Are We There Yet?

No statement can exasperate a traveling parent like a cacophony of whiny “Are we there yets?” continuously barraged over backseats by bored child-like passengers.

Everyone has agreed on the trip’s destination goal. Most travelers have at least some estimate of travel time and an estimated time of arrival, assuming all goes as planned. So, why is it often difficult to simply sit back and enjoy the ride? I have come to believe “getthereitis” is caused by a lack of measurable waypoints to mark the passing progress towards a goal.

As a pilot, we learn to fly by finding identifiable landmarks on the ground and we calculate how long it will take us to fly from waypoint to waypoint. If we are ahead of schedule we have more favorable winds, if we are behind, then the winds are slowing our progress and if we can’ t find the waypoint, we are lost. The pilot’s goal is to safely arrive at the correct airfield before the fuel runs out.

I primarily coach sales executives for my chosen profession. Sales organizations always have a revenue growth goal or sales budget which they use to track performance. Most often it is based on a monthly, quarterly and yearly calander. They often benchmark their progress against last year’s sales as well. The challenge for these financial mountain climbers is they often develop a pass/fail attitude which is similar to getthereitis. Sales managers often check the sales figures and whine, “are we there yet?” Meaning, have we achieved our sales goals yet? The problem is they have spaced out their financial waypoints too far and do not recognize their progress or lack there of, often enough. Every moment they are not at their sales goal, they feel like they are failing because they are not there yet. This anxiety can cause a hyper focus which can become counter-productive. Are we there yet? No. Then we must push harder. Sales getthereitis can set in even when performance is actually right on schedule. It’s like saying, Disney is still 300 miles away, let’s drive faster!

Imagine if your goal is to lose 25 pounds by Summer. A reasonable strategy would be to calculate a weekly pounds to lose goal and then track your daily weight. You can celebrate each ounce you lose and correct quickly for any plateau or minor gain. Most importantly, you can track your progress and see if you are on schedule to Bikiniville. This is a much more encouraging and effective strategy than weighing in around the first day do Summer to judge if you were successful or a failure. Tracking small wins and celebrating each success while correcting each minor setback is a proven success strategy.

Asking “are we making progress and are we on schedule?” are more effective questions than “are we there yet?” I hope my kids will read this post before our next vacation.

Do you our your team suffer from getthereitis? Maybe setting some milestones and celebrating each bit of progress can make your life’s journey much more enjoyable.

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