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Destination Goals and Journey Goals

“In the absence of defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” – Robert A. Heinlein, American science fiction writer

Goal setting is an important part of the RUG foundation of your accountability system. It’s a big topic, and today I just want to hone in on one distinction that my clients have found really helpful.

Most professional service firms are pretty good at setting targets, and that tends to be what they focus on. That’s a destination goal. Destination goals are an intended end point (think performance, results).

What are some examples of professional destination goals?

  • Gaining five new clients this year.
  • Retaining 100% of existing clients.
  • Recruiting and hiring eight new staff members.
  • Cutting expenses by 15% this year.
  • Realization rate at 101%!!!

When you’re only focused on results, what’s missing is developing your people to empower them to reach those destination goals. And that’s where journey goals come in.

A journey goal is what you must do in order to reach the destination goal. What will help you get there?

Some examples of professional journey goals are:

  • Improving active listening skills (we can all certainly grow here).
  • Expanding one’s business network.
  • Finding and developing talented people.
  • Learning how to better pick low-hanging fruit (cross-selling, referrals, add-ons).
  • Becoming a better leader.

When leaders focus only on destination goals, they almost always encourage stagnation. If people are not encouraged to strengthen, stretch, and learn new things, how can they develop? How can you grow and keep up with the times? How can you gain, retain and grow your client base? If you don’t focus on journey goals, at best, you’ll only be as good this year as you were last year.

When your focus is only on the destination goals you are being too near-sighted.

When your focus is only on the journey goals you are being too far-sighted.

In order to have 20/20 accountability vision you need BOTH destination and journey goals.