• Jim Canfield

Setting and Meeting Goals

The Power of Goals



Nothing leads to success like having clear, written goals that are continually communicated to every constituency. Everyone involved must know where the company is headed; its goals; why they’re important; and what his or her role is in achieving those goals.

A few things to keep in mind about goals:

  • Have people set their base goals at a level that they can give a 90-100% likelihood of achieving.

  • Bring the team together to set them. People will work harder to achieve goals they’ve helped create, especially when working in a group.

  • Communicate the goals. Over and over again. And then some more.

  • Provide rewards and feedback. Praise and reward all behavior and any results that support reaching the goals.


Big, Audacious Goals

If you really want your people to accomplish amazing things, try setting big, audacious goals (BAG) with them. Big, Audacious Goals are about what’s possible, not what’s probable. Base goals are meant to specify what is probable. They’re the bull’s-eye of a dartboard. Everyone still gets points if they miss the center but land on the board. The best Big, Audacious Goals are acceptable challenges. For example, a big, audacious goal could be showing a profit in a month that usually registers a loss. Or a BAG can target the number of units sold, the number of happy customers, the number of client cases resolved successfully… A BAG can be aspirational – like winning a Best Place to Work award, for instance. A BAG can be any measure of quality or customer satisfaction, or just about anything that can lead to outstanding performance for the organization as a whole.


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