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:
- Goals seem unattainable.
- Deliverables aren’t challenging.
- Poor time management skills.
- Leaders who don’t follow through. Missing deadlines didn’t matter in the past.
- Lack of emotional connection.
- No compelling “why.” Goals are not tied to mission or vision.
- Lack of confidence to act. Fear of failure.
- Perfectionism. If it can’t be done perfectly it won’t get done at all.
- Deadlines are put off because they are too distant to matter today.
What strategies do you use to motivate people who miss deadlines?
Employees who miss deadlines definitely present a challenge. I think the more concrete and measurable the milestones are between initiating the project and meeting the deadline, the better. And I think a corporate culture that unknowingly “rewards” people who “work better at the last minute” sets the wrong tone. Somehow it mostly comes back to hiring people with the capacity to hold themselves accountable from the get-go. My family is hoping I pull it together for that gift-giving deliverable (tick/tock times running out!).
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, Dan. I know without a doubt the celebration will be all the more sweet having been through the recent weeks of adversity. I am not surprised that the LF community is lifting emotionally and financially; you have given us all so much. Thank YOU for being willing to receive graciously; I know it must not be easy.
Well said, Dan! Thanks for the reminder. Always enjoy your helpful pearls of wisdom! Merry Holidays & a rockin’ 2012 to you and your loved ones!!
Reblogged this on lharreld1 and commented:
Goals need to have meaning for the team if your company is going to hit the target.
Setting deadlines and time frames for completion of tasks has been very helpful to me. It also gives managers time to organize and plan out their time knowing when tasks need to be completed.
If the leadership of a company enforces meeting deadlines it becomes a culture within the company.
Dan, I want to wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas! I hope you conitnue on your road to recovery and look forward to a new year of your leadership blogs.
Good stuff as usual.
Merry Christmas. There are other elements why people miss deadlines. Lack of resources and capacity, when people do not have resources, deadlines do not motivate them. Even if they are emotionally concerned and connected, they are helpless, because they do not have resources. When people do not have capacity, then also deadlines do not motivate. But I think, both situations actually build lasting relationship. We need will power and emotion to meet deadlines or even to help someone in need.
I strongly feel that blessing and sensitivity towards the pain of others heal pain more than anything else. I suggest people to strengthen their will and intention to meet deadlines. When they do not have capacity or resources, they should bring to the notice of people.
We send blessings to you and your familiy, best wishes
Connect the goals and keep them connected. Connect the people and goals and keep them connected.
Shine a light on it, keep talking about it…frequently…if it isn’t consistently on the leader’s radar screen and urgent, why do it? Its not going to be urgent for anyone else. Flavors (Initiatives) of the month turn sour and leave a long lasting bad aftertaste.
Remembering Dilbert’s 25 priority focus areas…like any one person can have 25 priorities…and an organization is entity that ebbs and flows and has a short attention span just like people. Break it down and assign time frames, provide support…and f/u.
Studer cites the inconsistent and late performance appraisal piece as one of the frequent weak links that leaders just don’t prioritize. It is such a golden opportunity to reflect on what has gone well, what has been achieved and also to hold accountable-both parties, for future goals and initiatives. It is not an annual thing, needs to be quarterly or even more frequent. It does not have to be the Spanish Inquisition, a periodic check-in of 10-20 minutes once a month. (Leaders might identify how many unproductive meetings they have in a week or month and reallocate that time to the check-ins instead.) Those can be periodic performance appraisals…both ways…is the leader providing the service (tools, resources, time) to the employee to deliver the goal? How is the goal going? Celebrate if going well and brainstorm if barriers have been encountered. Re-engage the urgency and connect with goals/vision/values
Reblogged this on Anggacafla's Blog and commented:
I can relate to this one a personal level; deadlines are brutal for me!
Great post! I think the “so what” of a goal is a critical part of the ownership. Too often, organizations do not explain the consequences of not hitting a goal. Or the individuals on the team never “feel” the consequences of not hitting a goal. Yet people are “surprised” when layoffs occur, budget cuts are required, or bonuses are less than they had hoped. As leaders, we have to help connect it all together and paint the bigger picture. So what if you don’t get something done on time – here’s what happens…. and it’s not just about retribution for not doing their job, it’s about what happens to the other team counting on their output, or the Customers who suffer because a deliverable was missed.
Thanks for inspiring us as we start back to work after the holidays! This is a great reminder of what we should be doing to help our teams “own” the goals.
Getting employees to stay motivated regarding their goals on the job can get a little tough during the Holidays as everyone is distracted by the extra tasks and obligations they have. As an office manager being aware of these additional stresses on my staff, I try to make sure deadlines for big projects are due several weeks before the Holidays. This has allowed everyone to be able to enjoy the few weeks before the Holidays much more and believe it or not we are all much more productive because of it. Thanks for your blog, I enjoy it.
This is great guidance for leaders / managers looking to motivate their team members. People seem to invest more when they get to decide a goal is important rather than being told that they should think it’s important.
What do you suggest for employees / followers faced with managers that don’t lead and aren’t interested in preserving deadlines, or empowering their team members?
Broad question but it’s not unusual.
1. Don’t threaten passive leaders
2. Offer to be helpful.
3. Get permission or authority to take the lead in this area.
4. Always meet and exceed your responsibilities.
Just some thoughts….
We live in a world now where pay or even having a job isn’t necessary motivation despite the economy we live in now. Employees feel entitled and management gets even more hands dealt. I think coaching thru a first task or two is perfectly fine but in my opinion as an employee you should understand the rank of command and that you choose to serve at this particular job. I think a key to this is perspective or vision, seeing the bigger picture. We are all lucky to even have jobs not only does an employee need to own the task but also own their motivation. How do we get them to do that?