Hello, my friends.
It never ceases to amaze me the things that come out of peoples’ mouths. If you are like me, you probably sometimes shake your head and can’t believe the things you hear people say.
There are times, though, where I am incredibly surprised by what someone says…then incredibly inspired when they explain what they mean.
As you likely know, I facilitate corporate off-sites. I recently did an “end-of-the year recap and planning for the next three years” corporate off-site with a client. One of the questions I ask, once we’ve set goals, is, “Why?”
Why is it important to really feel the result?
We talk about what it will feel like when those results are achieved. I urge you, as I do them, to project forward in time and pretend, at least momentarily, that you’ve achieved the goal you set.
What does it feel like?
The rationale behind that kind of a question is to get people in touch with their purpose and their “why”, because with a big enough “why,” people will do almost any “what”. (Click to tweet.)
In the corporate setting, it is important for the team to understand together in a unified, comprehensive, cohesive way the “why” behind what it is they are challenged to do in the upcoming period.
Typically, the responses I get are, “Well, I will feel satisfied, and I’ll be happy and feel excited.”
These are legitimate words and expected answers.
But recently I heard a word come out of the mouth of a vice president of sales that I had not heard before in answer to this question.
He said, “When we achieve this result, I will feel vindicated.”
I was surprised, and then inspired by his explanation.
The company had recently missed its numbers and, by all accounts, it was a set of circumstances where there was a lot of blame to go around. It wasn’t something to be laid solely at the lap of the sales department. Nevertheless, this executive did the right thing: he owned it. He took responsibility for the results. That’s just good, mature leadership.
But he went even deeper when he said that he would feel vindicated.
He exposed to his peers, and to me as well, that he truly did feel responsible and that he was going to do everything in his power to get the results back to where they needed to be. He said that when he and the team were able to achieve that, he would have a tremendous sense of relief, a feeling of vindication for prior poor results.
This statement was very impactful. Not only did it seem to lift the weight of the world off his shoulders, but it impacted his peers as they recognized and appreciated his vulnerability. They knew this was not just some superficial kind of sanitized, “Yes, this is my bad. I’ll do better next time, Boss”.
It wasn’t that at all. It was a deeply felt sense of disappointment of obligation and, of course, a commitment to getting the results.
This was just a few weeks ago. I look forward to watching and working with this team as they achieve their results. And I truly believe they will, because now, they have this profound sense of why they’re doing it. They have literally felt their future, and it feels good.
I guarantee you they’re going to meet their goals.
My challenge to you today is to take a serious look at your goals and simply ask one question: WHY?
Ask it until you feel it.
And then put that word – that description of how you will feel when you reach your results – in the comment section below or on Facebook where this blog is posted.
Ed DeCosta is one of the most engaging executive coaches and thought leaders of our time. He delivers results with companies of all sizes, from high tech start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Ed is an ICF certified professional coach. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in international management from the University of Texas, and an MBA from the University of Texas. Ed is also an adjunct faculty member in West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics, teaching Professional Selling and entrepreneurship courses.