The acronym “S.M.A.R.T.” is a filter to create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Each is important to setting goals but it’s the last one, “timely” that creates the urgency necessary to achieve a goal. And, nothing ensures timeliness like a deadline. Setting and then meeting business deadlines creates traction, and traction is the real test of an effective, cohesive leadership team. Without traction people are just spinning their wheels.
EOS helps leaders and managers compartmentalize things into goals (things that must get done within one year), rocks (key priorities that must get done within 90 days) and “to dos” (action items that must get done within 7 days). The deadline is the critical piece.
Try this. In your next weekly leadership team meeting, give every action item (the “to do”) a one week deadline. If the person responsible for completing the “to do” asks for more time, have him or her restate the “to do” so that it can be completed within the next seven days, in other words break it down. Getting people to commit to completing “to dos” within seven days is a critical step to build discipline, accountability and trust. When 90% of the items are completed each week in accord with your set business deadlines, the team gains confidence and becomes stronger.
A stronger and more confident team is better at getting Rocks completed. Each rock is broken down into action items that can be completed weekly ensuring that the rock’s deadline will be met. This builds even more discipline, accountability and trust ensuring that the year’s goals are met.
Set business deadlines. It’s the all-important step to getting traction.