- Author: Ben Stern
- Issue: Aim high; learn from failure
I’m a competitive guy and we have a highly competitive culture here. The Reman Wingman and Transmission Control still play soccer at a high level. The Remaniac and the King of Core & More have a push-up challenge going for who brings on more new customers. The Trans Detective coaches high school soccer for a top program in the state. Dude Diligence just won a monthly sales competition for the first time. The Remanalyst and the Duchess of Drivetrain swap personal-best stories from their Orange Theory fitness classes most mornings. Captain Reman races in the Milwaukee marathon yearly. Seventeen members of our team across different departments will be joining forces again in a Tough Mudder on Oct. 1.
These people work their collective tails off and are not afraid to set the bar high. However, with lofty goals comes an increased chance of falling short.
My personal philosophy is that goals need to be sufficiently difficult or they are not likely to motivate you. It’s the effort and the improvement that matter more than the measured achievement. Bonuses fade as the money is spent, but the ways you got better and more efficient in pursuit of that goal are lasting. This process of asking and answering – “How can we make it happen?” – fosters the perpetual improvement that great organizations are built on.
Somewhere along my career road, I picked up a piece of goal logic that states that in a given year, if you hit your goal on half of the weeks, you’ll hit on two-thirds of your months, three of your quarters, and your year-end. By staying the course and charging through setbacks, you will achieve your long-term objectives, or at the very least progress towards them.
Is it reasonable to expect success and growth every month, year after year? Perhaps not. But it is reasonable to set lofty goals and chart a course to excellence. Whether or not you hit the milestones, the pursuit of getting better will be fruitful.
- Ask yourself: How am I measuring my personal or organizational progress?
- Am I looking back at my progress through successes – and failures?
- What am I doing to learn and improve?
When striving to reach the top of the mountain, physically or metaphorically, don’t fear failure or missing your mark. Set yourself up for success by defining bold goals, bringing a positive attitude, and focusing on each opportunity to get better.