At BetterWorks, we know how easy it is to become so distracted with the day-to-day that getting through the week becomes more top-of-mind than creating a legacy. However, smart leaders know that aspiring to leave a legacy is what ultimately breeds success. And creating a legacy requires everyone, from executive leaders to middle managers and entry-level employees, to be on the same route to success.
Goals that are transparent, measurable, aspirational and driven by regular feedback are crucial to any business hoping to create a real legacy.
The Relationship Between Legacy and Aspiration
Creating a legacy may be the greatest goal any leader strives to achieve. Yet, far too often, leaders aspire for greatness while limiting the aspirations of their teams. Take a look at a study conducted by the 1979 Harvard MBA program. As Forbes reported, only three percent of the 1979 class had written goals and plans, 13 percent had goals but didn’t write them, and 84 percent had no goals at all. When the class was interviewed 10 years later, the three percent who had written down their goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent of the class combined.
“A mere 7 percent of employees today fully understand their companies’ business strategies.”
However, while any goals at all will help teams reach farther than they could have ever imagined, not all goals are created equal. And to create a legacy, goals should be aspirational rather than attainable. That’s why at BetterWorks, we champion for businesses to use Objectives and Key Results as part of their performance management strategies, rather than S.M.A.R.T. goals, which advocate attainability in lieu of aspiration.
Aligned Teams, Tangible Legacy
If teams have any chance of helping a business create a legacy, they must be aligned. Yet today, too many teams aren’t even aware of what their companies are striving for in the first place. In fact, our white paper “Goal Sciences Best Practices” cited research from Harvard professors Robert Kaplan and David Norton that stated a mere 7 percent of employees today fully understand their companies’ business strategies and what’s expected of them to help achieve company goals.
That’s where modern, user-friendly goal setting software that connects teams and helps them visualize how their individual goals ladder up to enterprise goals comes into play. Goals that help companies create legacies and align teams have the following qualities:
Couple those qualities with just-in-time feedback and the technology to turn it all into reality, and any business can be on the way to creating a true legacy.