Should the manager set measurable or unmeasurable goals?

One of the basic features of everyone who is a good manager is setting, communicating and executing goals in a way that motivates and engages the entire team to achieve it.

A matter of purpose

One of the basic features of everyone who is a good manager is setting, communicating and executing goals in a way that motivates and engages the entire team to achieve it. Almost every manager knows it and almost everyone has taken part in „management through goals” training in his work. However, in my career, there were also situations where I did not achieve my goal for the first time. I can call such situations „a life lesson”. So how do I manage to achieve some goals with success and others not? What is the phenomenon of setting goals so that I can easily achieve them and achieve success? Or maybe the goal does not have to be measurable?

The goal doesn’t have to be measurable, but the results do

The Polish Language Dictionary PWN translates the goal as „ what is been sought”, „what is something to serve”(1). According to Plato, the intentional cause of material world are ideas. Such an idea is perfection, which is also a value and every goal, often called a vision, is alway based on values. The largest companies in the world have been using this knowledge for a long time and communicate their goals through their ideas and values. For example Philips – Let’s make things better; Mastercard – World beyond cash; Omega Pilzno – Integrated Logistics – We connect and develop the global business world. The goal is also the usefulness of the results.

The results, however concern perception it means I can see them, listen to or touch, smell or taste. According to Christina Hall „The results are described in language based on senses, from different perspective positions. The achievement of a given result can be tested and verified in external sensory experience”(3). So this definition assumes that I can also quantify and measure my results in some way.

As a manager, no matter how big or small the team I manage, it is worth asking myself if I know exactly what my goal is? Why do I go to my external or internal client? For example, do I usually go to sell my products, services or sign several contracts? – Results. Do I go to implement the latest solutions in order to modernize and develop my client’s company? – Purpose. In order to increase own efficiency and results, it is worth focusing on a specific goal based on values in the first step. Then specifying and measuring the results, for instance, how will I know that I achieved my goal? Because results are always part of the goal that operates in a broader context and evolves through time.

A purpose beyond my own identity – „The goal of good influence.”

In 1903, the brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright fulfilled their great dream. They believed that if they had invented a flying machine they would change the course of the world. They had their „the goal of good influence” going beyond their own identity. A goal that also went beyond the material needs of the individual such as money or fame and focused on improving the quality of life of all people in the world.

According to a report by an independent advisory group in cooperation with former Procter and Gamble CMO, Jim Stengel. Data from 10-year growth survey of over 50,000 brands around the world show that companies (and their managers) that, at the center of all their achievements improve people’s quality of life have a growth rate threefold compared to their competitors and outweigh the huge market margin. A Deloitte survey on the workplace revealed a close correlation between goal and profit. In the summary of the study „Goal drives profits and confidence”, CEO Punit Renjen said: „A strong sense of purpose forces companies to take a long look and invest in development. And it manifests itself in many ways.the goal increases the involvement of managers at all levels, employees, clients and shareholders”.

When a manager focuses on his/her „goal of good influence” based on value and mission and on added values for her/his client, such as his development, modernization of the client’s company thanks to the products or services he/she increases, her/his achievements rate three times. It is worth specifying my „goal of good influence” an its measurable results.

[1] PWN Polish Language Dictionary, Warsaw 2019
[2] PWN Popular Encyclopedia, Warsaw 2010

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