308 | 4 Mistakes Leaders Make In Goal Setting

We do a lot of coaching around here…and we see countless leaders and business owners who set goals, and don’t hit them. But most of the time, it’s not because they didn’t try hard enough. These people are busting it. They had all the motivation, stuck with it, and didn’t give up… But what happened? You need more than motivation, accountability, and “sticking with it” to keep your goals on track. Today you’re going to learn what holds people back from creating strong goals. We’re going to talk about what WILL set up your goals for failure. Here are action steps you can take this week to set strong goals and prevent them from failing:

  • Understanding what goal setting ISN’T [1:18]
  • Master the 1st step in setting your goals up for success[5:36]
  • A key to accomplishing goals: setting up 90 day initiatives [11:21]
  • How to proactively remove roadblocks to stop goal failure [15:21]
  • Address the thought process that keeps your goals too small [17:39]
  • The trap that holds leaders back from setting attainable goals [22:30]
  • The final goal setting step most leaders neglect [27:13]

Resources: Click here to subscribe Download “How To Set Stronger Goals” Values Motivator profile for your team  Download the episode | [accordion clicktoclose=true tag=h2][accordion-item title=”Transcript” state=closed] Chris LoCurto: What will set your goals up for failure? That is what we’re talking about next.

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.

Welcome to the show folks. We hope you are having a fantastic new year. We’re having a great new year around here. This is a great time for us to help a lot of people change their lives, change their businesses. The New Year is always a time that people want to focus on Next Level Life or getting their leadership team in here and and changing things around. This is always a fun time for us. It’s always exciting to help as many people as we possibly can and in the process we do a ton of coaching. We do a lot of coaching around here, whether it’s one on one with leaders, whether it’s with business owners and leadership teams. There’s always stuff that we’re doing to help people grow and something that we see a lot is leaders and business owners come to us who set goals but don’t hit them or have struggled to hit them.

So many leaders or business owners will sit down at some point in the year, usually November, December, and write a list of things on a piece of paper of where they want to be. You know, this is what we want to accomplish in 2019, and then they get to the end of 2019 and realize that thing has been sitting in a drawer for 10 months, pull it out and go, oh well we accomplished about three out of the seven or 10 things that we wrote down. Guys, that’s not goal setting. That is not setting goals. Those are dreams. Those are things that don’t go beyond the sheet that you wrote them down on. Those are things that without action, without steps, without processes, that’s all they are. It’s just something that you are wanting to do or hoping to accomplish instead of something that you were specifically nailing throughout the year and knocking it out of the park, so that’s what we’re going to talk about today is how to make sure we hit the things that could set you up for failure.

The things that could hold you back from creating strong goals and also setting you up for success so that you can accomplish your goals in 2019. Now, today’s episode is brought to you by something that needs to be on your goal list and that is the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event. What’s standing in the way of your business goals? Maybe you sprint through your days exhausted, balancing the workload of 10 people. Maybe you’re always putting out fires rather than having time to strategize. Maybe your revenue expectations seem out of reach. Get the tools to solve these frustrations and lead your team to success in 2019 at the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event.. Folks, in three days, you can get the tools to accomplish your goals. You can get the tools to transform your leadership to transform your business. Come and experience this with folks, our clients, the folks that have actually had phenomenal transformations like come and learn from clients who’ve had like 8,000, 169 percent net profit increase in one year.

Learn from the clients that have gained 30 hours a week back from the clients that have had a 46 percent gross profit increase in one year from the clients that have had twenty five percent team productivity increase in eight months. How did they get there? They’ve all come to the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event and put this stuff in place. Those are just a few things. We have got a ton of testimonials like this. We have a phenomenal success panel that happens at the event where you get to see clients and how they have implemented and what’s made them so successful. It’s powerful. It’s transformational, so make sure that you get to this event. Right now, you can save $100 on each ticket, so don’t miss it. It’s $100 off for a limited time only. The sale ends January 29th, so go to ChrisLoCurto.com/events and get your tail to this event to get the results you want in your leadership and business.

Now, how to create strong goals that won’t fail. Now here’s the list. These are all action steps you can take this week to set strong goals. Okay, so as we go through this, I want to make sure you understand this stuff you can do right now. It’s time. You may have already set goals for 2019. I want you to go back and take a hard look at them, right? If you’ve not set goals for 2019, why not? Get your button moving. Many times when we set solid goals or solid initiatives. And when I say solid, I mean not listing out 10 things on a piece of paper and shoving it in the drawer. When we do that, it gives us more of a vision of where we’re headed. That’s incredibly important. Now, like I say, a lot of folks are teaching,”

Visualize where you want to be.” Guys, that’s one aspect of it. You do need to do that. You need a lot more behind that, so don’t fall for a bunch of crap out there that’s teaching how to do this stuff and it’s really not actually getting you to accomplish it. The first thing you have to do is spend time casting a vision of where you want to be by the end of 2019. Where do you want your leadership? Where do you want, if you’re the business owner, where do you want the business to be? Where do you want your team to be? Where do you want revenues to be? Where do you want net profit to be? Where do you want marketing to be? I want you to go through every aspect of what you’re in control of, so if you’re the business owner, you need to sit down with your leadership team and go through every aspect of the business and ask the question, where do we want this area to be

by the end of the year? If you’re a leader, I want you to go through your area and do the same exact thing. If you’re a team member, what you do for a living, same exact thing. If you’re a spouse, if you’re a homemaker, where do you want your family to be? You know, if you’re a parent, if you’re married, where do you want your marriage to be by the end of the year? These are things that you should be looking at in setting a great vision of what you want it to look like by the time you get to the end of this year. So we are huge fans of the wheel of life, we use it in everything we do here. It’s a big part of next level life. We use it, we use it everywhere. We’re big fans. Zig did a phenomenal job of pulling together a great wheel of different areas of your life to focus on, so we highly suggest using it.

Where do you want your intellect to be by the end of this year? Where do you want your spiritual growth to be by the end of this year? So I know it sounds like, oh my gosh, that’s a ton of things to accomplish. Yeah, it is. It is a lot, but guess what? If you don’t have a vision for those things, how in the world are you going to get there? So many companies come to us because they’ve been doing the same thing over and over for you know, years. Sometimes it’s decades. They’ve been busting it doing it, they’ve been profitable, but they realize that something is absolutely holding them back and that’s why they come to us because we’re not the ones selling the magic pill, right? We’re the ones that are going to show you all the things that hold you back and then show you what you can go after, what you can do.

That’s why the average business coming in finds 2.1 MILLION dollars of revenue they weren’t planning on in the next 12 months when they come through Stratplan. There’s a reason for that because most people are just looking for the money. We’re going to show you all the stuff that holds you back. It’s the same thing in your goals and your goals setting, right? We want to solve the things that are holding you back so you can hit all those goals where you want to be. So first thing you need to do is start with that vision. What do I want all of these areas of my life, my leadership, my business…What do I want those to look like? Write the vision down, okay? Start there in each area. Now go under each one of those areas, and here’s what I want you to do.

I want you to list out the overall steps it will take to get to those goals. So let’s just take an example here. Let’s say we want to increase sales, right? Let’s say inside of the business or inside of your team, whatever it is that you want to increase sales by a million dollars. All right? We’re just going to pick this out. Let’s say it’s $1.2 million that you want to increase in 2019. Now if you are a really small business, then let’s just say it’s $120,000. It doesn’t matter what the number is. I want you to see the concept here, right? So let’s say we’re trying to increase sales by $1.2 million. What we need to do is take a look over the next 12 months and ask the question, what steps, what are the action steps we must take to hit $1.2 million in the next 12 months?

Right? We don’t just break it down and go, well, it’s got to be $100,000 dollars this month. Well, you know what? It’s probably going to take you a decent amount of effort on the front side so your numbers are probably going to be smaller on the front side and bigger on the tail end of the year, the 12 months. So if we need to increase or we desire to increase sales by $1.2 million in 12 months, then what is it that we’re going to do differently? What are the action steps? What’s the effort that we’re going to put forward? We obviously, and unfortunately so many leaders do this, so many leaders write down that because they’ve been having growth that they write down, well, we’re going to increase by 30 percent this year, 15 percent this year, and they have zero idea of how that’s going to happen.

Their thought is “well we’ve grown in the past or we want to hit that,” but they don’t do anything to put down how we’re going to get there. This is a key piece, so you have got to literally take a look at what you’ve been doing and ask the question, what must change? What are the action steps that must change for us to increase our sales by $1.2 million? What does that look like? How much more effort? How many more leads? How many more do we have to hire more salespeople? Do we have to do a different type of marketing? What is the thing that must change to increase it? Now, if you’re already selling at the tune of $7 million dollars, then maybe one point two isn’t a really difficult goal to hit, but basing it on what you’ve done in the past is a bad idea.

Sit down and ask, what are the steps between now and the end of the year that we must take consistently, consistently to hit that number? Then I want you to pull it all the way down and break it down into the first 90 days, every 90 days. I want you to reset what we call the initiatives, so break down the things that must happen in a year’s time into the first 90 days. What must we do in the first 90 days to hit that? Now, a lot of people think, you know, there’s a lot of that’s happened forever that was, it takes 21 days to set a habit. Guys that’s not true. It’s more like 90 days. It’s about 90 days to make that habit stick. So if you start off in the first week and your sales aren’t working, you’re going to probably go back. You know, you’re not really pushing hard to make this through 90 days.

You’re just going to go back to the same ways. That’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for 90 days worth of initiative that we’re going to do, so break it down. What needs to increase, what do we need to get out there and do what needs to change in marketing? What needs to change in the team? What are all the things that must happen in the first 90 days to create the activity that will increase our sales? Hopefully to the tune we want to get to the point where we’re doing at least $100,000 a month. Then what you need to do is define it and put measurements on it. Every activity needs measurements. So if we put this effort in, what should the outcome be? This should be the outcome. So if we’ve got a team of salespeople that are spending an effective five hours a day selling a product, if we can increase that by one hour, we should get x.

This should be the outcome that we get from it. If we are currently reaching out to, I don’t know, 100 clients a week and we increase that to 120, we should get x, whatever that is. You need to start putting measurements on this so that you can see if your effort is working or not. If it’s not what gets adjusted? But don’t be too quick to make the adjustments. A lot of people they’ll try one day didn’t work and well scrap it or do something completely different. There’s a reason you’re putting that effort in. Make sure that you’re walking through it and measuring it to see if it’s working or not working. Now, if we’re picking something like sales and that’s just the topic that I chose then I want to make sure that you’re also looking at what must happen today to hit the number, so a lot of times people will put a sales goal in there and they will just go throughout the year, go throughout the month and they don’t

see where they are today so they don’t make any adjustments. They will get to the end of the month and realize they missed their goal. They didn’t hit it, or they’ll get to the end of the week and go, well, you know, it’s Friday at 2:30 in the afternoon and we’re, you know, we’re $10,000 away from our goal. Doesn’t look like we’re going to hit it. Why did you not know on Monday where you were, on Tuesday where you were? Did you need to make adjustments? Did you need to push harder? Did something change that you don’t know about? So make sure that you’re measuring the process in an amount of time that actually gives you good quality information. Now, some things you can’t measure daily, it’s going to be based on what the goal is that you’re setting, so make sure that you are defining what the action steps look like, you know, listing out the action steps, starting with that year’s time, break it down into 90 days initiatives, and then break that down into one month, one week, one day.

Make sure that you’re putting the goals on the day, guys, this is what we need to hit today. What do we need to do to make this happen? Now let’s talk about some of the things that are going to hold you back from hitting your goals, right? So we need to make sure that those are great things we can do to hit our goals, but we also need to be realistic. We need to list out the things that could cause us to fail. So the first thing I want you to do is take a look at what are the roadblocks, what are the things that if this pops up, it could torpedo the process, you know, it could really affect what you’re trying to do or destroy. It might be negative team members, you know, could be that you’re trying to put something in place and you’ve either not led them well enough or you’ve got a team member that’s not very sold out for the process, not behind the things that we’re doing.

Maybe there’s a negative nancy on board, whatever that is, and we need to go shut that down or get that person onboard, or reenergize or whatever we need to do. Because if we go and try and sell this concept of, “hey guys, we’re going to increase to this. We’re gonna work on this. Here’s the goals that we’re working on.” And you’ve got somebody who has a Pat Lencioni would say silently sabotages the process…then guess what? It doesn’t matter what the goals are, all the work that you’ve done, none of it’s going to matter because that person when you turn around to walk away is going to silently sabotage by saying, this isn’t gonna work. Just give them a week. He’ll be back to the effort that we’ve been doing for the last five years. Just to hold off on that, you know, I just don’t think this is going to work out.

You’ve got to list out what are the potential roadblocks that could affect you. Do you have a big celebration that’s coming up that is going to distract you from the things you’re focusing on? Do you have purchases coming up that are going to distract you, are going to pull resources? Is there a time of year that you’re running into that you haven’t really realized is usually a downtime of year because you haven’t mapped out your year? Take a look at all the things that can hold you back and list those things out and alongside of it. Put what are we going to do to overcome that roadblock? What are we going to do to fix that? Change it, divert from it, whatever it is, so list all those things out so you can make sure that you don’t run into that blindly and then all of a sudden your hands are in the air going, well, I don’t really know why this didn’t work out.

So list out those roadblocks. Next thing I want you to focus on, where are you with change? If you fear change, if big change is a big fear for you, guess what? You’re not going to set stretch goals. You’re not going to set goals that are going to take a lot of work. You’re not going to set goals that are scary. You will actually set lower goals that are expected. You’re going to set goals that you know you can fit into in this year. You might increase bump it by five percent, 10 percent when you know that you could actually, if you busted it and realized that some conflict may be coming, that you can actually push these goals. The reason why we are heavy on goals and initiatives in our Next Level Mastermind program is because so many folks get in a routine that they don’t realize that they can accomplish a ton.

I’ll never forget, one of our clients came through and said, I did more in 30 days than I’ve done in a whole year by this process. There’s a reason because so many folks are head down or blinkered, you know, got the blinders on. They’re only looking in one direction and they don’t realize that they can actually accomplish more with the right tools. So if there is a fear of setting higher goals, it’s probably because you don’t realize how to set them correctly. You may not have the right tools or you may be concerned about the conflict that’s going to come with you trying to tackle a bigger goal. Guys, that’s something you’ve got to get a hold of. If that fear exists, then it’s going to always hold you back. It’s gonna always hold you back. One of our clients, a phenomenal company, great team, love these guys.

They’ve been with me for a long time. That grew their business over 30 years to $50 million dollars, just shy of $50,000,000. We came in, we did a Stratplan. Phenomenal team of guys, great guys, great hearts, great workers. As we sat down and we went through this huge process, one of the things we discovered is in their decision making process, which they had no clue about, was incredible amounts of fear, a lot of fear. There’s a $50,000,000 business and there was a ton of fear in the decision making process. I hit it hard with these guys saying, “Look at all the fear that’s holding us back.” By that time we got to the end of the process. I had put out the goals of hitting 100 million dollars in three years. It took 30 years to get to 50 million, but if we solved the all the stuff that we discovered, 50 million growth in three years is what they would hit and I got to tell you, I was so proud when I was actually at the clients they were building this new building this past summer and I flew on up and I’m spending time with these guys because many of my clients become just close friends and everything and so we’re spending time walking through this building and I have forgotten about the goals that we set over two and a half years before. I wasn’t even thinking about it.

And as we’re walking around the parking lot, my client turns to me who again is my friend nowadays. He looks at me. He goes, Chris, we’re not going to hit our goal. And I went, Oh really? He goes, yeah, we’re going to miss our goal by three months. And it just, it was this phenomenal rush back of the exciting goals that we set. The stuff that we did laid out that it was going to take to accomplish this. So instead of hitting $50,000,000 more in three years, they did it in three years and three months, and I got to tell you, it’s a here that it was just pure elation for me. I was so excited to hear that and he looked at me and said, if it wasn’t for the things we did in Stratplan, we wouldn’t be building this building right now.

Folks, fear of change, fear of conflict, fear of growth can hold you back from doing the very thing you want to do. For those of you that are believers, it can be the very thing that holds you back from what you are called to do. Fears got to go, change is going to happen. Change is inevitable. Instead of fearing it, plan it. Be proactive, not reactive. If you’re doing goals the way I’m telling you, you can be very proactive in accomplishing your goals instead of reactive to the change that’s coming along. And the great thing is, if you do it as well as I’m telling you, then it really eliminates a bunch of the fear because you’re literally putting a great process to making it happen. So make sure that you kick fear of change to the curb. Next thing that can hold you back, not taxing the collective intelligence.

Now I know a lot of you want to do it on your own. I know a lot of you are fantastic at what you do. You’ve been a huge part of making your business successful. Maybe you’re a strong leader inside of the business and you’ve done an incredible job. Here’s what I want you to know. I learned this back in my early twenties, back in my days at E Trade. If I’m the only guy with smart ideas in the room, I’m in the wrong room. If I’m the only one who is getting a wisdom and knowledge from God, then I don’t need anybody else. So we know that that can’t be true. Everybody has got great ideas. You hired people, hopefully because they’re intelligent. If you’ve hired people who are not intelligent, we probably need to sit down and talk about that instead.

You’ve hired these folks because you trust them. You believe in them, you trust them to do what they’re doing, so here’s what I want you to do. It’s what I call taxing the collective intelligence. I didn’t call it that back in the days of E Trade, but that’s where it started for me when I started realizing that if it’s all for me it’s gonna, just be good, but if I will pull everybody in and start getting wisdom and thoughts and ideas from them, then they share great information. Now, I was not in a big leadership role. I was in a teeny tiny. I was an assistant customer service supervisor, so I wasn’t even the customer supervisor in this role, but I still was learning my leadership stuff way back then before then actually. So here’s what I want you to do. Get people involved at some level.

I am not saying that I want you to make decisions by consensus. I’m saying pick the right people that you know are not going to be, you know, not giving information or they’re going to have some ax to grind or any of that stuff. Sit down with people who have good ideas or great ideas or who are going to be involved with the very stuff you’re trying to put in place and tax the collective intelligence. Guys, how do we get to one $1.2 million in this and don’t just sit with the sales team, grab the marketing team, grab the admins who are spending time face to face with the customers, solving administrative problems. Grab the people that would be involved and can give input to this and ask them, here’s where I think we can get or where do you think we can get to?

And what is it going to take to get there? So take a look inside of your business and some of you don’t have folks inside of your business that you can tax the collective intelligence with or you do have great people, but you’ve all grown together and you’re only able to get so far. You might have to look outside of your business, take a look at other folks. What are they doing? Take a look at other successful leaders. That’s the whole reason we set up Next Level Mastermind is because we bring leaders and business owners together to go, guys, here’s where I’m struggling. Help me with this. You know, put me on the hot seat. Well, how do I solve this? What do I do with this? Or what would you do in this situation or other folks that are going, hey, I’ve been there, I’ve done that.

Here’s things you should do, or here’s things you can do or here’s what worked for me, or here’s the thing that really failed. Make sure look inside, but also take a look outside of where you are. Business owners especially listen to me on this, a lot of business owners…Now, Next Level Mastermind is full of business owners and it’s full of leaders. We have both in there, but here’s what I can tell you. Sometimes it’s a struggle for a business owner to seek that kind of input. Why? A lot of business owners became business owners because they were under crappy leadership and the last thing they want is more input from somebody. Folks, don’t just go get input from somebody who doesn’t know what the crap they’re talking about. Get people who care about your success. Talk to people who actually are being successful, who have been where you are, who can guide you, direct you, point you in the right direction, so tax the collective intelligence.

Get folks around you that can feed into what you’re doing and help you be successful every single week. If you don’t have that, take a look at Next Level Mastermind. It will blow you away. So those are things that can absolutely hold you back if you don’t solve them in this goal setting process. If you do the things I’ve been telling you on the front side and knock it out, but you miss some of these roadblocks, you miss the the fear, not getting good information, great perspective from people. Then that can hold you back. So last thing I want to talk about is making sure that you take a hard look at who’s going to help you implement these processes, so if you’ve got a team of people that are going to implement these processes and hopefully you’ve set the goals with them so that they have ownership in the process as well, don’t just tell them what you’re going to do.

Tax the collective intelligence so you get the ownership and the buy in from them. Discover the things that motivate them to accomplish these goals. Now, a lot of people think that the greatest motivator is money and in a lot of ways and for some people it is. For some folks, money is a great motivator, but not for everybody. Your admin folks, your administrative folks share high C’s or high S’s. Money is not their big motivator, most likely. If they are not a high economic in their values. If you have not done values, you need to do those for your team as well. If they are not a high economic thing, guess what? Money is not the thing that motivates them. You need to discover those things to help them accomplish these goals. If you don’t know what values are and make sure you go to the store and take a look at it, it will make a heck of a lot more sense.

So as I go through this, if you’ve not learned that yet, you need to. You’ve got to get this done because it will change the way you look at your team. If I have somebody who’s a high theoretical and I am pushing them to accomplish specific goals, then dangling money in front of them is most likely not going to be the thing that motivates them. High theoreticals can be highly motivated by cultural events, so I may give them the opportunity for money, but I’m probably going to give them the opportunity to teach or you know, here’s tickets to this cultural event that is right up your alley. I had a team member that was heavy into civil war reenactment. If I would have dangled a an event and you know, attached to a goal, man, that would’ve been crazy motivating. But if I would have attached money to it, it might’ve been okay, might not have been that great of a deal if I have somebody who’s crazy economic money is the first thing out there, I am definitely throwing money out there.

You have to understand the things that motivate the people who are going to be implementing this process. So as you do that, it really helps you to get them moving in that direction because they’re seeing something other than just big goal. Now the goals themselves should be motivating if it’s benefiting them in the process and it will definitely benefit them because now they have more of a vision. Now they have something to accomplish. They feel like they’re part of the process in making that happen. So that’s going to be a big piece. But I also don’t want you to miss out on some of those individual motivators that can drive somebody to be even more successful in the process. So to recap, write the vision down. Write the steps that it takes to accomplish it. Put measurements in place. Get rid of the roadblocks. Get rid of the fear.

Make sure that you’re taxing the collective intelligence, and discover the things that are going to motivate people to accomplish these goals. If you put these things in place, I promise you, you will knock your goals out of the park. Now, if you want a pdf download of the info in this episode as a checklist for goal setting, go to ChrisLoCurto.com/308, and you can get that download right now. Well folks, hopefully that has helped you today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode. [/accordion-item][/accordion]



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

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