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Goals Suck, Plans Rule

Goals Suck, Plans Rule

By: Ross Paterson

In honor of our home town Dallas Cowboys big win in the playoffs, I dusted off this favorite quote.

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” – Tom Landry

A husband and wife team went through our XM Business Planning Workshop in November. (6-8 Business Owners, 1 day,  less than $500)  As we consulted with them about the struggles of growing a business, we saw evidence of two diseases that strangle potential and keep people from the Xtra Mile.  The beauty is, we already know the cure.

  1.  Phantom Clarity = there is no plan in writing.  We can work really hard with no plan and never make any substantial breakthroughs.  This stagnation can last for decades if you don’t get help.  The particular issue this team had was that they had no shared vision about where they wanted to go next, and how they should get there.  With our unique approach, that combines consulting, training, and coaching, we were able to help them create clarity, and jump into 2019 with a solid plan to breakthrough to the next level.
  • Accidental Isolation = head down grind, no fresh ideas from outside.  Depending on your business model and market, it is easy to get isolated as a small/med business owner.  You can be around dozens or hundreds of employees and clients and still be isolated from fresh ideas and insight.  We see this problem in many $1.0MM business like this husband and wife team.  But we have also seen it in our largest client a $200MM company that operates in four states.  Over the past 10 years, XM Performance has been in the middle of 20-30 growing businesses a year.  Even if you don’t believe it, we know a lot about your business. 

    As we worked with the husband/wife team on finalizing their plan, we suggested one small change around their pricing strategy.  In their first big contract of 2019, they made that change, and already got a 500% return on their initial investment in the Business Planning Workshop.


“When you’re knee deep in your own bullshit, it’s hard to see your way out. Ross opened us up to new possibilities” – Husband and Wife team

Bottom Line:  Goals are not enough.  Sometimes they are the beginning, but never the end.  If you are leading a SMB and you don’t have a plan in writing, you get a C- and 2019 just started.  It takes more than a number to get a human being fully engaged in work.  Inspire your team with a compelling vision.  Can you tell them a story about how things are going to look and feel when we get to December? Doing this well gets both sides of the brain engaged in the process of working to solve problems.

Next show them how they fit into that story, what role they play.  Then, with as much clarity as you can muster, define and model those first action steps that will get the team moving in a new direction.

This is what XM (Xtra Mile) Leadership looks like.  Here is a secret: Xtra Mile Leaders are NOT born, they are trained and taught. You can learn too. Let us help