I get most blog material from coaching clients and the situations we face together. Sometimes the issues come from unexpected places, which is the case this week where year to date performance was the source of the challenge. It’s common for goal setting and goal attainment to be our focus, but this week had a different flavor.
We hit our number… Early! Exceeding your goal is one of the best rewards a business leader receives. So now what? Celebrate the win, recognize good performance and jobs well done; then, coast for the remainder of the year like Christmas come early. Uhhhh, No.
Achieving your goal is not a reason to quit working
The client was actually in a bit of a funk and was having some difficulty putting their finger on why. We set stretch goals at the beginning of the year and are killing it on the numbers. What’s the problem?
After a healthy discussion of various challenges typical of any business, the malaise boiled down to a simple factor. We were so far out front in the race that the thrill of the competition had subsided, all the bad guys are dead. Should we just chill for a little while because I wouldn’t mind a nap?
We are called to work
Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman , and the alien, may be refreshed.
Exodus 23:12 ESV
Our very nature is such that we need to apply ourselves to some steady work and rest an appropriate amount. When we lose zeal for the work, it can result in a sort of boredom or apathy. It is not good for us or our business when people grow bored, apathetic, disengaged, and unchallenged.
What was unusual this week was the source of the boredom being success. What do you do when you reach your goals?
Here are some suggestions to help you avoid complacency stemming from success:
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Proverbs 27:1 ESV
Nothing Is Certain
It ain’t over till it’s over and the future is not certain. It is a prideful disposition that gloats over a victory or takes it for granted. It is fundamentally sound and a great spiritual discipline to pray and practice living for today. Don’t fall into complacency stemming from success, nor should you fall into fear when you are facing trials. Do everything to the glory of God each and every day.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
Focus On Your Culture
It is hard to imagine anyone from owner to employee espousing a culture of complacency. Lead by doing your best work always. It may seem like some people want to be complacent but rarely will they confess it in public. It’s the leader’s job to stretch the team members to perform to their capabilities. Anyone you really want on the team, including yourself, feels better and is more engaged when they perform better. Openly promote the necessity to keep working effectively no matter what as part of the culture. Nobody should walk across the finish line.
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
Ecc 11:6 ESV
Set New Goals
If you are so far in front that the race is surely won, strive for a new stretch goal. The original goal has become obsolete and you need a new target to invigorate your drive to produce honorable work. Maintain integrity in any bonus plans or awards to team members by honoring your commitments, but there is nothing wrong with setting new goals and placing full emphasis on hitting the new objective. You may create a new incentive for the new goals. We may have been going for a personal best but now striving for the world record!
This week we set our minds to taking some clear steps to drive out complacency that was arising out of our success.