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Your Biggest Goal May be your Biggest Obstacle

This morning I came across an article on LinkedIn. The key message was:

"People change when they see who they can become.".

I believe that this is terribly wrong. Even worse, this approach will typically yield the opposite of what it intends to achieve because it puts the focus on a desirable but distant goal, and it introduces a large set of unspecific, hardly quantifiable activities such as "eating healthy" that you cannot possibly get right because there is never a "healthy enough".

So, is there a better approach?

There are three components that make people change:

1 - People change when they have a reason to do so - purpose

2 - They need to realize that it is possible to achieve that change - vision

3 - They need have the ability and the knowledge to take the necessary steps to work towards the change - habits

We all have this friend who, after years or even decades of junk food and lazing around all of a sudden meets a new significant other and is turning all old habits upside down to impress said other. Regardless of whether you agree that this is a good reason to change, the point is that there suddenly was a purpose that required a change. In other words, the intended change was not an end in itself, but a means to an end.

So I will rephrase the initial statement to:

People change when they know why they want to become a different person.

Take this concept and apply it to your organization. Surprisingly, you'll find that your company is the sum of its people and therefore, if they know their "why", your organization will too.

Are you a leader and are wondering why people question why they get up in the morning and come to work for you?

Your organization probably has a purpose statement some core values written down somewhere. The question is: Are you steering with purpose-based KPIs? Or are you describing the shape of your company with metrics like revenue, profit, headcount or some other organizational or financial KPI?


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