How To Prevent Company Goals From Crushing Your Team

AdVance Leadership » How To Prevent Company Goals From Crushing Your Team

Welcome to Friday 411, issue #073. In 4 minutes, with 1 insight and 1 action, you will launch new goals without rocketing your team’s anxiety. 

1 Insight 

Whenever you introduce a new goal, decide with your team what you need to stop, initiate, maintain, and maximize in order to succeed.  ________________________________________________________________________________

 Do you know what happens when you put rubber bands around a watermelon? With only a few rubber bands—nothing. 

But, if you keep adding rubber bands, eventually it explodes. Like this: Watch.

If you pile more and more goals on your employees, they will start to feel like this exploding watermelon. 


 If you’re like most leaders we meet, you’ve declared so many different goals that you team is already experiencing that suffocating squeeze. In a recent HR Trends report from iSolved, 65% of employees say they have suffered from burnout. One of the frequent causes of burnout is having too many goals.  

Not only does an overabundance of goals cause your team to suffer burnout, but it also lowers the likelihood of accomplishing the goals. Research shows that if a team has four or more goals, the likelihood of accomplishing one of those goals drops to 20% or lower. 

 In addition to having too many goals, you may also suffer from the common problem of being unclear with the plan to achieve them. Even if you have tried helping your team create a plan to achieve a goal, standard planning methods generate more tasks. More tasks equal greater stress. How much more can you add until the bursting point? 

A simple tool can help your team feel less overwhelmed. It’s called the SIMM framework. It involves having four discussions with your team as a part of the goal-planning process.  

Here are the four discussions. 

1. S—What needs to Stop?
  • Is there anything that the team is currently doing that we no longer need to do?
  • Are there unnecessary meetings we have or reports we run?  
  • Are there projects that we’re currently working on that can be temporarily stopped? 

Benefit: When you identify what needs to stop, you free up time and mental space so your team can focus on bigger priorities.

2. I—What do you need to Initiate?

A space shuttle uses more energy getting off the ground than any other time in flight. It’s the same with goals. New goals require massive amounts of energy. You have to learn new skills, identify new action items, and solve problems you haven’t dealt with before. 

Once you identify the skills, actions, and problem-solving that needs to be initiated, you can select which ones to start with. 

Benefit: Narrow your focus to the most important initiatives, and only launch a couple at a time. This ensures higher likelihood of success.

3. M—What do you need to Maintain?

Many people are change-averse. For this type of person, a big goal can feel like everything is changing. When you introduce a new goal, point out what is not changing. Determine the areas where “good enough is good enough.” What can be allowed to hang out at status quo for awhile so your team can shift their focus? 

Benefit: Your team will feel more stable when they know that something is staying the same. Additionally, answering this question helps your team know what not to pay attention to.

4. M—What do you need to Maximize?

Big goals might require that you upgrade some of your already-existing systems or processes.  

Benefit: Determining what needs to improve can ensure that your systems and processes keep up with the changes that big goals demand. 


1 Action 

The next time you introduce a new goal, use these four questions to alleviate unnecessary stress from your team.  



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