Should a manager set measurable or non-measurable goals?

Should a manager set measurable or non-measurable goals?

May 27, 2024 IPI 0

Should a manager set measurable or non-measurable goals?

One of the fundamental qualities of a good manager is the ability to set, communicate, and enforce goals in a way that motivates and engages the entire team to achieve them. Almost every manager knows this, and most have undergone training related to goal management in their careers. However, there have been situations in my career where I didn’t achieve my goal on the first attempt. I call these situations “life lessons” or learning experiences. So, how do I manage to successfully achieve some goals while others remain elusive? What is the phenomenon behind goal-setting that allows me to easily realize and succeed? Or perhaps a goal doesn’t need to be measurable at all?

A goal doesn’t necessarily have to be measurable, but the results do.

The Polish Language Dictionary (Słownik Języka Polskiego PWN) defines a goal as ‘what one aims for’ or ‘what something should serve'[1]. According to Plato, the purpose behind material existence lies in ideas (ideals). Perfection is one such ideal, and it simultaneously represents a value. Every goal is rooted in values, often referred to as a vision. Leading companies worldwide have long understood this concept and communicate their goals through embedded ideas and values. For example:

  • Philips: “Let’s discover a better world.”
  • Mastercard: “A world beyond cash.”
  • Omega Pilzno: “Integrated Logistics. Connecting and developing the global business world.”

Goals also relate to perception—something I can see, hear, touch, smell, or taste. Dr. Christina Hall explains that results are described in sensory language, from various perceptual perspectives. Achieving a specific result can be tested and verified through external sensory experiences[2]. This definition implies that I can quantify and measure my results in some way.

As a manager, regardless of the size of the team I manage, it’s essential to ask myself: Do I precisely know what my goal is? Why am I visiting an external or internal client? Am I going there to sell my products, services, or sign a few contracts? – These are results-oriented objectives. Or am I going to implement the latest solutions that will modernize and enhance my client’s company? – That’s a purpose-driven goal.

To increase efficiency and achieve better results, the first step is to focus on a specific goal based on values. Then, I need to refine and measure the results. How will I know that I’ve achieved my goal? Because results are always part of the objective. The goal operates within a broader context and evolves over time.

A goal that transcends personal identity – the “goal of positive impact.”

In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright fulfilled their grand dream. They believed that if they could invent a flying machine, they would change the course of the world. They had a “goal of positive impact” that went beyond their own identities. This goal extended beyond individual material needs like money or fame and focused on improving people’s quality of life worldwide¹²³. 🌟

According to a report conducted by an independent advisory group in collaboration with former Procter and Gamble CMO, Jim Stengel, data from a 10-year study of over 50,000 brands worldwide shows that companies (and their managers) that prioritize improving people’s quality of life at the core of their achievements grow three times faster than their competitors and outperform the market by a significant margin. A Deloitte survey on workplace revealed a strong correlation between a well-defined purpose and a company’s profits. In the summary of the study “Purpose Drives Profits and Confidence,” Deloitte CEO Punit Renjen stated: “A strong sense of purpose compels companies to take a long-term view and invest in development. This manifests in many ways. Purpose increases engagement among managers at all levels, employees, customers, and shareholders.”

When a manager focuses on their “purpose of positive impact” based on values and mission, and contributes to the growth of their client’s business through the products or services they offer, they triple their growth rate. Therefore, it’s essential to define your “purpose of positive impact” and measure its results¹. 🌟

[1]: Słownik Języka Polskiego PWN, Warszawa 2019
[2]: Sztuka Treningu – Christina Hall, NLP Meta-Master Trainer, The NLP Connection

Author Anna Modrzewska

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