When your organization sets goals and ambitions, what are they based on? You would like to think that they are based on the direction the organization wants to go. However, you have probably noticed that is not always the case. In this episode, we discuss three clear signs that fear is altering your organization’s goals and ambitions.
- No goals or ambitions
- Play it safe
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1. No Goals or Ambitions.
I remember having an extensive conversation with a person who believed goals led to despair and resentment.
He did not set any weight-loss goals, because he believed if you did not hit your target weight, you would feel like you failed (and no one likes to feel like a failure).
He had no ambitions for his professional life and no goals for his family life.
When your fears keep you from setting goals, you will find it difficult to know where you stand. Whether your organization is progressing towards success or drifting towards failure. For the person I was talking to, he did not set goals or pursue his ambitions because he feared failure.
Instead of embracing the correction (feeling of failure) of having a goal to guide you, he avoided correction and the results showed as much.
His career was stagnant and he had gained close to 100lbs. Since your goals are the compass to your purpose, you do not always “need” a goal to know you are not where you want to be. I do not need to set a weight-loss goal to know that gaining 100lbs does not feel right.
Does this extra 100lbs make me look fatter?
Where clear goals and ambitions become important is when you are slowly drifting off-course. You may not want to wake up 100lbs heavier before you realize you are not going in the right direction.
Consider people wear spandex and loose-fitting clothes that allow them to gain weight without realizing how much.
You will find the same level of unawareness within your organization as well. By having your organization set reasonable and measurable goals, it will be forced to be accountable for the extra weight it put on.
Do not allow your organization to have “loosely” defined goals or goals that are too easy to achieve. You will find it is no different than not having goals at all.
I have always been a fan of the SMART goal approach (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound).
2. Play it safe.
When dealing with the fear of inadequacy in your organization, it is difficult to believe growth is possible. Leadership either does not believe in themselves, their people, or their product.
If your organization is a company, then the fear of inadequacy may manifest itself by the need for the organization to always offer discounts and say yes to all customer requests.
When you are not comfortable saying no, you do not believe in your organization. Organizations need to have standards of what they will and will not accept. By allowing fear to influence your decisions, you will never feel comfortable rejecting any of your customers’ demands.
Playing it safe can also exhibit itself in the goals your organization sets each year. If your organization is an organized cause you are passionate about, you may be focused on building awareness about the cause.
If your efforts this year generated 10,000 volunteers and $1,000,000 in donations (best year to date), the fear of judgement may have you worried about what will happen if this year was an anomaly.
You got to have faith
Instead of having faith in your mission, you decide to base next year’s expectations off a lower year of donations from three years ago.
Whenever you find yourself worried about what others are thinking and how they will respond, it is likely the fear of judgment that you have encountered.
By playing it safe, we believe we can avoid failure, overwhelm, and embarrassment. The only thing we are really avoiding by playing it safe is our purpose and potential.
Do you sabotage your organization’s success? I am sure the answer would be, “No! Never!” Yet, when they start to describe the obstacles they are facing within their organization, it becomes abundantly clear that they are. Whether this is on a conscious or a subconscious level, the organization is falling short of its potential because of the decisions people are making.
When it comes to your goals and ambitions, if you are postponing what needs to be done, you are sabotaging your organization’s growth. Understand there is always a “better time.” Whether that involves more resources or more analysis, waiting for a better time is not going to help in most situations.
You will find procrastination can result from a fear of success, a fear of failure, and every fear in-between. It is the overall reaction to the uncertainty around change that makes it difficult for organizations to do what is necessary.
The blame game.
When an organization is frequently blaming others for their own problems and difficulties, you can be sure that organization is not working on a solution. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the blame game. When you look inward to understand how you can fix something, you are going to find there is a lot more that you can control than you realize.
When organizations blame others, they are never setting goals that can resolve their issue. This is because they believe their issue is outside of their control.
Even if your competitors or other members of the team played a vital role in the organization’s shortfall, it is still your organization. This means you can adjust to any situation if you believe you have the control to do so.
Remember, even though you cannot control every outcome, you can control your effort and how you respond to each situation.
Results not guaranteed.
When you combine the fear of uncertainty with the fear of something bad happening, it will cause most people to stop in their tracts. We all want to know our time and effort is not going to be wasted, but there is little anyone can do to comfort your concern.
The reality is that you are going to work on projects that are going to fail miserably. The “sure-bet” is not so sure after all. The opposite is also true. You are going to have situations where you believe failure is imminent, and you will find yourself stumbling on a million-dollar idea.
The best advice I can give you is if you only put in the effort for “sure-bets,” you will find you are wasting more time than if you put in maximum effort all the time.
Do not be concerned about the uncertainty surrounding your goals and ambitions, nor allow yourself to be overly concerned about the worst-case scenario. These subtle forms of self-sabotage will alter your decision-making process and become self-fulfilling prophesies.
To align your organization’s goals and ambitions with its overall mission, you must be honest about what actions you need to perform. Once you have a plan and the actions you need to take, act. It is the action that overcomes all fears and anxiety.