Genuine Progress Is Made From Realistic And Reasonable Goals

Rowan Blair Colver
4 min readJan 17, 2022
Lucid Leadership by Rowan B Colver

Our big goal is to have enough because of the work we do, but that seems like a lot to think about. By breaking the big goal down into parts we stand a much better chance of attaining what we want. We have to be smart when considering our goals. A lot of the things we think we want are superfluous to the ultimate aim. The end result is what matters, how we get there is really down to how we navigate the particular situation we are in. This changes with time and service type so we have to buckle down and really learn our part of the field for ourselves.

There are three major processes in attaining an ultimate aim. We first need to know what we actually want. This requires thought because the things we think we want might not be the actual desired result. A lot of people say that a decent income is their ultimate aim but this is only so they can pay for what they really want. They’re ultimately looking for social safety and a few luxuries.

Our top aim is the thing we work for. In genuine business, we are always looking to solve problems. If no one is willing to pay for the solution then your business won’t work. This means that our aim is not about us and our luxuries. It’s about the problem. We want to solve the problem we set out to solve for them and for us. Our problem is cash flow, we need an income to live. The customer’s problem is the reason they want our service. Our goal needs to be aligned with the solution to the problem we choose to work on.

Performance goals are about how much we do in the time given and the result of this activity. It’s not as simple as doing as much as you can. It’s about doing the right things that result in attaining goals. Often if we do too much then we seriously reduce the value of what we do. Continual freebie supplies and unpaid overtime will mean customers get used to not paying you what you deserve. It’s important that people are prepared to pay for your service so it has to be scarce enough for this to be worth their while. By not doing enough in the time given, however, we stand vulnerable to competition. So by finding the balance between give and take, we can discover the most efficient way of providing for ourselves and for others.

Process goals break performance down further. We need to address the process in a way that allows us to vary it until it makes the most sense. Efficiency to reach our ultimate goal will arise when we apply variation to our process and then apply the most useful adaptations to the routine. Every time we increase our efficiency with new variations, we get closer to our process goal. Our aim is to be able to reach our main target in as few steps as possible.

Goals need to be defined in a way that makes them communicable. Specific targets that people can understand and quantify make this easier. Pressure to achieve targets is not always helpful but guidelines are essential. These figures need to be maintainable. It’s no good expecting people to work flat out all the time to get the basic requirements. A relaxed and focussed attitude is what we need to expect, rushing people or making things difficult unnecessarily only encourages mistakes.

Responsive goals allow changes to be easily applied according to who and what we are dealing with. Everyone has different skills and abilities, customers have different needs and personalities. Flexible goals make this irrelevant to the ultimate aim. We can change and adapt our goals depending on the given parameters in the situation.

A sequence of attainable goals should lead to the sale of our service or product. This is sometimes termed the sales ladder or the yes ladder. Each rung on the ladder is a small goal that helps us achieve the ultimate aim. By designing this ladder in a way that identifies the problem, demonstrates we can solve it, offers an attractive price and service, then takes payment, we are able to apply it again and again. Problems come in all forms. Entertainment solves the problem of boredom, painting and decorating solves the problem of interior design. Whenever someone is prepared to pay for a thing, it is because they have a problem and they want it to be solved. Branding can create a problem for itself in the way that people feel they need certain things even if they don’t. If we can align this sentiment to a genuine problem, we can become the go-to service that people choose every time.



Rowan Blair Colver

Music writer and humanities educator from Sheffield in England. Democracy of philosophy, comments are welcome.