Apparently when riding the underground people look up at the map and check their progress on average every 40 seconds. Most of these people know exactly where they are going and when they will get there, so why do they do it? I suspect the answer has a lot to do with the need to track advancement and ensure that they are indeed reaching their destination, which is a bit strange considering they are on a rail line and the likelihood of them not getting there is pretty much zero.
Now let’s translate this to our own goals, whether they are in life, work, sport or whatever, we are consistently told how important they are and I am sure that most people set them in one way or another. However, the question is this…
‘How often do you track your progress and ensure that you are indeed reaching your destination?’
Individuals, businesses and even parents have become great at developing goals and targets, whilst not only ensuring they are smart, but also placing them in a gorgeous laminated folder and filing them under ‘G’. The same can also often be said for business strategies. People seem to enjoy setting them (or more likely feel they have to), but when it comes to implementation something falls down.
Let’s go back to that underground journey. Imagine you realise that you’re on the wrong train and are not going to make your destination. What do you do? Well of course, you would get off and find the next available train that gets you to your stop. Maybe you would need to adapt your journey a bit and perhaps even get more than one train, but it’s far better than staying on the original train and ending up somewhere you don’t want to be.
Seems obvious really, doesn’t it? Yet, in business and in life we continually fail to do this very thing. It’s as if we set our goals and then forget we ever did them. Only once we’ve reached our destination (the wrong one) do we turn around and look for someone to blame.
You see it couldn’t be your fault; you set the goal, so the hard part was done, surely? Well no, just as the driver is not to blame for the fact you are on the wrong track, your team, your friends, your enemies are not to blame for your failure to achieve your goal. If you didn’t check your progress, it’s your fault you end up in the wrong place.
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