A word from a CEO #42

The importance of goal setting

 January is the month for New Year’s resolutions, planning for the year ahead, and goal setting. It’s a time to both reflect and bubble optimism for what lies ahead, and as professionals, it’s a perfect time to take stock of what worked in the year prior, what did not, and think about which goals you want to set for yourself and with your team heading into Q1 2020.

Goal setting – both personally and professionally – is a way to manifest desired outcomes. It helps with driving focus on the right activities that align with both your career and the company’s aspirations. Benjamin Franklin said, “never confuse motion with action.” This is one of my favorite quotes, and the intent is to differentiate between keeping busy, which can often be confused as “work,” and accomplishing meaningful action aimed at servicing a considered goal. 

At Drift, we create cascading company goals at the start of each quarter. We start with the company’s top-level “Big G” goals and then roll them down through the business units and functional teams. We then distribute and share them with all teams so every individual knows how their work affects the achievement of our overall company goals. Here are the guardrails we’ve used for our 2020 goal-setting process:

Goals need 3 things:

  • A clear and SMART statement (SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based)
  • A measurable KPI with a unit of measurement
  • A timeframe of execution

All goals need to be planned with 100% attainment in mind. We write them to hit them and then exceed them. 

These are the priorities. We always will have more things to do, but this is our focus.

As we did last year, we unveil our top-level 2020 goals at our company kickoff and then the leaders of each business unit and functional teams will share their goals, which directly align with the company’s goals. And on it will cascade down.

Of course, our Drift goals are important. But in addition, I’d advise writing down at least 1 or 2 big goals you’d like to achieve for yourself personally in 2020. My big personal goal in 2020 is to run – and complete – my first marathon in April. 

What is something you’re going to set out to accomplish for yourself in 2020?

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