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Christmas, Goals, and Deadlines

Deadlines don’t motivate until goals have meaning. People must personally own goals before deadlines create urgency, focus, decisiveness, and action.

Today is Christmas Eve. It’s the motivating deadline for millions of procrastinators. The goal of giving gifts to loved ones makes this deadline matter.


Throwing a timeline with deadlines at team members is a powerful tool but doesn’t always work.

Goal-ownership makes deadlines meaningful and useful. Spend more time discussing, clarifying, and if necessary, selling goals. Explain goals in terms that matter to them rather than you.

The people on your team who miss deadlines may not own the goals.

10 more reasons people miss deadlines:

  1. Goals seem unattainable.
  2. Deliverables aren’t challenging.
  3. Poor time management skills.
  4. Leaders who don’t follow through. Missing deadlines didn’t matter in the past.
  5. Lack of emotional connection.
  6. No compelling “why.” Goals are not tied to mission or vision.
  7. Discouragement.
  8. Lack of confidence to act. Fear of failure.
  9. Perfectionism. If it can’t be done perfectly it won’t get done at all.
  10. Deadlines are put off because they are too distant to matter today.

What strategies do you use to motivate people who miss deadlines?


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