Why Everything You Know About Setting Goals–Including the Need for Setting Goals–Could Be Wrong
Emmanuel Acho told Adam Grant he ‘hates goals.’ Instead, this is what he thinks you should do.
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Tony Robbins says setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Mark Cuban says effort is measured by setting goals and getting results. “Hardcore” Elon Musk says to stop being patient and start asking yourself how you can accomplish your ten-year plan in six months.
Maybe that’s because most people don’t follow the two-week rule and give up too soon. Maybe that’s because your personality type has a significant impact on how well a particular goal-setting strategy works for you.
Or maybe that’s because, as Emmanuel Acho explained on Adam Grant’s Re:Thinking podcast, you set goals in the first place. According to Acho:
I don’t believe in goal setting because a goal by definition is an end toward which energy is aimed. But why in the world would I start something with the end in mind?
I’ve heard a quote, and you may know it far better than I, so I will loosely paraphrase, but it’s like, “Reaching a goal is a penalty you receive for setting one.”
Instead of setting goals, what does Acho do instead? Have — not set, but have — objectives with no limitations.
While that might just sound like semantics (after all, an objective is still a goal), the difference lies in how the pursuit is framed in terms of target and timeline.
If you start a business, the conventional goal-setting approach would be to set a goal of, say, building a $5 million business. If you want to make the leap from hourly to salary (like I once did), your goal may be to become a supervisor. If you want to check off a bucket-list item, your goal may be to run a marathon.
Each goal has an end. Which means each goal is, by its nature, limiting.
Instead, set an objective with no limitations. Instead of trying to build a $5 million business, make it your objective to grow your business. Instead of trying to become a supervisor, make it your objective to become a better leader. Instead of trying to run a marathon, make it your objective to become a better runner.
You can do those things forever.
Great example: Metallica’s Kirk Hammet. Hammett’s goal wasn’t to be a rock star. Or to sell a certain number of albums. Or to be the first person named to the Guitar World Hall of Fame. As he told me, he just “wanted to play his guitar better.”
He can do that forever. (And has.)
Again, an objective is energy aimed in a direction. So why not, as Acho says, aim your energy in a direction without any limit? Put your energy into making smarter decisions. Put your energy into developing your employees. Put your energy into better engaging and serving your customers.
You can do those things forever.
And, because you didn’t set a goal with a finish line or end point, you’re much more likely to achieve more than you imagine possible.
Knowledge is Power
However you approach your goals it’s critical that your information be knowledge based. Knowing your customers should certainly be at the top of your list. We have two tools to help you better understand your customer’s journey.
Mystery Shopping measured the required deliverables you have in place to make certain they are happening on a consistent basis.
Customer Surveys measures the customer’s opinion as it related to their experience in doing business with you.
We can give you insight into your customer’s experience and expectations. We can even provide you with your competitors service experience as it relates to yours. Ready to learn more? We’re here to help so give us a call.
BY JEFF HADEN AND CARL PHILLIPS