Set Big Goals to See Big Results
Posted on October 17, 2012
From meager beginnings, greatness can result. Even the biggest and most successful companies had to start small. Many mammoth companies started on the corner of Main Street, barely bringing in profits before raking in the big bucks and landing an office overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
Without a game plan full of big goals to work toward and a work culture that facilitates that progress, though, few companies see those kinds of big results.
Leading Your Company to Success
Successful companies are rarely focused solely on the numbers or on the happiness of their employees. Even the best business culture can experience failure if there’s no fiscal success to keep the company running. Great culture does not guarantee business profitability, and vice versa.
Fiscal success and cultural success can be strongly related, and this relationship often heavily depends on the style of the leadership team. Some leaders follow an old-school approach. They are laser-focused on systems and processes, numbers and analytics.
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Others are driven by providing their employees with an encouraging environment, inspiring teams to be the best they can be and enabling team members to learn through mistakes. Creating a successful work environment sometimes even means providing employees with exercise equipment in their offices (which has been shown to improve productivity and morale) to promote a happy, healthy culture. The latter approach often requires more risks, branching away from by-the-book, numbers-related approaches.
As a leader, it can be to your benefit to determine which of these leadership styles fits you – but also how your employees respond to each. Create a business system around the leadership style that works best. That doesn’t mean buying a treadmill for every member of your company before lunch today, but finding little ways to improve the work environment, while also keeping the numbers in mind, will create a more efficient and more profitable company, full of employees who enjoy what they are doing.
“Big” is a Relative Term
“Big” is a relative term. Something that serves as a big goal for one person may be nothing at all for another. When setting goals for your company, be open about what works best for your individual team. Not all goals and rewards need to be over-the-top. In fact, massive goals are sometimes too big to comprehend. They become overwhelming and burdensome. If a goal seems unreachable, your team may be less motivated – and, therefore, less likely – to reach it.
However, be careful not to limit your company by setting the bar too low, either. Small goals may be less scary and seem less risky than big ones, but your company may not realize its full potential if small goals are boxing it in.
Determining what “big” means, relative to your specific team, will put your company on track to see better results. In trying to find your company’s definition of “big,” remember to continually inspire your team with words of encouragement and recognize performance on a consistent basis.
Aiming for the Win-Win
Occasionally aligning company goals with individual performance bonuses will give employees extra incentive to meet goals and experience personal reward. At Barton Publishing, we go on company excursions once or twice a year. We work from home offices throughout the year, so these trips allow us to spend face time with each other. There is always a big energy boost in the team after these excursions, which affirm the value of being in the same room together to accomplish great work.
Set company goals together that will be rewarded by more extravagant excursions if achieved. Not only does this set up the possibility for increased company performance, it also improves individual performance and team-bonding (which creates a cycle for continued performance in the future). When designed smartly, these types of aligned goals can help your company achieve a win-win.
Tips for Success
1. Determine which type of leader you are, as well as the type of leadership to which your company responds best.
2. Know what “big” is, relative to your company. Big goals make for big results, but try to avoid impossible or unreachable goals.
3. Set yourself up for a win-win by aligning company goals with individual performance.
Though startup companies may be physically small, that does not mean the goals they have for their employees and the company have to be small as well. Big goals, accompanied with big rewards, can help a small startup make an impact on the business world.