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Entries for the 'Fake Goals' Category

Listen In -> Fake Goals #5: Goals That Are Double Standards

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Probably the most subtly evil of the fake goals are the ones which are double standards.

The goals that you hold everyone to account except yourself.

As attractive as the option might be to those who think their position entitles them to certain flexibility as regards their own accountability, it is a credibility-destroyer.

First, double standards undermine any positive motivation your team may have been able to derive out of having a set of ambitious goals.

Once you remove yourself from the accountable team, the motivation shifts from achievement to measurement; and the focus shifts from working hard to avoiding judgment.

Secondly, you just fired yourself from the team. You put yourself on a different team. Instead of you being accountable for ensuring the team’s success, you make the team accountable for your success.

I promise you, they won’t embrace that responsibility enthusiastically. Instead of getting 110% from a highly motivated team, you will barely get 51% (or whatever you passing grade is).

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Fake Goals #4: Goals That Are A Dangling Carrot

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Some goals can be outright mean-spirited.

One of the more underhanded methods is leading an employee to believe that a salary increase or a promotion will accompany the achievement of a particular goal.

When the time to follow through arrives, you find yourself, more often than not, backing down on the promise by blaming human resources, budget constraints or some other factor outside of your control.

In this week’s show, Claudia and I discuss the pitfalls of dangling carrots just out of reach in order to secure some extra element of effort.

Even though this method is easy to see through, works only once, and costs far more in terms of broken trust and forfeited credibility than was ever saved by reneging on the raise, it remains surprising popular.

Why do you think this “fake goal” is so tempting to leaders?

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Fake Goals #3: Goals That Are A Moving Target

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Want to be a hero in your client’s eyes?

Try making irresponsible promises that you can later blame others for not being able to keep.

You most likely know what we’re talking about…

• The client calls and wants the deadline moved forward. You know the new deadline is unrealistic, but feel it would be disastrous to refuse or negotiate.

• The scope of work on a project keeps expanding, but you decline to increase the fees involved so that you don’t discourage future business.

Two realities that confront leaders all of the time.

What do you do when the schedule or budget for a project changes?

In this week’s show Claudia and I discuss how counter-productive and demotivating it is when you create a moving target by forcing your team to deal with the ramifications of a change in deadline or budget.

Listen in for a constructive alternative.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Fake Goals #2: Goals That Are Arbitrary

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Why be limited by reality?!

A second way to master the art of demotivation is by drawing targets out of thin air like, “Increase sales by 20%” (even during a recession).

Why be constricted by facts when you can watch people scramble desperately to achieve what has no grounding in reality?

In this week’s show, Claudia and I look at the pitfalls of setting arbitrary goals.

As helpful and valuable as goals can be, if they are not grounded in reality, then they become elusive phantoms who haunt with threats of impending punishments.

Instead of helping us plan better or motivating us to work smarter, arbitrary goals make our efforts feel meaningless.

A lazy salesperson might exceed their target by the luck of a client’s purchasing schedule, while a hard-working salesperson might fall short of their target by virtue of a slow economic cycle.

In this example, the lazy person would probably be rewarded and the hard worker would be punished.

How arbitrary are the targets you set?

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

Listen In -> Fake Goals #1: Goals That Are Vague

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Meaningful goals can transform a good idea into a practical reality. Fake goals can undermine and sabotage even the simplest of efforts.

Claudia and I are starting a new podcast series this week entitled, “Fake Goals: Your Key to Perpetual Demotivation”.

We begin the discussion in this week’s show exploring how to master the art of demotivation with goals like, “Work harder” or “Improve your attitude” or “Make fewer mistakes.”

Vague goals are a common and quite subtle form of confused communication. You know what you mean when you set a vague goal like, “Your attitude needs to improve.”

But I promise you that you’re creating for yourself hours of arguing over whether or not a vague goal like this has been achieved.

And of course, we won’t leave you with the problem without discussing practical alternatives.

Listen in.

Here’s an overview of the entire series:

Fake Goals: Your Key to Perpetual Demotivation
Week #1: Goals That Are Vague
Week #2: Goals That Are Arbitrary
Week #3: Goals That Are a Moving Target
Week #4: Goals That Are a Dangling Carrot
Week #5: Goals That Are Double Standards