Fear and Excitement From Goals

Quick Insight

Your metrics are not your strategy. They measure key aspects of your strategy. Employees can focus on the metrics at the expense of the company’s success. For each of your metrics, identify how your employees may act, both good and bad, to achieve the target. Performance metrics must be paired with the guardrails of strong company ethics and internal control structure.

The two biggest emotions I’ve felt at the start of goals for a year or project are fear and excitement.

Fear is normal. Stretch goals are daunting. Don’t ignore what people are feeling. Acknowledge it and do what you can to inspire confidence.

One way to do this is to remember past targets that were achieved. Remember how that goal felt at the beginning of the year and then how it was achieved. I’ve been part of senior management teams that set goals that I saw as extremely difficult. We achieved more than I thought. People rise to the challenge. I’ve seen the business environment change during the year to make it easier to achieve goals. Yes, sometimes the environment changes against you, too.

Having goals helps you see more opportunities in your business environment. It’s hard to see what you aren’t looking for.

The second emotion is excitement. It’s fun and motivational to dream of what we can accomplish. Capitalize on this to build energy at the beginning of new KPI targets and business goals. Celebrate your achievements throughout the year to continue the momentum.

I wish you the motivation from fear and excitement to achieve your goals. I wish you well.

- Rob Stephens

Further Insight

CFO Perspective Resources

  • Video: Setting KPI Targets. - Setting KPIs is an important step towards achieving success. The right targets will stretch your company to achieve more. Poor targets confuse and demoralize employees. I’ll help you overcome common struggles with setting targets.
  • Course: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and KPI Dashboards - KPIs are more than metrics. They’re the foundation of your most important decisions. KPIs define success to drive success. This course explains: how to choose metrics,  KPI dashboard tips, the process of implementing KPIs, and managing with KPIs.
  • Course: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) - What performance secret can you learn from Google, Intel, and Intuit? Objectives and Key Results, also known as OKRs, have become very popular for improving company performance. OKRs can improve focus, engagement, innovation, and performance. I'll walk you step-by-step through how to implement OKRs at your company.
  • Book: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and KPI Dashboards - With well-defined and well-managed KPIs, you can align your company’s vision from the ground up and maintain steady progress toward your goals. Get tips on dashboard best practices. Avoid common mistakes managers make with KPIs. I’ll guide you through the implementation process so you can start achieving your goals ASAP.

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