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Achieving Goals - 22 January 2008

The main reason why teams don't achieve their goals is a lack of clarity. Even in sport, the best players are exceptional because they have better clarity than the rest on what it takes to win.

There are certain features which are common in every sport, and on each occasion they provide players with one thing: clarity. Here are a few examples:

 

Target: In sport, players clearly know what it is they're trying to accomplish. At work, we sometimes don't make the outcomes we're looking for clear enough. A major cause of disengagement is when employees don't know what is expected of them.

 

Rules: In sport, there are well-defined boundaries and specific laws which can't be broken, and yet there's still plenty of room for players to creatively use their talents. At work, the most successful teams have well-documented policies and procedures - without also robbing their employees of the freedom to think for themselves.

Consequences: In sport, players have total clarity on the outcomes of their actions. They know precisely what will get them sent off the field. At work, these consequences aren't so clear, which is why so many employees are dealt with unwelcome surprises in performance appraisals. Remember: most staff turnover is precipitated by some kind of shock.

Coach: In sport, every team has a coach providing feedback to players who are open to new information and willing to self-correct. At work, the management style of the future is that of coach. Managers will cease to be managers and will instead become developers of people.

The clarity you provide your employees will determine whether they score a goal or a foul.

 

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