You already know goal setting is an important part of leadership. As the leader, you set the goals your team works toward and are ultimately responsible for moving the needle forward. But many obstacles arise in the goal-setting process, and one of those obstacles is losing focus of why you’re doing what you’re doing.

SPEARity CEO Darren Fisher recently shared a story about an app he’s using to learn Spanish. The app awards points and has a built-in competition feature to see if you’re in the top ten of users. Those in the top ten continue to move forward. Unfortunately, his competitive nature kicked in, and he started focusing on reaching and staying in the #1 spot.

Was he using the app? Yes. Was he using it for the right reason? No. His focus shifted to being #1 instead of learning to speak Spanish. He lost sight of why he was using the app in the first place. His goal was no longer to learn Spanish; it was all about being in that first spot.

Business owners and leaders do this same type of thing all the time.

When goal setting goes wrong

Goals only matter if they move you in the direction you want to go, but it doesn’t end there. It’s also vital to assure you are moving in that direction for the right reasons. It’s easy to allow outside influences or “keeping up with the business Joneses” to make you move in a direction that isn’t where you originally intended to go.

A classic example for small businesses is setting a goal to hit a certain level of revenue. When people first go into business, the goal tends to be hitting six figures, but the larger the company grows, the larger the number increases. There is nothing wrong with having sales and income goals, but you shouldn’t be picking the target number based on an arbitrary number or to match what someone else is doing.

The first step to setting the right goals in business is to get clear on your purpose and mission.

Identify the main thing

Stephen Covey once said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” This is crucial for the goal setting process.

Why are you doing what you’re doing? What was the original purpose of the company? What is the need you are meeting or the gap you are filling in the industry? How are you helping your customers? What is the mission of the company?

The answers to these questions are what should drive what you do and the direction you’re moving. All of your goals should align with the true purpose that exists behind the company.

I’m guessing you didn’t start a company for the sole purpose of making money. There was something else driving you to the work. The same is true if you are managing a team for an employer. So take time to get in touch with the purpose behind why you’re doing what you’re doing.

The original goal wasn’t to be #1; it was to learn Spanish. Don’t lose the purpose of what you’re doing because of the pressure of outside influences.

So, why are you doing what you’re doing? What got you started in that direction? Where did you get off course? And what adjustments need to be made in your goals to reflect this?

Do you need a hand in putting all the pieces together, getting back on track, and leveling up? Give us a call today!