Setting ambitious goals for your unit and rallying everyone to follow through helps you lead effectively. Just don’t get carried away.
If you allow the pursuit of a goal to overshadow everything else, workers may neglect their core jobs or become sloppy. They may think, “I can overlook my everyday responsibilities because the boss cares more about this big goal.”
In 2009, Toyota sought to become the world’s largest car company. The firm expanded into new markets aggressively and many employees got caught up in the fervor to reach the coveted No. 1 spot. Quality issues soon interfered. The company experienced a string of high-profile blunders related to possible safety problems with its cars.
While there’s nothing wrong with publicizing a lofty goal, make sure your workforce balances goal pursuit with performing basic job duties. Continue to hold them accountable for the routine activities that constitute their daily responsibilities. Show as much interest in their ongoing performance measures as tallying progress toward reaching the goal.