Make Goals Mandatory

It is business planning season again, the time when people and companies put together their plans and budgets for next year. Some are very happy because they met their overall goals this year, while others are dissatisfied with their performance. Ironically, most of those that achieved their goals did not achieve them the way they planned. You might go so far as to say they achieved them by accident. Some call it luck or taking advantage of opportunities that suddenly presented themselves. While it is true that we do not have crystal balls in which to foresee all that is coming our way, we should be able to see the primary issues we need to address to maximize our performance. This brings me to the point: if you make the individual goals that build up to your overall goals mandatory and take advantage of unforeseen opportunities, you will be positioning yourself for far greater performance in the future.

Many executives are good at making decisions but not so good at making commitments. They tend to treat most goals/decisions as the equivalent of “I will try,” and that typically spells death to the likelihood of everyone doing whatever it takes to achieve them. This creates a culture that has a mindset that goals are guides but not the rule.

Have you ever noticed that when a person or a group of people has really committed to doing something they always find a way to get it done. The energy is incredible. People brainstorm to find solutions. They work extra hours, find extra resources, and most importantly their mindset is different.

If you were to make every goal in your company mandatory, how would people’s behavior change from the way it is now? How would your decision process change? Make the shift to mandatory, and see how behavior and, more importantly, results change.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies and people that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305.722.7213 or