Developing the Killer Goal – What are You Really Doing?


“Never mistake activity for achievement.” -  John Wooden

In my last post, I shared the 3 magic words (“in order to”) that can help your goals “stick” and make them engaging for you. This post addresses one of the biggest problems I see with the way goals are written: they drive the person toward activities and not an accomplishment.

For example, I frequently see goals like “Make five more sales calls per week over the next year in order to increase my sales numbers.”  Although this goal is structured well, it’s really nothing more than a statement of an activity that needs to be completed to accomplish something bigger.  Even if this person accomplishes this goal, what good does it do? Increasing the number of sales calls may help the person increase overall sales numbers, but it’s probably not the only thing s/he can do. In addition, it can be frustrating if s/he actually did meet the goal of increasing the number of calls with no growth in sales numbers.

A better goal for this person would be “Increase my sales of product XYZ by 10% before the end of the fiscal year in order to help our sales branch win the annual sales competition.” This is a well-written goal because it points the individual toward an accomplishment. This also sets him/her up to list the supporting activities, including increasing the number of sales calls s/he makes during the year.

This problem happens with personal goals, too.  Too many people set a goal to exercise more often when they should be setting weight loss or health goals instead (like “losing 20 pounds before our upcoming cruise”). Additional exercise is one activity that can support the overall goal, but it shouldn’t be the goal itself.

Remember to base your “killer goal” on what you need to accomplish, not what you need to do to get there.

I cover this and other topics on goals in my mini lesson/keynote entitled “Developing the Killer Goal.”  I can also work with your team in reviewing or developing your goals. If you’re interested in learning more, please send me an email ( 

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Kevin JurekComment