What to Do When You Do Not Achieve Your Goals

Managers must get the results. This is true. But whose fault is it if they don’t?  

If you’re in the right place at the right time, it is not difficult to make a lot of money and fuel yourself every quarter with compliments from the board. A sales manager in a growing-stage company tends to get better results each month — if he or she does not mess up too much. Same for a CFO in a company sitting in a mountain of cash.

These people will professionally survive for some time, but if they are not good leaders they will eventually suffer resistance from the team and the pressure from the bottom may take them down. I’ve had a few situations when I felt that a particularly good mood took place after a manager was replaced.

That is sad.

For those of you achieving good results, ask yourself how your team would react if you were fired. After this serious contemplation, take action if necessary. What should you maybe be doing differently?

On the other hand, a very sharp manager can struggle to survive in an environment that is not favorable to attaining results. There’s only so much a person can do.  

The plant manager of an outdated facility can make miracles happen with maintenance and production standards and still harvest worse and worse results every year. There would be comparison to that of the previous manager, who was not a great professional but got the plant running — maybe by damaging the equipment with a poor preventive maintenance or operational processes.

Think about that.

These managers tend to be preserved by their direct boss and perhaps respected by their team, but they will suffer a lot of pressure from the board and probably will never be promoted. His or her self-esteem will be damaged to a point that he or she will doubt their own capacity and that will be the end of the line.

If you see yourself in this situation, be careful: Is it the environment, your skills or your emotions?

If you make an analysis isolated from your personal feelings and conclude that the environment is sterile for results and that there is nothing you can do to change it, get out of there as fast as you can! There is no future for you in that place.

Now, if you are starting your career as a manager or getting a promotion, it is wise to go through a deep analysis before accepting the job. Money is not everything and neither is a position. Think a few steps forward: What kind of business are you getting into? What kind of resources are going to be available? In what kind of power structure are you are going to be in?

If you realize that you have a great opportunity and can get the results, jump into it with all that you have. But if you feel that you will have no support in an impossible mission, maybe it is better to reconsider.

I have seen many executives glorified by getting results, even if they were horrible at managing their teams and processes. And I have seen others who were fairly good managers but ultimately lacked results that reflected the efforts they have invested.

One thing that I have never seen: great leaders with poor results. And that’s because the great ones have a full understanding of their environment.

Be like them.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.



Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.