5 Questions to Ask About Your Business Goals
We balance realism against dreams when setting annual goals. Somewhere
between the two sits a sweet spot, but it’s often difficult to clearly
identify that spot while looking down from 30,000 feet.
How can we know if it’s possible to hit that 10x growth this year? It’s a
lot like driving your tee shot 300 yards straight down the fairway or
sailing from San Francisco to Hawaii in record time. Such goals are
unrealistic if you’ve not prepared and if you lack the tools, ability, or
For any organization to grow and hit a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal),
you also need to have prepared and possess the tools, ability, and
resources. The following five questions will help you to know how easily
(or if) you can achieve your business goals.
1 To what extent is your leadership team 100% aligned with your goals?
Any disagreement, spoken or not, will result in disharmony. Disharmony
creates a lack of focus, which in turn leads to missed deadlines, reduced
effort, and a lack of engagement. The team belonging to any leader that
doesn’t agree with the goals will ultimately throw you off course or cause
you to “hook your tee shot.” We can’t hit a target that’s not in our line
of sight, so if some of your leaders are looking in a different direction,
the target they hit will not be the target you set as an organization.
2 To what extend does your organizational have all the right people in the
It may be that to achieve this year’s goals, you’ll have to rearrange the
seats and players in your organization. Look ahead to where you’re going. [
Read this article and infographic on Applying GWC to having the Right
People in the Right Seats
Begin with defining the right seats for your organization this year,
including and especially the leadership team. The seats are the roles or
jobs with clearly defined responsibilities. The right person fits your
company culture and shares your values. The right person is in the right
seat when he or she Gets it, Wants it, and has the Capacity to do it well.
3 To what extent do you understand WHY you failed to meet or exceeded your
goals last year?
Unexpectedly blowing away last year’s goals without understanding why is
like pocketing the 8-ball without calling the pocket. If you managed a
Scorecard (5 to 15 metrics that give you a clear pulse on how you’re doing)
throughout last year, you would have known weekly where you were,
and more importantly why.
By tracking your core metrics weekly, you’ll know instantly when you’re off
course. In solving this issue, you will identify the specific reasons for
being off course and can make course corrections. If you’re consistently on
track, you can reference your weekly to-do’s and your 90-day “Rocks” as the
primary reasons for your success.
4 To what degree to you have unresolved issues, obstacles, or problems
carried over from last or previous years?
Unless you have kept an active list of issues, the odds are high that
you’ve got several unresolved issues. For example, without a weekly
check-in on progress against metrics and actions, human nature will keep
most people from revealing issues. You’ve got hidden issues if you’re not
identifying and solving issues on a weekly basis.
It’s fine to always have a list of issues. By prioritizing and solving the
most important issues each week, you can more easily bring hidden or
unspoken issues to light before they put a major wrench in your progress.
5 To what extent have you integrated discipline and accountability tools
and measurements into your organization?
While you may want to run a marathon this year, your goal will be
crushed if you lack the discipline to run on a regular basis and build your
miles. Discipline and accountability begin with the leadership team, and
it’s not simply about metrics, rules, regulations and guidelines.
People are naturally more accountable to their work, and likewise more
engaged, when that work has meaning and purpose. [Read this article on
Climbing Your Highest Peak in 2017]
Assuming your goals have some life to them, you’ll bake in discipline and
accountability throughout the organization by enabling everyone to
participate in weekly Level 10 meetings, track against specific measurable,
set quarterly goals (Rocks), and solve their most pressing issues weekly.