Manager Promises to Set Goals as Soon as He Understands What a Goal is
According to several inside sources, your manager hasn’t released his annual goals for the team because he’s not sure how to create goals, confirming suspicions of many employees.
When asked about how he would set goals and when he was planning to release the team goals, your manager responded:
“No goals have cascaded down from management so how can I set any goals? What if I set goals and then have to change them later? No, it’s best to wait until senior management has a clearly articulated strategy before I attempt to offer anything that resembles direction to my team.
Look, I’ve read many books on leadership and goal setting. OK, so maybe those books were recommended to me and I haven’t read all of them. I’ve read about them and that’s the same thing. Like listening to a TED talk at 4 times the normal speed so you get all the same information, but faster. What I’ve learned is this: Goal setting is an art, not a science. A goal has to be really smart, so I’m going to need to think about it long and hard before telling you what it should be.
If we don’t meet our goals, we look bad and then no one on the team gets their bonus. Therefore, we want financial goals that we can achieve so I have to set a target that is just low enough but not too low to make management think it’s too easy. Then we break the goal down into quarterly increments. A properly set goal should allow us to coast for the first 2 months of the quarter, let everyone think we may miss the goal, then we’ll kick it into high gear in the last month and exceed the goal. Exceeding goals is what it’s all about. If you’re not exceeding your goals, then you haven’t set a proper goal.
Oh, I forgot that we need to add in some non-financial goals. I mean, we really only care about the bottom line, but we’ll throw a bunch of other crap in there so it looks like we’re balanced. For example, we’ll make it a goal to send people to training. As long as it doesn’t cost anything or take people away from their job, then yeah, we’ll do something like that.
Wow, all this talk about goal setting has got me really excited about this year. I can’t wait to set some goals a few months from now. Until then, just keep doing your best.”