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On April 27, 2002, I ran and finished (barely) the Nashville Rock n Roll Marathon.  In November of 2001, the most I had ever run at one time was a 10K, or 6.2 miles.  One beautiful Saturday morning on my way to Home Depot, I saw my neighbor out running.  An hour and a half later, on my way home, I passed him again, still running.  Later, I asked him what he was training for and he said nothing, he just liked to run 15 or so miles every Saturday.  He said if I would commit to a marathon, he would train and run it with me.  So, I thought what the heck.  That’s a bucket list item for most pseudo runner guys.

Yes, there was an Internet back in 2001, and I ran across a marathon training program with a step-by-step calendar detailing daily runs and weekly mileage to ramp up to a 26.2 mile marathon over a 6 month period.  I had identified a clear goal, Run and Finish the Nashville Marathon and I had a clear daily and weekly set of goals and milestones to ensure I reached my goal.  Without the training program, keeping me on track, I would have likely failed at my attempt.

It’s easy to see the benefits of goals in sports and goal-setting is very prevalent there.  However, in the business world, goal-setting tends to be far less common.  Even when goals are set, oftentimes there is no plan, like my marathon training program, to set milestones and daily and weekly steps to accomplish the tasks needed to reach your goal.

If I had skipped my long runs of 14, 16 and up to 22 miles each Saturday, how would I have been able to run 26.2 miles.  Similarly, if your company has a particular goal say to reach a certain profit-level, quarterly revenue, or cashflow percentage or maybe it’s related to fewer accidents, more products or more efficient production… what steps can you put in place to make sure your whole company or department is on the same page and working on the right things to ensure your goal is reached?

One of my favorite goal-setting books was one I read as a 19-year old college student.  Zig Ziglar’s See You At the Top.  I’ve used the ideas in this book for my entire business life, with varying degrees of commitment and results.  The times our company was really good and diligent about goal-setting and tracking towards those goals, we definitely so much greater results than the times when we were not as diligent.

What are the benefits of goal-setting?

  1. Accomplish more than you could accomplish otherwise
  2. Get your whole company on the same page
  3. Develop milestones that help you see where you are at
  4. Feel the satisfaction of a mission accomplished