Less IS More: Why Fewer Goals Lead to More Success


by on Jan 16, 2020 3:00 PM

Fewer Goals Lead to More Successes

What are your goals for 2020? You may have a long list but setting fewer goals can actually lead to more success.

When I joined Trilogy Partners years ago, the company had just started practicing the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) and I had no idea what it was. I had to educate myself and delved into Gino Wickman’s book Traction. I became immediately enamored by the simple, clean, and structured operating system. The thought of being accountable for quarterly goals or rocks which is a major part of EOS® was enticing to me as I thrive on actionable items.

My inclination was to go full throttle and assign myself as many quarterly rocks as I could handle which I figured was 5-7, no problem.

Fast forward 90 Days. Gulp.

There is a reason why the great Jim Collins stated, “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.”

Why Fewer Goals is SMART

I learned the hard way that overreaching with too many goals, even ones individually considered SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-Bound) can wreak havoc on one’s daily set of responsibilities. Quality and quantity of output can be jeopardized when one is overloaded. Tasks once considered “high priority” get put on the backburner. Inevitably, either the goals or the regular workload becomes compromised and traction, the whole point to having targets, is lost.

At Trilogy, we now take Jim Collins’ message to heart and assign no more than 3 rocks per quarter per person. To help prioritize and decipher which SMART goals to choose, we ask ourselves the following questions:

1. Is this goal in alignment with our mission, vision and values?
2. Is this goal tied into a company-wide target for the year?
3. Will attaining this goal allow for initiation of future goals?
4. Assessing the 3 goals and regular workload collectively, how much time and effort are needed for completion while ensuring overall quality?

If your company is in growth mode, it can be tempting to try to tackle several initiatives at once. But remember the benefits of having fewer goals and recognize that there is a cost for putting too much on your plate (and cleaning up the mess isn’t pretty).

Are you interested in setting fewer goals, but those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-Bound? Learn More about our EOS Implementation services.


About Andrea Grubb

Andrea Grubb is the Chief Integrator Officer at Trilogy Partners. Trilogy Partners is an advisory & implementation firm whose mission is to help companies grow and transform.  We accomplish this by focusing on 3 critical business areas: Financial, Strategy & People