Whenever you go to a shooting range or golf course, you use targets to sharpen your aim and focus your concentration. You also use them to determine your measure of success. How many examples are there of athletes pressing and stretching and reaching for the prize because they are right at the target? Do you notice how their efforts are very different from their efforts when they are in the middle of the contest? All because they know the target.
There is no difference between athletes’ targets and your targets in your work. You need them for the same reasons. They motivate you to get the result you want.
It’s also the reason why “do the best you can” as a target is insufficient. In the end, you almost always declare where you end up to be your best effort, regardless of the result. If you had a target, you too would be pressing and stretching and reaching.
So, whether you are doing the work or delegating the work, you should ALWAYS have targets:
When does it have this done?
How much time should it take?
Then, as a high-performer, you should refine your targets to create laser focus.
Who do I go to for help?
What should be the priority compared to the other work I have to do?
What level of completion is expected?
What issues or problems should I be aware of?
If you don’t know your targets, you set yourself up for failure, disappointment, and a reputation that you aren’t a performer. Your success will be intermittent at best. No one will feel like they can count on you, which is not helpful in your career pursuits.
This week, make sure you and your people know the targets for the work. Your success and reputation depend on it.