3 reasons why people hate goals

“Oh no, not another manager talking about goals! Not another IT system for performance reviews. I can’t stand it!”

It is fascinating to see how so many people compare goal setting, with hitting themselves on the thumb with a hammer.

Why is it like that? Here are three main reasons:

1: Ignorance

Many people confuse objectives with fluffy strategies (We are to be regarded as innovative), stupid assignments (Each incoming calls to be completed in a maximum of one minute) or wishful thinking (I want to lose weight).

If you can answer the question: “How do we know that we have succeeded?” then you have a goal. Otherwise you don’t. A goal has one single criterion: It must be clear.

 2: Incompetence

Especially from some (not all) managers who have a great need to control people, paired with minimum flexibility. They like to micromanage their environment and if conditions change, they are unable to adapt.

These managers are bonus-, policy- and rule-based managers. They say: “If we fix the KPI’s, meaning my detailed goals, then nobody can blame me, and I get my bonus even if the goals won’t lead to our overall objectives and our vision.

3: Suffering

We are so busy today that everything is about efficiency. But that is one-dimensional thinking. If we forget that we also need energy, engagement, a higher purpose, motivation, team spirit, then we will end up with the same pain as when we go to all those endless PowerPoint meetings we so sadly waste our time in.

So what can you do? Learn what a goal is. Set clear, attractive ones. Involve your people. Trust them and get out of the way.

Attractive, clear goals are fantastic. They give job satisfaction and motivation. They increase performance by 15-30%. They are great!

Best of luck with your goal setting!

// Antoni

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