Whether you’re managing a team or are part of a team that want to take it to the next level, it’s time to explore the power of goal setting.
Today we’re going to explore the common myths about team goals and some of the practical outcomes of connecting a team through goal setting.
Ready to kick things off? Scroll on down.
Why team goals are so powerful.
Have you ever experienced being part of a group where you just clicked? Maybe a High School Camp, or a Contiki tour. Where a group of strangers connect and no matter what want to stay together?
You swap numbers, become Facebook friends, all while swearing that you will be BFFs always. Then two weeks pass, one month passes. Nothing. No one has stayed connected. Have you ever wondered why that happens?
It’s because they no longer have a reason to stay connected. A team without goals is like a car with no fuel. There is nothing driving them forward.
Let’s put this in a work context. You have a team of individuals, all doing their own thing and working in silos. Sure, they get work done, but they don’t do it as a collective. As their boss, you can see there could be so many more connection points that bring progress. Your team could be so much better if they would only unite.
An introduction to team goals.
Well-chosen goals are the non-negotiables of developing a high-performing team. If you find a team that doesn’t have stretch goals they’re working towards, then you’ve found a team quickly moving towards dysfunction, or at best silos.
Instead, if you find a who are super clear about their goals, clear about the effort required to hit those goals and willing to lean into the challenge, then you will see a team who are highly functioning. Maybe even one capable of building a true legacy.
Ambition is a powerful tool when harnessed well, but it can be a very destructive tool if handled poorly. By setting good goals you can unite individuals and create a tsunami of energy that can take your team to great heights.
Before we dive into creating team goals, let’s look at some of the most common myths surrounding goal setting.
Common misconceptions about team goals:
#1: You don’t need team goals if you’ve got work ethic
If all we do is expect effort from our people without providing them markers of success, then we are setting them up for disillusionment. It’s like asking them to draw a stunning picture, telling them it’s beautiful, then ripping it up in front of them and asking them to go again. It messes with our human psyche. We are wired for progress.
If we consider the science of motivation for a moment, it shows that for people to stay motivated long-term they need to feel a sense of progress. Goals give us that sense of progress, especially when we track our results along the way visually using something like a whiteboard or a digital tally. They are the flag on the hill, the finish line, the end of the road we focus on when the going gets tough.
On the flip side, if we push our teams to ‘work work work’ without any clear goal or sense of accomplishment, it’s a sure-fire way to sending them into a tailspin of disengagement.
#2: B.A.U objectives gives us more than enough goals
It’s called work for a reason. We’re well aware that you need to produce results for your boss, the board and the shareholders. That’s not in question at all, but all those B.A.U goals will do is get you to average. Maybe a little bit above average if you really push it.
You don’t want to be a part of an average team, do you? You want to an outstanding team. One where the individuals not only achieve great work results but grow as people and become the kind of innovators that can take you further than any BAU goal could imagine.
The best teams, the truly great ones, have goals for themselves and how they will serve their industry, their families and the world around them. The transaction of B.A.U work alone won’t do this.
By tapping into team goals, goals with a greater purpose, goals that invest in the human side of your people… well, that’s like putting a match up to their potential and setting it on fire. Now that sounds exciting, right?
#3: Team goals need to be S.M.A.R.T
You’ve heard this all before. Specific, measurable, achievable, etc… Sorry ‘bout that.
The truth is SMART goals are the security blanket of the average team. The great ones dare to dream bigger than stuff that can be neatly formatted into a spreadsheet.
The biggest problem with only setting SMART goals, is they miss the point of what striving for the big goals can teach us.
We shouldn’t only set the goals we can realistically achieve. We need to leave room for the ones that will stretch us.
Great goals should make us feel both inspired and alive and in equal parts terrified and nervous. That is where true growth happens.
How to set team goals:
Here are some questions that you can answer with your team to help shape the beginning of some exciting and inspiring stretch goals.
If we had half the time, or half the budget, how would our approach change?
How can we break down a big goal into manageable parts to get it done?
What are the wider trends we can align our goals to?
What are the goals that will unite us and make us have to rely on each other more?
If you’ve been looking for a program to develop your team and clarify your team goals, identity and much more, check out Great Team Framework.