How To Measure Goals

As a business owner, you need to keep tabs on your progress to see your mistakes, correct them, and ensure that your journey is on the right track. Tracking your goals will motivate you, drive you to do better and do more, and bring you closer to accomplishing your goals.

Frameworks like SMART at a personal level and OKR at an organizational level are extremely helpful approaches:

A SMART goal is any goal with a carefully planned, concise, and trackable objective. To be such a goal needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Bringing structure and trackability to goal setting increases the chances goals will be achieved, and it helps align the organization around those goals.
Andy Grove, helped Intel become among the most valuable companies by 1997. In his years at Intel, he conceived a management and goal-setting system, called OKR, standing for “objectives and key results.” Venture capitalist and early investor in Google, John Doerr, systematized in the book “Measure What Matters.”

Those tools help to ensure that your goals are clear and attainable. But there are a few other things that you should consider to ensure that you keep moving forward even when you are using those tools.

Ensure That Your Goals can be Quantified

An immeasurable goal will give no room for evaluation. It is important for your growth and progress that you set goals that you can quantify.

This will foster clarity, and you won’t work in darkness, you know what you want to do, and you know how you want to do it. Then you won’t stray away from the focus.

Therefore, you will be able to tell if your current progress is quick enough to achieve your goals or if you need to intensify your efforts. 

Share Your Goals

As an entrepreneur, you are your own boss. You don’t have any superior to hold you accountable for anything or to penalize you when you are lagging.

Hence you work at your pace, you are your own boss, you set all the rules, and you break them all. It is usually very helpful to “employ a boss.”

This means that you should find someone, maybe a fellow entrepreneur, maybe a friend, or family, that you should report yourself to if it is a fellow business owner, even good.

You check in on his progress, and the same is reciprocated to you.

This makes it possible to be accountable to each other, and this will eradicate laxity or laziness; knowing that you need to report to someone and impressing that person will require that you put in more effort to ensure that you do better than the last time, every time.

It is commonly said that two heads are better than one.

This is entirely true in this case, and sharing your goals with someone who will work with you to identify your weaknesses and shortcoming is a great move.

It is important to share your goals and their progress with someone who will be honest with you. Family, friends, and employees may want to remain in your good books.

Hence, they may just pamper you and not tell you the truth about your failures. The goal is to increase your drive and motivation, not to make you even more relaxed. 

Appreciate Your Little Wins

You will get to several milestones if you have set objectives for your goal.

If your goal is to get 10,000 new customers in a year, and you have only 4,000 in the sixth month, you will be tempted to scold yourself, beat yourself up, and will even want to return to the drawing board as fast as possible.

You should calm yourself down. The fact that you have even set out to achieve a goal and you are working towards it is an extent of success.

Appreciate your efforts, even if you are behind schedule; appreciate the effort that got you 4,000 out of 5,000. Mark the 6th month as successful, reward yourself for a job well done. You have definitely spent money, time, and expended mental efforts.

Therefore, taking a few minutes to celebrate these moments won’t hurt. In fact, they will give you a sense of calmness, and you will come back stronger, invigorated for the goal you have set, and you will be spurred to be better.

Nobody can show you appreciation the way you will show yourself. Consider yourself important, celebrate your little wins, and they will lay a foundation for more. 

tify your major customers as they are your source of income. In my business experience, I have learnt that “all customers are not equal” There will always be a bias and preferential treatment given to premium customers for being premium.

Identify the customers that drive more sales for you; if your business is a B2B business, you may need to prioritize who to supply and who you need to remove from your supply chain. 

Ensure that you aren’t judging these things with your personal bias. You may be too attached to a product or a customer to tell yourself the truth, work with a team, use facts and figures from the data you have employed; your opinion may be distorted, even without you knowing. Biases are normal for humans. 

The concept of cognitive biases was introduced and popularized by the work of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman since 1972. Biases are seen as systematic errors and flaws that make humans deviate from the standards of rationality, thus making us inept at making good decisions under uncertainty.

Key Takeaways

  • SMART Goals and OKR Frameworks: Learn about the SMART goal-setting method and the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) system to effectively set and track clear and attainable goals.
  • Ensure Quantifiable Goals: Set measurable goals to evaluate progress accurately, maintain clarity, and stay focused on achieving objectives.
  • Share Your Goals: Find someone to hold you accountable for your goals, such as a fellow entrepreneur or friend, to increase motivation and commitment.
  • Seek Honest Feedback: Share your goals with someone who will provide honest feedback and help identify weaknesses, avoiding complacency and driving improvement.
  • Appreciate Small Wins: Celebrate milestones and achievements, even if progress is not perfect, as it boosts morale and motivates further progress.
  • Identify Major Customers: Prioritize customers based on their contribution to sales and profitability, giving preferential treatment to those who drive more revenue.
  • Avoid Personal Bias: Work with a team and use data-driven decisions to avoid personal biases that may cloud judgment in business decisions.

Connected Business Frameworks and Concepts

Agile Leadership

Agile leadership is the embodiment of agile manifesto principles by a manager or management team. Agile leadership impacts two important levels of a business. The structural level defines the roles, responsibilities, and key performance indicators. The behavioral level describes the actions leaders exhibit to others based on agile principles. 

Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive leadership is a model used by leaders to help individuals adapt to complex or rapidly changing environments. Adaptive leadership is defined by three core components (precious or expendable, experimentation and smart risks, disciplined assessment). Growth occurs when an organization discards ineffective ways of operating. Then, active leaders implement new initiatives and monitor their impact.

Delegative Leadership

Developed by business consultants Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey in the 1960s, delegative leadership is a leadership style where authority figures empower subordinates to exercise autonomy. For this reason, it is also called laissez-faire leadership. In some cases, this type of leadership can lead to increases in work quality and decision-making. In a few other cases, this type of leadership needs to be balanced out to prevent a lack of direction and cohesiveness of the team.

Distributed Leadership

Distributed leadership is based on the premise that leadership responsibilities and accountability are shared by those with the relevant skills or expertise so that the shared responsibility and accountability of multiple individuals within a workplace, bulds up as a fluid and emergent property (not controlled or held by one individual). Distributed leadership is based on eight hallmarks, or principles: shared responsibility, shared power, synergy, leadership capacity, organizational learning, equitable and ethical climate, democratic and investigative culture, and macro-community engagement.


Micromanagement is about tightly controlling or observing employees’ work. Although in some cases, this management style might be understood, especially for small-scale projects, generally speaking, micromanagement has a negative connotation mainly because it shows a lack of trust and freedom in the workplace, which leads to adverse outcomes.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was developed by American psychologist Abraham Maslow. His hierarchy, often depicted in the shape of a pyramid, helped explain his research on basic human needs and desires. In marketing, the hierarchy (and its basis in psychology) can be used to market to specific groups of people based on their similarly specific needs, desires, and resultant actions.

Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is a tool that helps businesses prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance, named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, the matrix helps businesses and individuals differentiate between the urgent and important to prevent urgent things (seemingly useful in the short-term) cannibalize important things (critical for long-term success).

Moonshot Thinking

Moonshot thinking is an approach to innovation, and it can be applied to business or any other discipline where you target at least 10X goals. That shifts the mindset, and it empowers a team of people to look for unconventional solutions, thus starting from first principles, by leveraging on fast-paced experimentation.

Lightning Decision Jam

The theory was developed by psychologist Edwin Locke who also has a background in motivation and leadership research. Locke’s goal-setting theory of motivation provides a framework for setting effective and motivating goals. Locke was able to demonstrate that goal setting was linked to performance.

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Herzberg’s two-factor theory argues that certain workplace factors cause job satisfaction while others cause job dissatisfaction. The theory was developed by American psychologist and business management analyst Frederick Herzberg. Until his death in 2000, Herzberg was widely regarded as a pioneering thinker in motivational theory.

Lessons Learned

The term lessons learned refers to the various experiences project team members have while participating in a project. Lessons are shared in a review session which usually occurs once the project has been completed, with any improvements or best practices incorporated into subsequent projects. 

Growth Engineering

Growth engineering is a systematic, technical approach to the improvement of conversion and the user experience. Combined with business engineering it helps business people build valuable companies from scratch.

Retrospective Analysis

Retrospective analyses are held after a project to determine what worked well and what did not. They are also conducted at the end of an iteration in Agile project management. Agile practitioners call these meetings retrospectives or retros. They are an effective way to check the pulse of a project team, reflect on the work performed to date, and reach a consensus on how to tackle the next sprint cycle.


Andy Grove, helped Intel become among the most valuable companies by 1997. In his years at Intel, he conceived a management and goal-setting system, called OKR, standing for “objectives and key results.” Venture capitalist and early investor in Google, John Doerr, systematized in the book “Measure What Matters.”

Cog’s Ladder

Cog’s ladder is a model of group development. The ladder was created in 1972 by Procter & Gamble employee George Charrier to help management at the company understand how teams worked to make them more efficient. Cog’s ladder is a model of group formation and behavior that is used to help businesses understand how a team can work to achieve its goals.

GRPI Model

The GRPI model was created by American organizational theorist Richard Beckhard in 1972. Although the model is almost 50 years old, its simplicity and effectiveness mean it is still in use today. The GRPI model is a tool used by leaders to diagnose the cause of team dysfunction and increase productivity, quality, and efficiency through four key dimensions that cause conflict: goals, roles, processes, and interactions. 

High-Performance Coaching

High-performance coaches work with individuals in personal and professional contexts to enable them to reach their full potential. While these sorts of coaches are commonly associated with sports, it should be noted that the act of coaching is a specific type of behavior that is also useful in business and leadership

OSKAR Coaching

The OSKAR coaching model was developed in the early 2000s by organizational theorists and authors Paul Z. Jackson and Mark McKergow.  The OSKAR coaching model is a solution-driven method used for managerial coaching in the workplace. In their book titled The Solutions Focus: Making Coaching and Change Simple, the pair layout a framework to help coaches implement training sessions that are focused on solutions and not on problems.

Training of Trainers

The training of trainers model seeks to engage master instructors in coaching new, less experienced instructors with a particular topic or skill. The training of trainers (ToT) model is a framework used by master instructors to train new instructors, enabling them to subsequently train other people in their organization.

GROW Model

Though no single individual can claim to have created the GROW model, writers Graham Alexander and Alan Fine together with racing car champion John Whitmore played a significant part in developing the framework during the 80s and 90s. The GROW model is a simple way to set goals and solve problems during coaching sessions through four stages: goal, reality, options, and will (way forward).

Ulrich Model

The Ulrich model helps large or complex organizations with many business units organize their human resource function. The Ulrich model was named for management coach David Ulrich after the release of his 1996 book Human Resource Champions: The Next Agenda for Adding Value and Delivering Results.

Related Strategy Concepts: Go-To-Market StrategyMarketing StrategyBusiness ModelsTech Business ModelsJobs-To-Be DoneDesign ThinkingLean Startup CanvasValue ChainValue Proposition CanvasBalanced ScorecardBusiness Model CanvasSWOT AnalysisGrowth HackingBundlingUnbundlingBootstrappingVenture CapitalPorter’s Five ForcesPorter’s Generic StrategiesPorter’s Five ForcesPESTEL AnalysisSWOTPorter’s Diamond ModelAnsoffTechnology Adoption CurveTOWSSOARBalanced ScorecardOKRAgile MethodologyValue PropositionVTDF FrameworkBCG MatrixGE McKinsey MatrixKotter’s 8-Step Change Model.

Read Next: OKR, SMART Goals.

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