Revisiting a Habit

Remember Stephen Covey's Habit - begin with the end in mind? I'd like to revisit it.

Have you set out your goals for the remainder of 2009? Are they clearly defined? AND, does everyone in your organization know what they are?

Now, here's a question for you - How do your decisions and actions relate to your goals?

This is the place many people get tripped up. They allow other, momentary goals to interrupt their path. Here's an example:
You set your goal to increase revenue by 15% while maintaining your current client base.

As your sales staff sets out to help you realize this goal, you step in and create the system for them to follow. Some of them object gently and suggest that they be allowed to conduct their sales efforts in their own way - a way they know works for them. You, however, deny this request and tell them they have to do things your way.

Now what is your goal? Ah, now it is for everyone to do things your way. You've interjected a goal that is not in sync with the first one - the one you shared with everyone.

If you maintain your goal and always ask yourself whether your actions and decisions are working toward that goal, you'll stop interrupting yourself with irrelevant and harmful goals.

A better decision in this scenario that would have been working toward the revenue increase goal would be to allow the sales people to sell their ways. Monitor and track their performance. If the results are below your stated expectations, you can work with them to change their process.

See how that goes? So, before you set policy or procedure, ask yourself - is this helping me achieve my goal?

1 comment:

Life of an Eclectic! said...

I agree very much! For myself, planning with the end in mind is much like getting a road map out, determining the end destination and then working backwards to indentify the intermediate steps along the way--where to stop for gas, food, or get a hotel room for the night if it's a particularly long trip. Most us fail to effectively plan, let alone follow through on the plans we make. ANother aspect to this is to clearly identify that the end resut, is really what you want. Once you know what the end result is, then allow your strategy for getting there to have a little flexibility built into it. I call this having the goal set in concrete, but the plan in sand. In other words, we may end up hitting some detours along our trip--that's OK, provided you don't allow the detours to really move you away from getting to your ultimate desination.
Working backwards through goal setting and basic business, or family, or life planning is really very effective!