Are you using LEAD measures to achieve your Goal?

April 22nd, 2014

Do something different

How likely are you to achieve your goal?

Many people discover on completion of their goal, that they haven’t actually achieved what they had expected.  They are probably using LAG MEASURES, which only indicate if their goal has or has not been achieved.  It is too late by then to change the outcome.

By contrast, LEAD MEASURES enable you to predict if you are likely to achieve your goal.  Thus giving you the opportunity to influence the outcome. In addition, lead measures tracked at regular intervals keep you focused and on course.

Lag measures show the final result

 Take Joan for example, she wants to lose weight for her holiday to the Greek Isles in the summer.  She sets herself a goal to lose 8kg in two months.  She believes this is achievable and she makes a plan to reduce her snacking and join the gym. Joan begins her plan enthusiastically and goes to the gym three times in the first week.

She is delighted to notice after 2 weeks that she has lost almost 2kgs.  However over the next few weeks Joan gets distracted as her focus shifts to a major project at work.  The week before her holiday when Joan turns her attention back to her goal, she discovers that she has only lost 4 kgs, half the weight she had wanted to lose.

Lead measures manage your actions

Joan’s chances of achieving her goal would have increased dramatically if she had planned small weekly steps and used lead measures to manage her progress. Imagine if Joan had decided to focus on losing 1kg a week for 8 weeks and chosen one or two lead measures to control her actions.

The lead measures would have enabled Joan to predict each week the likelihood of achieving her goal in time for her holiday.  If success looked unlikely, she’d have been in a position to influence the outcome by changing a behaviour.

She could have chosen for example to lower her calorie intake by reducing her daily glass of wine to just two glasses at the weekend. Or she may have considered increasing her exercise by leaving the car at home and walking the two miles to and from the station each day.

Making a small change in your behaviour and measuring the results keeps you focused and in control. This increases the probability of successfully achieving your desired outcome.  
What lead measures have you put in place to achieve your goal?

Find out more in my next blog about lead measures and how they apply to teams at work.  Jenny Johnson, CDI London Business Coach