A new year inevitably leads to new business goals but what many SME owners don’t realise is that these goals could trigger compulsive behaviours and actually stunt a company’s growth.
There are only two types of goals business owners make – objective and subjective – the latter will negatively impact profits and workplace culture.
A subjective goal creates lots of problems that are not immediately visible. They are not clearly defined and in reality can’t be achieved because the destination usually keeps changing. For example the goal to be a winner, the goal to be successful or the goal to be financially free – these are all moving targets, because you can always find a way to be more successful, have more financial freedom, and be more of a winner. They are not clearly defined.
Subjective goals can cause frustration and disappointment because they can’t be measured (because they are not clearly defined) yet business leaders worldwide continue to set these goals every year.
Subjective goals are hugely popular, in large part thanks to self help gurus, as they use subjective buzz words business owners may relate to like happiness, financial freedom and success.
These buzz words are very appealing to people, which creates another level to this problem – they set what seem like objective goals in order to achieve the subjective goal that drives them . For example I want to be happy… I’ll be happy when I drive that car… the goal becomes to buy that car, and then happiness is moved out to the future again and your mind looks for the next thing that is going to make you happy.
Being successful or to be the best are not objective targets. They are moving destinations, and will create failure or burnout eventually.
It’s vital for business leaders to choose clearly defined objective goals for themselves and their staff to work towards.
An objective goal is characterised by having a very specific end action. It will be measurable, achievable, realistic and have a time frame.
The most important things are: if you state your goal to a complete stranger in 15 seconds or less, it will be totally clear to a complete stranger what you are attempting to achieve, and that stranger will be able to measure your progress along the way.
An example may be to increase profit margins by 4% within 12 months or the goal to hire two new sales staff within 6 months that sell over 300,000 widgets each in the 12 months following.
If you ensure that you are setting clearly defined objective goals for yourself and your organisation, you will be ahead of the pack in many ways. More importantly, you will be far more likely to achieve those targets and land at your desired destination.
About The Author
Mike Irving founded Advanced Business Abilities to help business owners gain access to the skills, abilities and tools that will allow them to achieve their desired results. He’s brought together a world-class research team to ensure those tools are available.