As an ex P.E. Teacher I cannot tell you how many times I have used the words ‘You must score goals.’ Half time talks at hockey or netball matches would almost invariably hear me complimenting them (most of the time anyway!) on their skills and effort but pointing out to them that they had to get the ball in the net. Without goals being scored there could be no winning result.
Sport is Just Like Business
When I left teaching and entered the world of business I attended several courses where I found the importance of setting goals was stressed. I have to confess that at first I found this all rather ‘American’ and didn’t take goal setting too seriously. How wrong I was. Looking back I can’t believe I didn’t see the parallel of what I had been advocating for years in my sports teaching career with setting goals in business.
Manchester United Better than Liverpool
As with many things in my life, it is when I am shown an analogy with sport that the message gets home to me. Imagine a football match between Liverpool and Manchester United on a pitch that has no goal posts. We can applaud and appreciate the skills and efforts of the players during the 90 minute match, but without goalposts there can be no winning result. There is no reward for the hours spent practising skills, there is no satisfying outcome. The object of every match is to win and if goals are not scored then that cannot happen.
So it is in business. It is no different to me telling the girls in a hockey match that if they want to achieve a winning result ‘they must score goals.’
So Listen Up, All You Students
So to all my ex pupils who may well have got tired of hearing me say those words, you might be pleased to know that I am now getting a taste of my own medicine!