Unlocking Hidden Value in Your Business and Life Through the Power of Goals

Man smiling looking down

A quick story:  It was August 2009, my first year of being a Business Coach at ActionCOACH when I attended my first ActionCOACH Global Conference in Sydney, Australia.  At the conference, I met a seasoned coach from the US and made the bold decision to appoint him as my coach to assist me to grow my business. When we had our first meeting, me back in Johannesburg and him in Colorado, he asked me to provide him with my list of goals. The goals I provided him were quite “skimpy” according to him and his next comment “ hit me between the eyes” when he said:’ Okay, I can guess your bank balance is about $ x and he was accurate within a $10 000 range.  He made the comment that got my attention. “Life best lived is by design, and not by accident” Fast forward to today, reflecting on all accomplishments I have achieved that I never had thought would be possible. I do not want to impress you about my successes but press upon the importance of vision, dreams and goals and what they could do for you. My aim is to share great insights about goals that I have learned through my growth journey by applying lessons learned from my coaches and mentors.   Power of Imagination  Life should be an adventure. Life should be fulfilling. Life should be much more than existing.  Developing goals is an opportunity to use your imagination since imagination is a powerful resource to tap into. When we think about it – imagination discovered countries, built cities, grew businesses, developed relationships and the list goes on and on. Unlocking this resource of imagination is when you start thinking about your future and what is possible for you.    Past and Future Forces  We are affected by many forces like our environment, events, knowledge, results and by our dreams.   One lesson I have learned is that we are pulled by forces that give direction in our lives. Some people live in the past and let the past continue to pull them into the past. We must learn from the past to make it useful for the future.  We must make sure to tap into the “pull” of the future – Our Dreams and Vision of the future. One of the challenges of business owners is that they are running at 160 km/hour and don’t make the time for “ White Space Thinking” which could be the gateway for their desired future. This is when you are brutally honest with what’s really going on by addressing key questions that direct your life, e.g.: How big is your Vision and your goals? Are you building a shack or a cathedral? Are your goals so small that you can achieve it by yourself and in your lifetime?   Clarity of goals  There are generally three types of goals:  

  1. Negative goal: This is an “away from” type of goal. “ I don’t want X.” The challenge is it is only inspiring if the negative doesn’t hurt that much anymore. Example: I don’t want to work 60 hours a week anymore. Guess what you end up doing… working 60 hours a week. It’s like the frog in the water. When the water is hot it jumps. When water gradually gets warmer, he gets used to it and eventually dies.  
  2. Positive goal: This is a “ towards to” goal. Example: I want to work 5 hours a day, 4 days a week OR I want 3 months of cost-covering in the bank.  
  3. Legacy goal: A goal that is bigger than you. The business achieves something huge and significant. Does the goal scare and excite you? If not, then it is not big enough.  

Common Goal Clarity leads to power. What is the exact goal of the company? If the team can’t say what it is then it is hard work for the business owner. By setting a common goal for the company, the team is motivated by achieving something great. A goal whereby everyone can win by achieving that.  A financial goal is a great reward for the business owner but not really for the team members. They don’t come in and say: “Wow, I can’t wait to make my boss an extra million bucks this year.” The point is to enroll and inspire people. If it doesn’t do it then it is not a goal for having in your business. A great place to start is to start with something simple, e.g.: We want to be the very best in town. Then picture it. Let everyone in the team see that picture.   Detail Goal How to get to the detail: 

  • Financial goal: Daily and weekly.  
  • Team goals: The most important goal for the business and team is the daily goal. Write down goals for the next day. Everyone on the team is involved in this.  
  • Start by doing it yourself: What you must achieve tomorrow? By doing that every day the long-term goals take care of itself.  
  • Make goals S.M.A.R.T.  
  • Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and Annual goals: Have 3-6 goals for every team member.  
  • Once done per person, then you do it for the different areas in your business: Example: Marketing team, Sales team, Operation team. The more granular you get in goal setting the better the staff works.  
  • Set the goals for the overall company.  

 “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes” – Andrew Carnegie. 

Francois Lubbe, ActionCOACH Business Coach
francoislubbe.actioncoach.com | francoislubbe@actioncoach.com 
Image: A client sharing the goals he’s achieved at an ActionCOACH GrowthCLUB (90-day business workshop).