By this point in our lives, most of us have heard of goals. You probably know what a goal is, how to set one, and have collected tips galore about them. (You’re nodding your head, am I right?)
But that’s not what I’m going to teach you about today. Today, I’m going to open your mind to something new:
Do you know how to convey the TRUE importance of goals?
Now, I don’t mean just talking about it or making a blanket statement in a team meeting, or in one of those random team “pep-talks” that are thrown into the day haphazardly.
Rather, I’m talking about getting the team excited and engaged when it comes to your office culture around goals.
I’ve found in my personal experience that there is a huge trickle-down from the “power” positions. If an office manager has a bad attitude about goals, you can bet the team will too.
If the team leaders go through the motions of goal-setting, you’re going to have a team that does the same (cue a disengaged team).
And if there is no leader or manager who enthusiastically empowers, encourages, or follow-ups with the team about goals, then how on earth do you think the team is going to get the gusto they need to propel themselves (and the business) forward?
And I think you know that. So, yes — it has to start with Y-O-U.
You have to generate the enthusiasm, excitement, and empowerment that the leaders/managers and team need.
Be Passionate In Your Delivery
I was recently in a conversation with two people I just met. They were a husband and wife couple. All of us were just shooting the breeze, not talking about anything particularly funny.
During our conversation, I noticed that the husband would spring-board from one slightly funny element in the conversation. Meaning, he would begin to describe and add a series of hypothetical humorous events that happen to our protagonist.
“It’s like when you go to the grocery store. You see a spot in the next row, so you’re frantically driving to get over there. And of course a slew of people come out of no where, and while you’re waiting for them to get out of the way some other dude has conveniently entered the lot and swoops right into your spot. After another 10 mins of this game you finally manage to get a spot! Then you go to get a cart…”
With each bit of circumstance he’d add to his story, his delight and enthusiasm would increase. His eyes would light up, and he’d chuckle in-between the (ever-increasing) unfortunate happenings. His story-telling ability ultimately resulted in him laughing hysterically — he was cracking himself up!
I also found myself laughing quite hard at his story. Upon later reflection, I noticed that I really didn’t find the story itself that funny.
I realized, I was laughing because he was laughing so hard at his own story.
You can relate, right? We’ve all been in that situation where laughter is contagious. Someone laughing or smiling automatically lifts our mood and makes us smile or laugh.
Although this is such a simple experience, we can use this lesson when we are teaching our team, our leaders, and our managers.
Doing something as simple as smiling and being excited will generate an energy which will resonate with our audience.
The lesson is clear: Become passionate about something, and teach it with fierce enthusiasm, and you’re team will also inevitably become passionate.
[bctt tweet=”Become passionate about something, and teach it with fierce enthusiasm, and you’re team will also inevitably become passionate” via=”no”]
There’s Magic In The Way You Think
If you find it hard to muster up enthusiasm or passion, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you need to switch your thought process from negative to positive.
So right now, we’re going to shift your thinking about goals. You need to get clear on what goals really mean.
But first, let me take you on a little adventure…
Let’s set the scene.
Imagine a wondrous landscape. There are tall green trees, rolling hills, and lush soft grass. All around you are scattered large gray blocks of brick.
I tell you, “We want to gather these blocks, because you and I are going to build a magnificent staircase. This staircase isn’t an ordinary staircase.
We want to build it because at the top, your greatest dreams and desires are going to be fulfilled.”
You then look at the scattered blocks. You notice that some are small, but for the most part they are big and heavy.
I can see that you’re concerned, but I smile and tell you, “Don’t worry. It’s actually a good thing that the blocks are big. The bigger the block, the bigger the step can be. Which means that we can get to the top even faster. After all, no gloriously tall staircase was ever built with just a few small pebbles.”
You remember what’s going to be at the top. Your imagination is ignited and you aren’t afraid to put in the work.
So we high-five, and every block carried is followed by a cheer: “You are awesome! I knew we could do this!”
However, we soon notice that we have to go further and further to bring the blocks back to the staircase. And not only that, but we also have to lug them up each of the previously built steps.
By this point, we’re tired and we’ve accidentally dropped a lot of blocks. But I remind you that progress is still being made.
After hours of work, we’re exhausted and dusty. However, rather than giving in to the temptation that the pebbles pose, we take a break to brainstorm.
I ask you, “How do you think we can more effectively and efficiently get these blocks to the staircase and up the steps?”
(Really, think of some ideas now. I’ll wait.)
We quickly found that we should probably call a few more people to help us.
It wasn’t hard to excite our new teammates to join us to build the staircase. We both passionately told them about all the hard work we’ve already done. And of course, we also told them what waits at the top of the staircase for all of us.
Many of our new teammates get to work on drawing plans for a crane. Another goes for a wheel barrel, while the rest of us begin carrying a previously too heavy block up the steps.
The fresh enthusiasm renews our desire and beliefs in our ability to build the staircase. And so we continue to build…
This story is obviously an allegory.
Goals can be thought of as the blocks. The top of the staircase where the greatest dreams and desires are fulfilled is an office’s vision, and the staircase itself becomes the progress of the business.
In order to get to the vision, goals need to be big, bold, and even a tad too heavy.
Goals aren’t things that are easy, something that you’ve done before, or even, can undoubtedly do (aka pebbles). Instead, they are more, so much more.
Goals are what awaken possibility.
They inspire us to work as a team, and empower our individual talents.
They make us grow as individuals by challenging our thought process, creativity, and perseverance.
BIG goals are how anyone builds a successful business, successful individuals, and are what makes strides worth every tear & drop of sweat.
When we, as leaders, shift our thoughts and perceptions of goals, inevitably a paradigm shift will happen in our office culture and the way that our team thinks.
Truthfully, there is magic in the way that you think.
I bet when you were reading the short story above, you began to subconsciously come up with solutions as to how “we” would get the blocks to the staircase and up the steps before I even asked you to do that.
Think about it for a second.
What solutions came to your mind? Or what comes to it now?
I bet you thought of “calling for help”. I bet you thought of some sort of machine or crane. I’ll even bet you probably have some more creative solutions. And if I told you that the top of the staircase scenario was real, I bet you would have even more solutions (wouldn’t you?).
Even though it was just a story, by taking you on a journey with me you felt invested and maybe even a little excited about that stair case.
The fact is, my story and my challenging your creativity (even in a small way) ignited some inspiration.
It’s natural to want to take part in something that you are a part of, and it’s easy to be excited when the leader is excited.
The same is true for your team.
I could’ve skipped the story and everything above, and just said, “Goals are how we reach our vision. So they are important.” But that’s boring and hardly inspiring!
Instead, I made you a part of the story.
You need to let your team join the story.
How do they benefit from hitting goals? What does it mean for their family or their community? Get them excited about the challenge, and make them part of the “why we are doing what we’re doing”.
Take your leaders on the adventure with you and don’t just “tell them” about it.
Ignite inspiration by involving them in the process and letting them contribute their individual skills. Teach them with passion, and empower them to view big, bold goals as an opportunity.
I’m sure you figured out that this “stairway” isn’t going to be built in one day or even in one week. It’s a process —which is also true for a successful business. It’s a process. And your team needs to know they are just as important as you are in this process.
When you teach with passion, think about goals differently, and ignite inspiration in your leaders you will also get a team who enthusiastically empowers, encourages, and holds each other accountable with their goals.
Growth and goals are about perspective.