The Field Guide to Leading Teams

13/26Goals should be missed (sometimes)

Goals are big. They’re exciting, they’re meaningful, and therefore sometimes they’re going to be missed. Make sure the team knows it’s OK (and expected) to miss your goals occasionally. Shoot for 70-80% goal attainment.

If you’re not coming short of your goals every so often then you’re not being ambitious enough. Goal setting has this funny magic where your team will usually rise to the occasion if the purpose of the goal is clearly understood by all, matches the larger direction of the company, and pushes for individual contributor learning and growth.

If you’re coming up short of your goals 100% of the time you’re probably making them too large or too abstract, but this is rare. Lack of ambition is usually the problem.

Best Practices

  • Make sure the team knows it’s OK (and expected) to miss your goals occasionally. Shoot for 70-80% goal attainment.
  • If you’re not missing goals, are you really being ambitious enough?