Why Team Goals Work When This Specific Carrot is On the Line

I have yet to meet an ambitious professional who isn’t goal-driven. While there are certainly varying methods of goal-setting, research done by Dr. Gail Matthews found people are 42 percent more likely to achieve a goal if it’s written down.

The challenge is, your goal-driven mindset could hurt you if you’re leading a team. I know from experience. Early in my career, I set out to get a title that included more prestige, power, and money. When my hard work paid off with the promotion, I pushed my drive and ambition on my new team members. Needless to say, the human steam roller approach didn’t yield the results I had in mind. 

Fast forward five years, and after interviewing hundreds of the best leaders on the planet, it’s clear great leaders understand two simple things about goal setting. First, they know how important goals are because the true meaning of the word “team” means “coming together as a group to achieve a common goal.”  Second, they set goals their team cares about achieving.

“Great leaders set goals their team cares about achieving.”  

Setting a clear goal for your team is instrumental in achieving bigger and better things. There is a formula I wrote about in Building the Best to help leaders set more effective team goals that their team will care about achieving:

Clear Objective +Completion Date + Carrot = Effective Team Goal 

All elements of the formula are key

The reason the formula is so effective is that it speaks to the varied motivations of people on your team. For example, some people are intrinsically motivated to complete a meaningful mission (clear objective), other people may be internally motivated to achieve something based on their competitive nature (completion date), while others may care about getting a reward (carrot).

If your goal speaks to all these different motivators, the entire team will care about achieving it. If you miss part of the formula, the likelihood each team member sustains the amount of work ethic required to achieve the goal is dramatically lowered.  

Can the objective be money?

This formula can be used for both short-term and annual goals for your team. One of the most popular questions I get is in Building the Best Workshops, “Is it ok if my team goal is a revenue goal?” If you lead a team in the business world and revenue is how you’re measured, it is entirely acceptable for the goal to be a revenue or earnings number. However, if you use a revenue goal, make sure your team’s carrot is a bonus for hitting it.

If you want to go next level and go beyond the obvious of a revenue objective, here are a couple of my favorites:

  • Customers Positively Impacted
  • Games Won
  • Industry Award Received
  • Highest Ranking Team in the Company
  • Perfect Execution
  • Number of New Customers Won

How goals get achieved

Once an effective team goal is in place for your team, now the real work begins because setting a team goal and achieving it are two very different things. As Dave Ramsey said, “Goals are dreams with work boots on.”

When you get an entire team making sacrifices and self-disciplined choices, you will be shocked at what your team will achieve.

Help Me Help Others

The best leaders do an incredible job of setting team goals their people care about. What’s the best team goal you have been a part of, clarifying or achieving? How important is setting a team goal?

Join the Next Ultimate Leadership Academy If you are ready to elevate the way you lead, join the next virtual Ultimate Leadership Academy which starts March 18th. Use the code “leader” to get $50 off.

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. He is currently booking events and speaking engagements for 2020. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.  

14 Influencers Who Will Help You Be a Better Leader

People are spending an enormous amount of time each day checking social media. A recent study showed teens are spending as much as nine hours a day, and the average person is spending roughly two hours.

In today’s fast-paced, content-saturated world, who you choose to follow is massively important to your development as a leader.

Instead of trying to change your behavior by checking social media less, you’ll be better served to take a lesson from Tony Robbins: “Who you spend your time with is who you become.” If you are spending two-plus hours online, people you follow online are influencing you, whether you like it or not.

Here are 14 thought leaders you must be following online in order to be a better leader:

Simon Sinek

Simon became well-known for his “Three Golden Circles” TED Talk and hasn’t slowed down. He is constantly stretching people’s thinking about leadership, organizational structure, and busting myths about Millennials. My biggest takeaway from Simon is:

“Leaders aren’t responsible for the results. They are responsible for the people, who are responsible for the results.”

John Maxwell

John really needs no introduction but if you are unfamiliar, he is the author of 21 Laws of Irrefutable Leadership among others. In many ways he has pioneered the modern world of leadership development and he continues to teach and inspire the next generation of leaders. My favorite Maxwell quote is:

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.

Jocko Willink

The former Navy Seal is by far an away the most intense person on the list. The author of Extreme Ownership and host of the Jocko Podcast will push you to levels of discipline you didn’t think were possible from a book, video, or podcast. My favorite Jocko quote is:

“Discipline Equals Freedom”

Dave Ramsey

Dave made millions in his 20s and proceeded to go broke. He clawed his way back to the top by starting a radio show in Nashville. It’s now called The Dave Ramsey Show and it reaches over 10 million people weekly. He is just a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. Here’s one of my favorites:

“Success is a pile of failures you’re standing on top of, instead of underneath.”

Christy Wright

Christy is an amazing woman who works under the tutelage of Dave Ramsey. She brings an inspiring message and voice to people everywhere. Her brand new book, Business Boutique, is extremely well done. She’s a model for work-life balance, inspiring thousands of people to take control of their family and business life so they can work together instead of against each other.

Jon Gordon

Jon is the author of 17 books and his latest, The Power of Positive Leadership, is outstanding. He really should just be called the “positivity guy.” I know with 100 percent certainty that this world needs more optimism and positivity. Jon helps leaders and organizations find just this every single day. One of my favorite quotes includes:

“Great leaders see greatness in others.”

Gary Vaynerchuk

The love-hate relationship I have with Gary is real. Every time I think I am going to start ignoring him, he delivers insight or content that stretches my thinking and motivates me to hustle harder. He is a bit aggressive at times (OK, all the time) but it’s his style, and I appreciate his authenticity. Notable Vaynerchuk insights include, “If you are good enough, no one is stopping you,” and “Nothing valuable comes quick.” But my favorite, which is so important in leadership:

“The journey is everything.”

Lolly Daskal

Lolly has dedicated her life’s work to leadership development and executive coaching. Her brand new book, The Leadership Gap goes a level deeper than most writers are willing to go. As she says:

“We are here to be our most valuable.”

Tim Ferriss

Tim is called the “Opera of Audio,” and his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, has reached over 80 million people. He burst on the scene with his book The 4-Hour Work Week and has gone on to publish three more. Ferriss covers a wide range of topics, so no matter what you’re passionate about, he has covered it and covered it well. His new TV show, Fear{less} is a must watch for any professional leader.

Carson Tate

Carson might be the least known on the list, but she is fantastic. She is an expert when it comes to productivity at work and at home. She is a brilliant teacher and inspiration to professionals everywhere. She’s best known for her personalized approach to productivity called “Work Smarter, Not Harder.” Her content is exceptional on LinkedIn and is paramount for any leader who wants to create better and more balanced lives for their teams without taking a hit on performance.

Tony Robbins

Tony is the man who really modernized the thought leader. His books and programs have motivated, inspired, and changed millions of lives. He has written four best-selling books and, at age 57, feels like he is just getting started. While some people don’t love his approach or style, it’s hard to argue with the results and passionate fan base he attracts around the globe. One of my favorite Tony quotes:

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Tim and Brian Kight

The father son duo host of the Focus 3 Podcast constantly deliver a system of leadership principles that are timeless. Whether it be E + R = O or Eliminate BCD (blame complain defend) it’s applicable for a 5 year old to the CEO of a major corporation. You can listen to my interview with Brian here. Here is one of my favorite quotes from Tim:

“Leaders are people going on a journey and taking other people with them”

Patrick Bet-David

One of the most important parts of leadership is achieving positive results. Bet-David brings an incredible amount of energy and optimism to the world of entrepreneurship and capitalism. Just this week on the Follow My Lead Podcast he said:

“The sooner you can get clear on what you want, you will have an edge on everyone else”

Can’t believe I almost forgot…

Patrick Lencioni

Patrick is the author of one of my favorite leadership books “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team.” He has an unbelievable handle on servant leadership and it’s importance in the workplace for organizational health. One of my favorite leadership quotes for young leaders comes from Lencioni:

“Don’t be scared by a job you haven’t yet had”

A version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com.

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and host of the Follow My LeadPodcast. He is also the author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader, and is passionate about the development of modern professionals. You can find him on instagram @johngeades.