Consulting and Coaching Teams and Managerial-Leaders plus writing this blog I harp on Goals.

As people and people who create organizational-systems of work Managerial-Accountability-Hierarchies purpose and the Goal means very much to us. So much that if the goal is not explained to us and we make choices, we will create the goal to match the choices we made. Creating purpose out of the work we did, because nothing is more demotivating than thinking all of our hard work was for naught.

You’ve experienced this before, you decide to take on a task that was poorly delegated by your manager. Your working hard, because that’s what you do, an obstacle happens and you must make a choice. You decide, then your manager shows up and says “No, No, No this is all wrong I wanted _____ and _____.” This could have been avoided. In the beginning if you knew the goal and when you hit the obstacle, the choice you might have made would have been clearer, because you would know what the goal is.

What to do.

Phrase the goal in a way that everyone understands, use language that is concrete and known by the people who are tasked with completing the goal.

  • Be specific about what the outcome will be (the Goal)…
  • Allow people to make choices within the path the complete the goal. BUT they have to know the goal or objective in order to make choices along the path.
  • Manage and work with people to determine a measurement for success/progress and failure/regress on their path to complete the goal.
  • Coach people to develop better ways to make choices and learn from what they are doing.
  • Supply the necessary resources needed
  • Develop the necessary follow-up and check-in procedures

Much of this will be dependent upon the role the person is in and their ability to handle the complexity of the goal. For example a person who can only handle a project goal for 1 month of less, will never magically be able to complete a goal that should take 1 year or more.

If you, as a manager, are finding that people are not achieving the goals and there is a clear understanding from both parties what the goal is. Then you need to revisit the time-span on the goal. Perhaps create shorter tasks within the goal for the person to achieve.