“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk.”         --- J.C. Penney 

Each of us has personal goals.  The company we partner with (work for) has organizational goals.  This is not a problem.  This should be great news. One of the most effective ways to progress toward our personal goals is by partnering with our organizations.  You might say, “Hold on, Deano. I work there, but I don’t partner with them.”   Not true. 

We work there because we believe that by accomplishing team goals, we take steps closer to our personal goals.  If we didn’t believe that way, we wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) work there.  True, the relationship between employee and employer is sometimes one of conflict, with a worker doing a particular job because they need the money and don’t think they can get anything better elsewhere.  But at every level, everyone works to personally progress.  Even the CEO is there because she believes that by partnering with the company, she takes solid steps toward her own personal goals. 

Organizations are only as strong as

their team members’ personal goals

and the team members’ belief that the organization’s progress helps them

progress toward those goals.

People without personal goals are “no show” employees, poor salespeople, and inconsistent customer-service professionals.  That’s a major reason that teenagers sometimes don’t make the best employees.  It’s not because they are lazy (though some are, as are some adults) or do not have any work ethic.  It’s because they generally don’t have strong reasons connected to the work they do. On the other hand, let’s say that a 15-year-old boy wants a car on his 16th birthday and he has to buy it himself.  He is committed to getting that car. 

Will he be a reliable employee?   Likely, yes.

Why?  Because he is committed and connected to the outcome of the work.  He is partnering to progress.

For teams to progress, team members must believe that they are personally progressing.  Team members must believe that as they strive to accomplish team goals, they are taking steps toward their own personal goals.  If a company’s goals don’t line up with its team members’ personal goals (and vice versa), neither is likely to be reached.

Sales managers should love it when their sales professionals: buy a new house, have their eye on a boat, or decide to have another kid, because now that person has some strong reasons to take strong action.  They have strong whys to get out there and sell.

When our company has a new product rollout, is merging with another company, or has a new way to get business moving, it is natural to think, Oh, no!  Here comes something else I have to learn. Something else I have to do.  

But think about it.  Wouldn’t it be far worse if the leadership within our companies said, “We have no new ideas on how to be profitable.  We have no new ideas on how to progress.  Go get ’em, tiger!”?

We should be glad, excited, and even relieved about new initiatives, because the decision makers (who should know a thing or three) believe they have ideas that will help the company progress, and in turn help us to progress.

Without our “work,” we would still have our personal goals.  Even if we were “trust-fund kids,” we would have to find some other way to take progressive steps. 

We partner with our organizations because we have goals, and through our partnering we take steps to achieving them.  Companies with solid, well-thought-out organizational goals make it easier for us to achieve our goals.  The company helps us progress as we help the company progress. 

Partner and Progress.

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success