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Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.

Goal

You can almost hear the words echoing in the scratchy distance of old recordings, like Teddy Roosevelt proclaiming, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

In Business:

You can only manage what you measure.  Goals are the ultimate form of measurement.

The biggest problem with goals in business is that when you set a goal (or have it set for you) and reach it, the reward is usually just a higher goal (i.e. more work, moving the goalpost). 

“Hey, you hit 10,000.  Great job.  Let’s do 12,000 next month.  Congratulations!”

Me?  I like business goals where the reward is freedom. 

Here’s the goal.  If it takes you twenty days to meet or twenty hours, it doesn’t matter.  Hit it and you’re done for the month. 

Add bonus money to the equation in lieu of free time and you’ll make it doubly enticing.  Now you’re playing in two economies instead of one (remember the three economies: time, money and liberty).

What’s the ultimate benefit to this model?  The people who’ll gravitate to this arrangement are the exact kind of people you want working in your business.

In Life:

Growing up, we have our goals set for us with each passing school year.  But after we graduate, unless we land at a company with a structured hierarchy (like a law firm, for example), we enter a “goal-free zone.”

For most of us, it’s BYOG — Bring Your Own Goals.

The key to reaching a goal is the exact opposite of operating a Ron Popiel product.  Set it and never forget it!

So remember…

Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.

— J. C. Penney

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