Momentum Podcast: 113
Don’t Ask Your Team To Chase A Dream
by Alex Charfen
Don't ask your team to chase a dream. When it comes to goal setting as entrepreneurs, quite frankly, most of us are getting it wrong. We've been in the wrong meeting, in the wrong seminar. We've had the wrong information product. We've even maybe read the wrong book that says something like, “Write down your biggest goal you've ever had, cross it out, double it. That's your new goal.” Well, I call BS.
There is reason why most companies don't grow passed $1 million, the entrepreneurs in charge don't know how to effectively set and achieve outcomes. After all it's rare that you meet anyone who wants a business is smaller than $1 million, why then do so few people achieve it.
Entrepreneurs have a terrible habit of setting goals and outcomes that are so far beyond where they are today, they feel unrealistic. When you take a goal like this to your team, rather than have them trying to work together to achieve, you're asking them to chase a dream.
Chasing someone else's dream is demoralizing. When you get behind, you feel like you're failing. When a team collectively gets behind, they will feel like they're failing you and they will learn how to lose gracefully.
Losing gracefully is demoralizing. Losing gracefully crushes a team's momentum. Losing gracefully can become the single most damaging condition to your company's culture.
There is a better way.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off, and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few, who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly, the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be. Don't ask your team to chase a dream. When it comes to goal setting as entrepreneurs, quite frankly, most of us are getting it wrong. We've been in the wrong meeting, in the wrong seminar. We've had the wrong information product. We've even maybe read the wrong book that says something like, "Write down your biggest goal you've ever had, cross it out, double it. That's your new goal." Well, I call BS. Here's the problem with most people who teach people how to set goals. They are setting-goal experts. They are outcome-setting experts. They help people dream. They help people vision. They help people ... What's that word? Materialize, or whatever it is. And what they really do is they help people get excited about going in a direction. But here's the fact about most goal-setting experts. They're not implementation and achievement experts. In fact, if you show people how to set goals by that whole "cross it out and double it" garbage, you're just showing them how to fail. And when you have a team, here's where you start to multiply and replicate failure. When you go to your team with an outcome for the year, or for the quarter, or for the month, that isn't clear, that there's not a clear path for, that you don't already understand how you're going to achieve, that there isn't a understanding of how your team is going to move forward, you are literally going to your team, not with a goal, not with an objective, not with a outcome. You're going to them with a dream. I'll give you an example of a client of mine recently. They're a business that's doing about $2 million a year, experienced a tremendous amount of change, internal upheaval. They had to change their marketing company. They brought people in. They've let some people go. Recently, we did our one-year goal-setting session. And like so many entrepreneurs, like, don't think that I haven't done this, and don't think that just about every one of us hasn't done this. I asked the entrepreneur running the company, "What's our goal for next year? You did $2 million this year, tons of change, what are we going to do next year?" And the answer was, "$10 million." And I said, "Tell me how you're going to get to $10 million. Explain to me." And she did what most entrepreneurs do. She said, "Well, we have this idea, this idea, there's this thing that could happen, there's this thing that could happen, there's all these things going our way." And I said, "I absolutely agree. But which one of them can we count on to get you to $10 million? Because what we're saying right now is, we're wishing and hoping that all of these things come true, and that that somehow magically gets you to $10 million by the end of the year. But here's the problem. If you ask your team to chase a dream, that dream starts beating them up in the first month." And here's what I told her. "Okay, I want you to just think about this. You're going to be in January, and you're going to be discussing your results with your team. Right now you're around $2 million, which means you're doing about $160,000 to $200,000 a month, and you want to be at $10 million, which is $833,000 a month. Which means, by the end of January, you're going to be somewhere around $600,000 behind. Let's just say you double your numbers to February. You go from $200,000 a month to $400,000 a month, then you're going to be $1.2 million behind. Then you do it again, and you do it again, and you're just going to keep being behind, and your team is going to see this as an ever-increasing mountain that they have to climb, and almost immediately, it no longer means anything. And what happens is from January on, you learn how to lose gracefully. Your team learns how to lose gracefully. And you start encouraging them, then, to lose gracefully. Because what are you going to do? You can't go in to your team in January and say, 'Hey guys, we didn't hit our $833,000 number. You all suck. It's your fault. You know, we need to do more.' Absolutely not. What are you going to really do? You're going to go to them and say, 'All right, guys. We've got this. It's okay. We didn't hit our number. We know a lot has to go right this year.' Then in February you're doing the same thing. Then in March you're doing the same thing. And by April, you've got a team who is accustomed to losing. You've got a team who's learned how to accept losing. You've got a team whose culture is to lose. That's why you don't want to ever ask your team to chase a dream. Because the more you put something out there that isn't real, the more you put something out there that you don't have a path to achieve, the more you put something out there that isn't realistic and can't really be seen, the more your team sees goal-setting as a wishing exercise rather than an actual productivity and accountability exercise." So, here's the other side of that coin. By the time I was off the phone, we'd adjusted that $2 million number, or sorry, that $10 million number, all the way down to $2 million. In fact, that entrepreneur was astute enough, and present enough, and understood enough to say, "You know what? If we could make all the changes we need to make in our company, and we could gain stability, and we can move the people around we need to, and release the marketing department, and still come back and match what we did this year, that would have us poised to go three or four times as big the year after that." Now that may seem like a weak goal. That may seem like not aiming for the fences. That may seem like not taking on enough. That may seem like taking it too easy. But here's what I know about what happens in this situation. See, you have to have the perspective of having worked with hundreds of companies, and hundreds of different teams, and hundreds of different entrepreneurs, that all have similar habits. 'Cause this is what we all do. And here's what I can tell you about the whole, "I'm going to throw a dream out there and call it a reality," is that teams don't trust you. And when you put together a realistic set of outcomes, and you give your team direction on how they're going to get there, and they understand the path along the way, and there's a realistic aspect to how you're setting outcomes, and they feel like they can get there, well, that's when teams start to achieve at an entirely different level. That's when you start to see productivity from a team that will shock you. That's when you start to see magical things happening with your team. In fact, when you set up a team to consistently achieve their goals, you will have to send them home. When you set up a team to consistently win, you're going to have to ask them to stop working. When you set up a team in this manner so that they always feel like they are ahead, you will always have a team that is engaged and helping you move the company forward. In fact, one of the issues that we're having at one of my client accounts this year for the holidays, is that ... And I want you to listen to this closely. This is a problem they're having. The problem is, that over the Christmas holiday, a bunch of their team worked even though it was a day off. And so, some of the sales guys worked, and some of the other people worked, and what they did was, they did things like they actually sold on their day off. They were productive on their day off. But nobody was there to like, take the intake call on the sale, or move the customer through the process. So the problem one of my teams is having is not so much, "How do we get people to check in?" It's, "How do we get people to take a day off?" If you set up a situation where your team is constantly achieving, here's the key. Your team members will feel momentum from working with you. Your team members will draw momentum from their job. Your team members will feel momentum in the rest of their lives because of what you're doing with them in the position where they're working with you. And that isn't just building a world-changing company. That is the very definition of transformational leadership. When we create a situation, a environment, an ecosystem, a culture where human beings get into momentum. Because you know, and I know, when we are in momentum, we may think we know how we're growing, but we are growing exponentially greater than anything we know. And when we are in momentum, that's where we truly change our lives. And when we are in momentum, that's when we find the opportunities that have been eluding us, and when we are in momentum, that is when we, as entrepreneurial personality types, change everything. That's when we create the outcomes we know we're capable of in the world. That's when we create the results that we know we were meant here to create. So this year, as you go into 2018, give your team realistic outcomes. Show them they can win consistently. Show them that losing gracefully isn't what you do on your team. What you do on your team is you set realistic outcomes. You get the resources and the people you need to crush through them. And then you all take off with the confidence of knowing that you will succeed. 2018 can be the biggest year of your career. Shake off any of that BS goal-setting mentality of just put the bar higher. Move the target closer. Shoot through the middle. Keep going until you don't miss. And you will see your entire team achieve an entirely new level of momentum, success, and progress that's going to surprise even you. Are you ready for this? Are you ready for 2018 and to grow your team bigger than you ever thought possible? I help entrepreneurs who have created a seven-figure opportunity go to eight figures and beyond. We have multiple companies in our group right now that have gone from seven figures to eight figure run rates in as little as six month. If you've created a massive opportunity, and you're ready to go out and show it to the world, and you need the team around you who's going to support you, have your back, move things forward, and make this happen, get in touch with us. You owe it to yourself to have the coaching, the systems, the strategy, and the processes that will take all the hard work that you've done in creating the opportunity you have, and help you leave your mark in the universe. Get in touch with us. If you're ready to blow up your company, we're ready to help you do it, and to make the biggest outcomes possible, achieve more than you ever thought possible, and leave your mark in the world.