One of the questions I ask clients when we’re talking about making plans for important initiatives in their business is:
If this initiative fails, who gets yelled at? Who loses their job if you don’t make progress on this?
It might be a negative way to think about it. But I’ve found that if there is a clear answer to this question, then it’s much more likely that the initiative will have a positive outcome.
As we talked about Tuesday, many of the issues that you need to resolve to achieve your goals have been around for a while. It’s typical that I’ll see the same goals from business owners two or even three years running. If these were easy problems to solve, we’d have solved them already!
Let’s look at your 2020 goals.
Who gets yelled at or fired if these goals aren’t accomplished?
That’s what I thought.
It’s not like anyone’s going to yell at you, are they? And you aren’t getting fired, you own the place!
So how do we increase the stakes? How do we make sure that you feel the heat?
You want to achieve this goal, right? When you wrote the goal you could see how achieving that goal was going to lead to some very positive outcomes for you. How it would make your company stronger, your work more impactful, and your company more profitable. It’s important!
So how do we keep you focused?
- One of our Mastermind clients agreed that if he’s not making progress reports every two weeks he’s going to wear the jersey of his most hated team to a hot yoga class (and I get to post pictures to my social media accounts).
- Another one of coaching clients is going to videotape herself singing on a subway train.
- A third is betting a big trip that she has planned. If she’s on track with her goal, she’s taking the trip. If she’s not, she’s staying home.
Yes, these commitments are going to make it more painful or embarrassing if the business owner fails to accomplish their goal, but in truth, the power is in the group. The business owner doesn’t want to fail in front of the group. The incentive (or penalty) just gives the group a way to keep pushing on them. It’s easier to say to a friend, “Wow, I can’t wait to hear that singing! Let’s start choosing a song…” then it is for them to say, “I don’t see that you are on track for your goal — I know it’s important to you — how can I help.”
What do you need to increase the stakes for yourself so that this is the year you crush your goals?