Discover the Surprising Reason Most Leaders Fail to Achieve Their Goals – and How You Too Might Be Accidentally Sabotaging Your Success
By John Boggs
It’s a brand-new year – and that means one thing to leaders like us:
A lengthy, new list of goals we’d like to accomplish in the next 12 months!
But what many leaders don’t realize is that there’s a sneaky way that our ambition can sabotage our ability to achieve our goals.
In this article, I’ll reveal how your bold vision of success can hinder your ability to make progress on your goals, as well as four powerful ideas that will help you make significant progress in creating a life and business you love.
These ideas come from The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Sean Covey, which is book #9 on my list of the Top 10 Most Influential Leadership Books.
What Goals Do You Want to Accomplish in 2021?
Think for a minute about all you’d like to accomplish this year. If you’re like me and most leaders I know, you’ve set goals in all areas of your life, such as:
- Health goals. Do you want to lose weight, build strength, increase your flexibility, or finally get in shape? Do you want to improve your sleep or perhaps work on increasing mental clarity?
- Financial goals. Do you want to make more money – enough money to buy a new house, a new car, a dream vacation, or some other wish list item? Do you want to have more money so you can support your favorite charities and causes? Do you want to bless someone you love with a financial gift that will surprise, delight and support them?
- Relationship goals. Is 2021 the year you’ll finally find the love of your life – or increase the passion and connection in your existing relationship? Do you want to heal rifts in an existing relationship that suffers from conflict and misunderstanding?
- Business goals. Have you set your sights on growing your company’s revenue and profits – perhaps exponentially? Do you have plans for rolling out new products and services, tackling new markets, and increasing your brand awareness? Do you dream of starting a new business – or even pursuing a brand-new career?
Out of all of these goals that you’ve set for 2021, what is the major goal that you have? What’s the #1 goal that you want to achieve above all others?
As you’re about to discover, being able to discern which of these goals is the most important to you will transform the results you achieve this year.
The Biggest Challenge Great Leaders Face When Trying to Achieve Goals
Great leaders dream big and set ambitious goals. We dream of making an impact and create clear visions of where we want to end up.
Yet, it’s common to struggle mightily with getting yourself to take action on your goals – or even more often, to get your team to do what needs to be done to accomplish your goal.
I used to struggle with this a lot. I’d have a clear picture of what I wanted to do and what I wanted my company to achieve. Yet, it was often difficult to get everyone on the same page.
Then I read The 4 Disciplines of Execution. Sean Covey is the son of the famed Stephen Covey, personal development expert and author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, another book in this series.
As the son of another prominent personal development figure, I have a lot of affinity for Sean Covey and the fact that he forged his own path. One of the many great pieces of work he has produced is this powerful book.
The 4 disciplines that Covey outlines are:
- Focus on the Wildly Important
- Act on Lead Measures
- Create a Compelling Scorecard
- Create a Cadence of Accountability
Today — particularly right now, at the start of a brand-new year — the first discipline is the most important.
Focus on the Wildly Important to Achieve Your Goals
Earlier in this article, I asked you to identify the ONE goal that’s most important to you this year. If you could get only one thing done, what would it be?
It may seem like an impossible challenge. After all, if you focus on only ONE thing, you’ll be leaving so much behind, unchanged and less than satisfactory.
Here’s the surprising thing I learned, however. Studies show that:
- People who focus on 1 — at most, 2 — goals tend to achieve 1 to 2 goals.
- People who set 3 to 7 goals are lucky if they get 1 goal accomplished.
- People who set more than 7 goals get NOTHING done.
The takeaway? Distilling your focus down to one or two goals makes a huge difference in your ability to create results.
So what’s most important to you this year? Pick the one goal – or two goals, tops — that are wildly important to you and make them your focus.
Claim Your Goal
To transform this powerful insight from something interesting you learned into a strategy that changes your life and results, I invite you to take action. Specifically, claim your Wildly Important Goal — your WIG. Claim it by announcing it to yourself — and then add it to the chat below.
Join the conversation with “My WIG for 2021 is ….”
To lead the way, I’ll share my WIG for 2021: To continue focusing primarily on my health and well-being.
I made great strides in 2020, and I will continue to execute on this goal throughout the next 12 months. I want to be lean, strong, fit — I want to sleep well, wake well-rested, think clearly, and continue to lead effectively.
I challenge you to say yes to the future you want to create by sharing your WIG below. I also challenge you to take a second step – share this blog post with someone you care about who is committed to achieving their goals in 2021.
Create your own accountability group of people who are ready to make the most of the coming year and achieve their Wildly Important Goals.
See you soon for the next blog in this series!
Go get your Leadership Meditation HERE!