Four Types of Goals

Goal setting can be a challenge for some people. I try to understand their hesitation in setting goals. There may be a wide variety of reasons why they don’t like setting goals.

They may think of goals as being too restrictive or they don’t like the accountability. A person may feel goal setting is a set-up for failure and eventual firing. A person may have been given an impossible goal and none of the resources to attain the goal. Whatever the reason, not setting goals is a recipe for not getting anything done.

I love goals. I love trying to achieve both short-term and long-term goals. One of the key elements of a successful leader and business person is a willingness to set the “mark” and work towards achieving it.

Clearly stated goals bring focus but keep in mind there are different types of goals.

Exciting goals

An exciting goal means something to you. It brings renewal and energy. It is the type of goal that gets you up early in the morning and sustains your efforts late into the night. An exciting goal touches your imagination. When you talk about an exciting goal, your enthusiasm and passion are contagious. People buy into an exciting goal because of your energy and emotion. Exciting goals bring focus to a vision.

Pressing goals

A pressing goal comes with a ticking clock and a short horizon. Tasks have to get done and done fast. Blanca Cardenas, Vice President of Membership on the Chamber staff, loves pressing goals. She likes trying to make deadlines and the adrenaline that comes with the effort. Pressing goals should be part of bigger goals that are sustainable. Not everyone likes pressing goals and pressing goals can cause burn-out. Keep pressing goals to short bursts of focus and time with the right people.

Outcome goals

Outcome goals are easy to track and very measurable. There is no ambiguity in outcome goals. Outcome goals have hard numbers and everyone understands what is being measured and how it is going to be measured – the number of calls, the number of sales, and the dollar amount collected. What gets measured, gets done. Setting outcome goals should involve the employees who will be working toward the goals. Most businesses are the most comfortable with this type of goal.

Bet the farm goals

There will come a time in every business or organization when a key leader takes a huge gamble on a goal. I call these “betting the farm” goals. It is a goal that is way outside the norm and comfort zone for the business or organization. Goals like these are huge game changers for an organization and for the individuals that make up the company. If you win, you win big, but if you lose, you lose big. Bet the farm goals are thrilling and scary all at the same time. It takes a special type of person to pursue this type of goals. You will either be lionized for success or vilified for failure. With great risks, come great rewards.

Quote of the Week

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.
– C.S. Lewis”