WE ALL KNOW that goals are important. If you’re going to make progress, you have to decide what moving forward means.

But that has no emotion in it. It’s just blah-blah-blah management speak.

Our challenge is how to create a sense of excitement and inspiration with your business goals.

We actually have lots of great examples to pull from:

  • Sports
  • Hobbies
  • Teaching
  • Military

Yes, even the military. Think about it: Why would people literally put their lives on the line and do some of the hardest work imaginable? It’s a complex web of purpose, relationships, and recognition.

Why do teachers work so hard for pitiful pay? Because they’re molding minds and personalities. They’re a part of creating the future of our society, one child at a time.

THAT you can get inspired about.

This isn’t about picking career choices, though. It’s about leadership and business results.

So … you have a goal to increase revenue 15% in the coming year. Fine. But why should the average employee really care that much?

You tell them that if the company grows this much, then

  • You’ll probably still have a job a year from now
  • You may get a raise or bonus

Humans aren’t great at delayed gratification. YOU may be OK with it because you’ve been leading the company for a decade, but the average employee just isn’t going to be that motivated on a daily basis. And they may well realize that 15% revenue growth may result in just a 1% or 2% bump in salary.

It feels like no reward at all.

Your role as a leader – your primary task – is to translate the company goals into why it matters for each employee. So get to work.

Which of these might be more motivating?

  • We’ll finally kick Acme Corp’s butt and overtake them in the market!
  • We’ll be able to hire more people so we don’t have to be running around like crazy!
  • We’ll buy that sexy leading-edge equipment that will make life so much easier!
  • We’ll move into a new building and finally have enough room!

Now we start to realize that different workers will get excited about different statements. That may change your emphasis for each individual and group.

But all these statements were vaguely far out in the future. Sometimes people can stay motivated around a goal for a year, but more often the daily grind takes over pretty quickly.

So part of the fix is to create sub-goals so your team can celebrate progress along the way, building confidence as they go. The other part is to talk about the Important Goals in every conversation.

You’ll get sick of hearing yourself talk about it, but it’s this kind of focus which will cause people to understand the goal is actually important. And all your supervisors, managers and feedback systems need to be sending consistent messages.

You’ll get the inspiration you’re looking for!