Setting goals seems like an overdone topic, yet we find leaders are approaching it like another to-do or worse...a to-don’t. Often focusing too much on tasks or if they get to goal-setting at all, they’re not focusing on helping their team tie those goals to the individual’s personal why.
On this episode of Insights, we’re talking about setting goals with your team, step four in learning to Lead Like A Human. Joining us on our journey is Chris Evans, Senior Account Executive at Emplify. He was on the original team who experienced Adam’s techniques of goal setting first hand. He’s here to share his story.
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[00:00:00] Nicole MacLean: welcome back to the Lead Like a Human, the latest season of insights on original theory is by amplified I'm Nicole MacLean. And today we are continuing our journey into Adam Weber's newest book lead like a human, which is now available on Amazon target Barnes and noble. Basically wherever you can get booked up next is step four, setting goals with your team.
Now, setting goals may seem like an overdone topic. Yet, we find that leaders are approaching this like a to do or worse to don't. They often focus too much on tasks, or if they do get to goals, they're not focusing on helping their team tie goals to their individual. Why this is key and you'll soon find out why joining us on our journey today is Chris Evans.
No, it's not captain America. And although that would be pretty cool. This Chris Evans was actually on the original team that Adam talks [00:01:00] about in the book. He is currently a senior account executive at amplify and experienced Adam's techniques of goal setting firsthand and is here to share his story before we meet Chris, tell me if this sounds familiar.
I new hire knows from day one that she wants to be on the manager track. So she works real hard and makes her way through the organization as a great individual contributor. Until finally achieving her goal of you guessed it becoming a manager. Well, what happens next? She starts implementing the same technique.
She used to reach her own goals. Believing her direct reports will want the same thing she did. And all of a sudden her team becomes resistant, disengaged and distant. And she has absolutely no idea what happened. I made an assumption about what her team wanted without actually knowing what they want.
And this is totally common. Many of us assume employee's motivations are the same as our own, which is not leading like a human [00:02:00] in this series. We've touched on the concept of a personal why. Now, as we talk about goal setting, we are going to go even deeper. You see, from our example that had she known what her team was personally motivated by their why and what they wanted.
She could have avoided leaping to assumptions and creating tension. So to get us on the same page, a personal, why is a deep seated, fundamental purpose that motivates a person to take action. The next step in learning how to truly lead like a human is for you, the leader to uncover these motivations of your team.
So why is it important to create goals that connect to personal motivations? Let's hear what Chris has.
Chris Evans: There are days. That are really hard. And they're things that we do in our jobs that are a grind and that are really hard and they just require just like that next level of motivation too. So for [00:03:00] sales, maybe it's listening to call recordings or maybe it's going out and searching accounts. Maybe it's picking up making that lie, tend to cold calls, whatever it might be, that kind of extra effort that really helps you get to your goal.
That when you have this thing in the back of your mind, that's pushing you, it's staring at you and that you're trying to accomplish it helps drive
Nicole MacLean: life, work, whatever it is, it's hard having a clear why keeps you moving forward, no matter what you're facing, then tying that purpose with a tangible goal allows you to make progress and living it out.
For instance, Chris set a goal of taking his family to Disney world seems like a pretty great goal, right? I mean absolutely who doesn't love some Mickey mouse, but this goal is bigger than a trip it's connected to his personal, why,
Chris Evans: it really started as, what do you want to feel? If you have success?
What's the feeling that you want to have. And I think for me, that was just like a sense [00:04:00] of being able to. Unplug and have a really enjoyable, tangible memory with my family that we could always look back on. Or even as we've gone a couple of times since then almost create a tradition that's tied to your personal work
Nicole MacLean: for Chris.
It wasn't about exceeding sales numbers. It was creating those tangible memories with his family. This connection to a personal motivation is what creates discretionary effort or the reason the show exists. Employee engagement. If you want to encourage people to bring their best self to work, then you must connect the work they are doing to their personal.
Why? Once you know that you can begin co-creating goals. Now, quick aside, some people may have a hard time identifying their personal why, and that's okay. If your employee doesn't know their why, then you can start by helping them ask what changes that employee wants to see in their life, and then identify specific actions that they need to take to make it happen.
When you consider [00:05:00] what's behind those changes and why they want to achieve those goals, that's when you'll do it, their personal life. All right. Now, once you've done that work, it's time to map out a plan and achieve those goals. This is typically where the personal goals will cross over into professional goals.
The idea here is to tie the role at the company and their professional goals to that personal line. Got it. Alright, good. For Chris, this meant sitting down with Adam and figuring out what his sales commission it would have to be. So he could a take time off and be paid for the trip. Then they set the needed goals to make it happen.
Now we've said it before, and I'll say it again, compensation and benefits do not create engagement, but in this case, it wasn't about the compensation itself. But how it would allow Chris to reach his goal of taking his family to Disney world, which fits his why of creating lasting family relationships.
This is a perfect example of tying someone's role at the [00:06:00] company to their personal life vehicle setting. Another vital piece of this process is accountability. Chris announced his goal of going to Disney world to his team at their yearly goal setting workshop, putting this out in the open meant that his peers could now also help him achieve it.
If you write it
Chris Evans: down somewhere, even on your own, if you don't have it presently viewable or you're not revisiting it. It's easy to lose sight of it. And that same way, like sharing it with someone is almost like giving you another mirror. So if you had a written down in a journal or somewhere, or you keep your goals written down, but you don't have them posted at your desk, or maybe they're too personal because you don't want to put somebody's desk.
But regardless adding people to the mix
Nicole MacLean: for me,
Chris Evans: it's just like another mirror that's out there to help us keep sight of our goals. Essentially. It's just another
Nicole MacLean: tool. When Chris first announced his goal in 2017, it took a lighthearted ribbing from a colleague a couple of months later to help motivate him.
And by the way, Chris did end up accomplishing his goal and he's taken his family to Disney world [00:07:00] every year, since by spending time understanding his employees, why, and having them share it openly, Adam created a level of psychological safety with his team, which is something you'll do too. It creates a deeper connection between you as the leader and them as your team member, while increasing employee engagement.
So it's really a win win. All right. So alluded to The idea that's setting goals seems overdone, and you may be saying, Nicole, I've done this. I've set goals with my team. Isn't that enough? Not really. If you don't connect those goals, why it's not nearly as effective. Let's bring in the author himself, Adam Weber to share his expertise, insights on why this old school approach just fall short.
Adam Weber: think the reason it's important for employers to identify that why is that they can understand their own motivators. It just as an extra resource to tap into, it's doing that work for an employee to go, what is actually motivating to me. And when you know that it's [00:08:00] now a resource or it's a tool in your tool belt, that you can tap into yourself.
But I think in an old school leadership approach, like you would also read in a book that it would say set goals. Oftentimes they would just be like set the business goals or hit the business goals. But in this more human centric leadership style, what we're looking for is we're looking for goals that connect to that.
Individual's why, so the personal to them, and they're individually motivating to them to
Nicole MacLean: bring it home goals. Plus Y equals potential. A clearly defined why is great, but the goals bring it to life to explain why here's Adam.
Adam Weber: It makes their why practical. So it feels like progress or it is progress. And there's something about that progress component that is just innate to the human experience.
Are we moving? Are we making progress? I think there's a reason why, and I share about these all the time at what, why? One of the three most important priorities for [00:09:00] an employee today is professional development. It's this concept of movement of motion and. That's goals at their best, especially when they're tapped into that personal, why that's, where it works the best it's when they're creating movement and motion for them.
Nicole MacLean: As you go to set the goals, it's important to develop a combination of professional and personal, doing the showcases that you care about your employees as a whole person. And that's the essence of leading like a human treating people as humans. In
Adam Weber: many ways, the combination of those professional and the personal goals gets to the elemental part of what it means to lead like a human, because it acknowledges, and it sees the employee as a whole person.
And for a leader it's naive to think that the performance of your employees on your team or those professional goals is their number one, priority it. And for some of them it is, but yeah, all of your employees have a life outside of work as well. And so if you can [00:10:00] integrate those, if you can tap into those and understand the motivators outside of work, like what is the bigger story that you are working toward?
That is how you create an employee who is on fire for their job, who is willing to do the extra level of work and really bring their best self to work every day.
Nicole MacLean: And that my friends is a mic drop. When you see your people bring that extra effort to their role and go hard after their goals, you'll know you've connected their personal lie with their role and activated that drive to reach their full potential.
I hope this helps you understand the impact goal setting can have on your team and more importantly, their ability to bring their whole self to work for even more ideas and examples for how to activate goal setting. Be sure to pick up your copy of lead. Like thanks so much for joining us on this episode.
And next week we continue the journey with step five focused on continual improvement.