What's the Goal?

I admit it.  Like everyone else, I have spent way more time the last week talking about a back up quarterback than I wanted to.  It's not football season, yet Tim Tebow's trade to the New York Jets made everyone forget about spring training, March Madness, the Knicks' winning streak, Jeremy Lin (who?), and especially the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. The Jets are saying that they brought Tebow to run "The Wildcat".  In fact, Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets, felt compelled to make the following statement:

"Let me be really clear about this, we work for the fans and the fans want us to win games. So all of the decisions we make regarding the team are just for football. It's hard to predict other things. If you get confused in term of what your mission is, you're not going to accomplish your mission. And our mission is to win games pure and simple. We think that Tim Tebow has been a winner all his life."

Really?  This begs the question: Is it more important to make money or win games?  Was building the new stadium about winning games or maximizing revenue? 

Perhaps the Jets wanted to grab some headlines away from Big Blue.  Maybe they thought bringing Tebow to the Meadowlands would help sell the remaining PSL's that they have been desperately trying to unload.  Or maybe they just wanted to sell more jerseys.  These are all good reasons, but none of them are about winning football games.  Is it just a happy coincidence?

Only Woody can answer that question.  It's a BIG PICTURE question, and while we make hundreds of small decisions, do we always keep the big picture in mind?

Even knowing what the big picture is can be challenging.  For example, it's hard to turn down new business.  We spend so much time trying to develop new relationships, get new clients, and create revenue, but sometimes, there are projects that don't fit our overall vision for how we want to grow our team and our business.  We take on these projects for any number of reasons, but sometimes we should take a pass. 

Several years ago, I worked on a small deal that was supposed to be relatively easy (no such thing), as I had just completed another deal in the building.  But the owner of the company and CFO were not aligned in their thinking and couldn't make a decision in a timely fashion. So while it typically takes the same amount of effort to complete a 2,000 sf deal as it does a 20,000 sf deal, in this case, it was exponentially more. On an hourly basis, we definitely lost money on that deal and shouldn’t have taken the assignment and wouldn't have, had we known that the company's internal focus was not aligned properly.

Which begs the question...Are we calling the right people?  Why are they on the list and if we get the assignment, is it worth the time we will spend?  It's hard to predict how much time we will spend on any given project, but there are some that we know from the start will not generate enough revenue to cover the time spent.  That's not always a bad thing, but there needs to be another reason other than the fee.  Is there a relationship we are trying to develop?  Are we trying to get a foothold in a new market?  Is it for a friend?  It's not always about the money, at least on our team.

Having a clear vision of the goal is important.  Taking a step back once in a while is vital to make sure you are headed towards that goal and not veering off in another direction.  It's not easy to do as we all get entrenched in the daily tasks at hand, but the truly successful among us have that ability to stay laser focused. 

What's your big picture goal?  Leave it in the comments section and let's discuss.