This article was based on episode 225 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Members of the Modern Manager community get two months of Fast Forward membership for free. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.
Goals are such a critical part of inspiring and directing our teams. Without them, it’s easy to get lost in the daily routine of being busy but not making progress. Yet most of us shy away from committing to goals because we want to play it safe. We would rather under-promise and over-deliver.
But that’s not what makes dreams into reality. We need to learn how to zoom out and think long-term if we’re ever going to reach greater heights. Lisa McCarthy joins me here to explain where we go wrong with goal setting and how to do it right. Lisa is the CEO and co-founder of the Fast Forward Group, a training and executive coaching company based on the philosophy that when people are living their best lives, they do their best work. Her clients include innovative companies of all sizes, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, and JPMorgan Chase.
WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK?
Unfortunately, there are so many negative voices in our head that stop us from believing that we can achieve more. We might not think we’re smart enough, creative enough, or experienced enough. These beliefs need to be challenged. When creating big goals, ask yourself: Why can’t I achieve that goal? What could happen if I tried anyways? Acknowledging these self-limiting beliefs and talking back to them can allow you to take the necessary steps forward. Remember that language creates reality. How we think and talk about ourselves impacts how we show up in the world.
Fear of Failure
Sometimes, what holds us back is the fear that if we don’t live up to expectations, our career or reputation will be on the line. Managers need to make sure their employees feel safe to set goals they may not end up achieving. When we have a vision for our future, we can act with intention. If we’re supported in that journey without the fear of failure, we are more likely to dream big.
THE PATH TO GOAL SETTING
Start with a Vision
Before you can set goals, you need to create a vision that captures your higher aspirations. This is about the bigger questions such as: Where do you see yourself in a year? What does extraordinary success look like to you? What outcomes would make you feel proud in your personal and professional life? This vision is your Northstar throughout the year, a reference point to give you clarity about what’s important to you as you go about your life.
Reflect on All Aspects of Life
To get to the vision, you first need to break it down into many specific reflections on your life. These are not just related to business outcomes, but personal ones as well. The human dimension is important. As Lisa puts it, when we are living our best lives, we do our best work.
What are you known for as a manager, colleague, parent, son, etc.? How do you show up in the world?
How do you want to grow and improve, not just in business outcomes but personally?
Describe the quality of your most important relationships. Think about how to bring that level of rigor and intentionality to all areas of your life.
To set life or business-changing goals, make them bold, measurable, and specific. Avoid words like “more” or “better” because they are ambiguous. What does it mean to improve customer relations or grow revenue? How would you know that you’ve achieved that goal? Consider what specifically would be accomplished, and how you would feel. Be as detailed about your goals as possible though quantitative or qualitative descriptors.
MAKE IT A TEAM THING
Before we can accomplish our biggest dreams as a team, we need to be striving as individuals. Teach your team members the process of creating a vision through deep reflection and challenging limiting beliefs. (Use the Fast Forward Bold Vision exercise!) When they’ve finished their individual visions, allot time for coworkers to share with each other. Sharing gives a sense of support and accountability.
Next, consider creating a team vision. What would success look like for our team? What would it feel like to be part of an extraordinarily successful team? What do we need to do today to start moving in that direction?
Goal setting can be uncomfortable. To succeed in business and in life, we need to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. We need to commit to creating a bold and specific vision about where we want to be. We do this by addressing any negative beliefs that are holding us back and challenging the fear of failure. We also need to set aside time to reflect on who we really are and what we really want. If we do all that while being supported by our colleagues, we can go to sleep at night knowing we did our very best. At the end of the day, in business and in life, that’s all we really want.
KEEP UP WITH LISA
Membership Website: https://fastforwardgroup.net/
Personal Website: https://lisamccarthy.co/
This article was based on episode 225 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.