These articles were written and contributed by Scott Rosberg
Standards and Goals (Post 5 of 5)
This is the final post in this short series on “Individual vs. Team.” If you missed those first four posts, go to the “Blog” page of the Coach with Character website – www.coachwithcharacter.com – and scroll down to the posts – “Individual vs. Team, “Individual Goals vs. Team Goals,” “Aligning Individual & Team Goals,” and “Process & Habits for Achieving Goals.” Although the original intention of what became this series of posts was to focus on the concept of the struggle for team members to maintain their individuality and uniqueness while being focused on their team, the recent posts veered into some thoughts on goals and goal-setting. Today, I will finish up on a thought that I started in the last post on the idea of burning your goals.
Now I am not advocating that people don’t have goals. In the last post, I echoed some thoughts from Joshua Medcalf and Jamie Gilbert from their book Burn Your Goals in which they talk about focusing on the commitment to daily habits that will help you achieve your goal, rather than focusing on the outcome of the goal. Today I want to talk about the importance of focusing on committing to your standards even more so than committing to your goals.
Present or Future?
Don’t get me wrong. Goals are important to have, and they give people something to shoot for in the future. But that is where goals live – in the future. Standards live in the here and now. Committing to living by your standards is committing to doing things every day that are focused on the moment.
When we commit to a standard, we are saying we stand for something, and so these are the actions that people will see from us as we live our standards. We are not saying that we are committed to something in the future (goal), and we hope to be able to achieve it. We are saying that this is how we are going to live our life right now (standards) because this is what we believe is the best way achieve the goals we seek.
Behavioral Standards Lead to Success
Standards and goals can work together to help teams achieve what they seek. Most teams have a goal to win some type of championship. How do they keep the goal in front of their teams in a positive, meaningful way that doesn’t get old, but that also doesn’t put too much pressure on them?
One way is to focus less on the championship itself and more on the behaviors that will lead them to the championship. This is where standards come into play. Teams need to discuss what behaviors and standards they must exhibit that will lead to the success they seek and then decide which ones are most important to their success. When they live by those standards, they have a better chance at achieving their goals.
While they are not placing all of their focus on winning a championship, by focusing on living by their standards, they have a much better chance of achieving that goal. So while it is good for teams to have goals because they give them something to shoot for, it is even more important for teams to have standards because they are guidelines for how they need to live in order to achieve their goals.
If you like the ideas in here on focusing on your standards more than on your goals, I have a couple of “must-reads” and “must-sees” for you. Go to the Proactive Coaching website and pick up Bruce Brown’s booklet “First Steps to Creating a Successful Team ” and his books Teaching Character through Sport and Proactive Leadership. Also, pick up the DVD Captains & Coaches’ Workshop to see the workshop that helps teams start the process of developing their culture by creating their standards. Click on any of the blue titles above to be taken right to that page on the Proactive Coaching website. Better yet, schedule one of us to come out and do a presentation or the workshop for your team/school in person. You and your teams will be glad you did, and you will be on your way to creating the culture you seek.
Thanks so much for reading this short series on individual vs. team. What started as an idea to talk about the difficulties of balancing individuality with team spirit, branched out into some really important ideas on goals, commitments, habits, and standards. I hope you enjoyed reading these posts as much as I enjoyed exploring each of the topics within them.
If you like these types of posts, I have many more like them on “Blog” page of the Coach with Character website that I think you will like, too. I send them out once a week to all the people who have signed up to receive them. When the red box pops up on the site, just enter your name and email address, and you will start receiving them each week in your Inbox.