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Week of 11/20/23

Morning Minute: 11/21/23

“How Do YOU Measure Success?”

The room became very quiet after the speaker was introduced.

The District Attorney began to share his accomplishments since his election 3 years ago. He began addressing the reorganization of his department. His staff had increased by 45%. The budget increased by 60%. He had added 3 new services to encourage community involvement. These were the improvements he shared before taking questions.

Questions were asked about the increasing crime rate, the backlog of old cases, and the ratio of cases settled vs those taken to trial. There were questions about convictions vs losses, and why his increased staff and budget had not produced more positive results.

This interaction highlights the mistake of addressing the wrong items to measure success. The DA measured success based on increasing staff, budget, and services. The voters measured his success based on convictions, crime rate, and case backlog. He lost the next election.

To effectively measure success, you must first set S.M.A.R.T. goals. They must be Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Timely. For instance, you set a “goal” to increase sales in 2024. To be an real goal, you must set a monetary amount or percentage increase (Specific, Measurable). Who will be responsible for achieving that goal (Accountable)? Is the goal achievable (Realistic)? When will the goal be accomplished (Timely)?

Goals must be in alignment with what your “audience” requires. The DA’s goals did not align with what the voters expected, so he was voted out.  Additionally, are your people being paid based on your goals? For instance, if your business goals include increasing sales by 20% for 2024, but your manager is being paid strictly on net profit, then these goals are not aligned. For example.

In 2000, a new GM was installed at a failing dealership. His compensation was based 100% on net profit. In 2001, net profit was 5 times higher than in 2000. In 2002, net profit was 8 times higher than 2000. In 2003, he was replaced. The owner stated all “he had accomplished was increasing profit;” (the exact amount on which he was being paid). The owner shared that he expected much more than greatly increased profit. What he expected and what he paid for were not aligned. What you pay for must align with your goals. Remember, you will only achieve what you pay for.

To summarize, set your goals based on the correct expectations. Be sure to follow the S.M.A.R.T. qualifications. Communicate these to your team. Then, measure the items aligned with your goals.

“How Do YOU Measure Success?”

That is today’s Morning Minute.