Achieving High Performance: Get SMART; Get COACHED; Get RESULTS!

What gets measured gets done! This is a well-worn axiom.  It’s an orientation focused on setting goals and measuring outcomes. It drives performance accountability. Entrepreneurs embrace measurement and accountability. No excuses; only performance. The quality of their output is the measure of the value they create. Central to measuring performance are the goals used to determine if a good or service achieves established standards such as quality or longevity. For professionals in all industries, there are several generally accepted activities that clients, managers, and leaders measure to determine the quality and longevity of their performance. Activities such as the quality of the client engagement experience, new business generated, and quarter-over-quarter revenue increases. Common to these activities are goal associated with them. If activities do not have associated goals, stakeholder performance cannot be measured? Without performance goals it is impossible to diagnose and improve ineffective performance relative to quality, productivity, and longevity.

So, let’s get SMART about Goals, Coaching, and Results!


In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cat responds “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice offers “I don’t much care where.” The Cat muses “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” “…so long as I get somewhere” Alice adds.

The 21st century global business environment is a complex, change-based landscape requiring professionals to think critically, plan strategically, and act effectively. They must be nimble and adaptable in order to meet the shifting sales and service needs of their demanding international clientele. Selling and delivering goods and services in this demanding global marketplace requires commitment, focus, and endurance. Moreover, being successful and sustainable requires clear direction anchored in goals.

The SMART goal formula has existed for years. The acronym is presented below.

  • Specific: Goals should be specific, clear, and easy to understand. They must articulate the intended outcomes.  A specific question is “What do you want to achieve?”
  • Measurable: Goals must be meaningful, manageable, and measurable. These could be short or long term goals.  Creating goals that are measureable while being achieved allows for adjusting resources as needed in real time. Be specific! A measurable goal statement is “I want to increase revenue production selling a minimum of 25% more product in the next 12 months to existing clients.”
  • Attainable: Goals need to be actionable and agreeable. Actionable through using strategies and tactics developed to attain the goals. Agreeable in partnering with others through using a goal or performance contract to evidence your commitment to goal achievement. An attainable question is “What resources do I need to achieve these goals.”
  • Relevant: Goals should be realistic and rewarding. Goals are realistic when resources and planning are in place enabling a specific, measurable, and attainable focus on the relevance of a goal. Rewarding in that the goal should stretch your ability enabling personal and professional growth. However, it should not be unrealistic or unattainable rendering it meaningless instead of meaningful. A relevance question is “Will achieving a goal improve my understanding of a specific sales strategy or procedure?
  • Time-Bounded: Goals must be time-specific and time managed. Time enables schedules to be constructed and managed for goal achievement. Time allows you to manage multiple goals over time. Time acts as a crucible in which the other elements of the SMART formula reside and interact.


Coaching and goals represent a causal relationship.  Professionals establish goals and are coached toward achieving them. However, without commitment, focus, and endurance goal setting, their coaching is an empty exercise. Today’s complex and rapidly changing business environment can easily undermine goal achievement. Coaching helps professionals stay focused on realizing goals and reinforcing their commitment to stay-the-course toward achieving them. Moreover, coaches help professionals not to self-sabotage; get in their own way of achievement. As famed Antarctic explore Sir Edmund Hillary stated “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”


Goals and coaching are realized in results. The point of getting SMART is getting RESULTS! Master coach Lars Erlend Bye shares “Coaching is a process enabling individuals to achieve goals.  Often it entails changing how we think about achievement and our capabilities, then developing new, enabling behaviors. The results are can be miraculous.”


The ancient Chinese Philosopher Lao-tzu is attributed with writing “The longest journey begins with a first step.” Taking steps to achieve high performance means Get SMART; Get COACHED; Get RESULTS! Take the first step today! Get SMART to BE SMART!

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