiatives): The start-up world is rooted in a Lean Start-Up methodology that helps test the underlying assumption(s) critical to a company’s success and focuses on building a Minimum Viable Product (As opposed to the Millennium Falcon). Outside of Silicon Valley, organizations both large and small have borrowed this methodology to help drive growth for their organizations. As such, companies will kick-off focused pilots to test expanding into new markets, focusing on new customer segments, applying new value propositions, and creating new products. This year, try setting a goal related to launching new pilots aimed at radical growth and pushing organizational and individual boundaries.
Once you have set these new support goals, be sure you connect them to the larger organizational goals you have for the year (e.g. revenue and profitability targets). In that way, your focus on pushing yourself a bit farther will be connected to the broader goals for your company. In addition, be sure to set a short-term milestone for this new type of goal to ensure it doesn’t fall by the wayside, like so many new behaviors kicked-off in January.
Good luck and be sure to share your success along the way!