Stop Measuring the Easy Numbers

Have you ever sat back and thought about how we measure success? My guess is that as a leader you have a list of key metrics that you can spout off at a moment’s notice. You might have even displayed it as a dashboard so your whole team is aware of the numbers. We repeat these statistics like they are a means to the end. We convince ourselves that if we just measure these numbers, we will reach our goal.

We often fall into the trap of striving for metrics that can easily be measured. But these numbers don’t get us any closer to accomplishing our mission or goal. Instead of asking ourselves, what do we want to measure, I think we need to ask, what is it we want to accomplish?

Metrics can hide what we really need and want to see. Metrics don’t force us to go deep, because going deep and understanding what we really want can be hard, and it can get messy. Many leaders rely on measuring metrics so it appears that they are in control of what is going on. But does this really give us control?

If we truly understand what we are trying to accomplish then the whole team can help get there, together. We aren’t just pointing to numbers on a board, we’ve got a goal in mind we’re working toward as one team.

Innovation and growth almost always involve rejecting the standard way of doing things. But this comes at a price. A price of appearing different. A price of having to explain to people why the old way is not working. A price of having to convince people to change and think differently.

Yes, understanding what you want to accomplish instead of what you can measure is tough. But when you make the switch, you just might be able to see the change you are looking to accomplish.

Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.


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