How these two traits impact your goals to improved performance

2 traits to impact your goals performance

Have high ambition and the determination to give it your all

Have high ambition and the determination to give it your all

Recognition of goal success

Have you ever wondered just how many “Number 1 best-selling authors” there are in the world? Have you come across a National Champion Gold Medalist of some obscure sport? These people certainly have worked hard, put in the time and effort plus the dedication where others have not and gained recognition for their just efforts. This does not mean however that other people are not better than them and have not sought the same recognition.

Consider a silent charity supporter who donator who will donate several hundreds of thousands of dollars may not get the same publicity as the person who raised a few thousand from a sponsored run or parachute jump.

why do you do what you do

Have you considered the people who do not chase or pursue world acclaim but silently just get on with their life, in their hobby, work or interests and achieve true high standards but gain little recognition for it? If you walked into many companies within a random region around the globe, the situation will be the same. The recognition is often given and awarded to those who have also promoted themselves the most.

This poses a question for you the reader. How do you ensure you are rewarded and are recognized for your goal achievements? Why do you think it may matter?

Different traits

The different traits to goal setting.

Your personality is unique but also can be grouped into types of behaviors, traits and values. From these core factors we see the different approaches from one person to another or indeed from one business to another in how they approach their recognition and celebration of goal attainment.

These traits do not show up just at the end of the goal, they have been there from the very start and can have significant influence to the goal design, ambition, structure and process.

The two extremes of these approaches can be loosely identified as the “Fake it till you make it” and the “Authentic You” movements.

I thought if I acted like someone else I’d feel more comfortable with myself
— Matt Johnson

Fake it till you make it

These are big bold goals. They suit the person and business that want to stretch, be highly ambitious and change their world and also not scared of failure. Some clear examples include Kennedy proclaiming to put a man on the moon at a time when this was not even known if possible.

Man on the moon

The types of goal setting camps and systems that match this approach include x10 and Big Hairy Audacious Goals. The people and organizations that follow this path can often also be seen as users of vision boards, affirmations and motivational quotes, gamification through their process and daily environment.

You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.
— Paulo Coelho

Be prepared for a fast pace, boom but type emotional ride within the personalities of these people and organizations.

See the below steps to help move your business or personal self into a “fake it till you make it” approach.

  1. Strong and positive body language is used on a personal level and on a business level a high quality and high level marketing approach is brought to the market.

  2. Dressing to the occasion. Depending on the clothes you wear there is a high chance it will affect your emotional state and how others treat you. If you wear fine clothes to a business meeting, you will be treated differently at events. I find this point very interesting. I love to dress down and go hiking. A walk into a café in hiking clothes receives a very different reaction than when you return with a fine shirt and cufflinks.

  3. What are you prepared to risk and fail at to gain your ultimate success and goal?

  4. What are the future relationships you want with friends, family, markets, staff and competitors?



The Authentic You

Opposite to the fake it ‘til you make it movement is the “be authentic” movement.  The source of this thought train can be sourced back to Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis. These psychologists focus on the clear strengths and weaknesses of the individual.

The challenge with authenticity includes making tough choices about your abilities and opportunities and realities.

The supportive movements of this approach can be found in incremental improvement process’s found in Kaizen and Lean, SMART and WOOP goals. For these types of people and businesses continual development and change is important but in a balanced way that may not affect other areas of their life and business.

See some of the below step ideas to identify your personal or business authentic self.

  1. What are your current values and ethics you wish to live by?

  2. What are the facts and opinions you place on the world/markets?

  3. Describe yourself to friends, family, colleagues, suppliers, employees, customers, competitors.

  4. What are the long term relationships you wish to hold?


A risk with the authentic approach is that the measure is in a current now state and not a projection of your full true potential using stretched goals and all the resources available. So, take caution with this approach as a starting point.

“I thought if I acted like someone else I’d feel more comfortable with myself”

- Matt Johnson

How to deal with goal apathy.

If you feel that you are not in either of the two goals setting camps then there is the possibility you have some form of goal apathy. There can be a daunting feeling when looking at goals. Some of the frequent objections or calls for help I see include people feeling that chasing after goals is a never ending quest which will most likely result in failure. People sometimes just see the problems and see the end goal as not worth their effort.


To address apathy there are several approaches we can take. For a group or business, then the fake it till you make it approach has some limited value. It will quickly filter the people who are committed to positive changed behavior and those that either need more motivation or are unwilling to take the journey.

At an individual level here are some tips to help solve apathy:

  1. Write down the areas of previous joy and happiness associated with other goals

  2. Create and focus on positive habits

  3. Take one single quick win step for a sense of accomplishment with any help offered.

  4. Stop some activities of your normal week and replace with new activities or change the time spent on your normal activities.

Matt Johnson

Your Identity Conundrum


The challenge for many growing companies, people in their career and through the seasons of their private lives is to clarify their identity. Your identity may be very different from how you see yourself, to how your friends see you, how your family sees you, your staff, market, competitors and customers. Within each of these areas, there will also be separate differences. The ways that we communicate to others shape the identity others perceive of you and the consistent use of similar language and messages also shapes the way we identify ourselves. Are you or your business in the camp of fake it till you make it or the authentic you?

  • A person maybe seen today as having a great appetite been very social and fun to be around by their friends and yet at home they become much more of an introvert and serious and very careful with their diet. The root of this change in behavior is the persons desire to balance their life and wellbeing by changing their behavior depending on their environments.

  • A luxury car brand may charge a very high amount of money for an electrical component part that is standard on less brand cars and considerably less expensive. The root of this decision to charge a very high price for the common part is to retain the identity of the brand as a high luxury item through the life of its product.

The question with both of these examples is , are they behaving a fake it till you make it or be authentic strategy?

The destination is the journey


With the two different approaches two points are common. Firstly both approaches have established clear goals. Then secondly, the mindset taken during their process has a clear improvement focus. This makes us look back on the whole purpose of goal setting in the first place.

Example: Take a look at buildings from the periods of 1910, 1950, 1990, 2005 and 2015. You can still find happy functioning households from 1910 design and yet a modern building from 2015 will have many differences in safety, materials, functionality and aesthetic design. All the houses have been “modern” at some point, each house serves the basic needs of shelter, cooking and storage, yet the expectations have risen over time. A new house build with 1910 design and materials would be very hard to sell unless it had been adopted to cater for modern requirements of layout, bathroom and kitchen requirements as a minimum. The lesson we learn here, is that the initial goal we set will always be replaced with a new one that improves and modifies based on the new needs and external environment.

old and new building

The above case highlights that what was built in 1910 was done at a high standard and met all expectations of the day. People would move in and be delighted with their outside toilet facility, small kitchen area and low levels of insulation. They were build fit for purpose and met or exceeded these expectations. Our expectations change over time and therefore our continual pursuit and need for new goals will also.

The world changes every moment.

On one level the world can be seen as a cyclical environment with predictable behaviors in nature, these can be times of sunrise, seasons for harvest, the warmth of the days compared to nightfall. However we also see at another level significant changes occur. This can be the continental plate’s movement of a landscape change due to a volcano.

Cycle of nature

We see similar changes in our personal and business lives. The impact of electricity or the changes of a democratic political structure after a dictatorship, all leave long term shifting patterns.

For these reasons, we can adopt the metaphors and embrace such changes in our lives and company process for progress and positive change.

Where do you see different levels of progress and positive in life or at your business? Is information or skills missing to fill these gaps?


If you do not evolve and change then you are accelerating the way you become less meaningful, helpful and rewarded in life. The skills and abilities you had last year or 10 years ago will need to be stronger, better and different than today. This includes some of the classic skills and crafts such as wood working to wrestling. New skills, techniques and knowledge continue to expand the master’s portfolio of techniques and tools to remain relevant, excellent and contribute to the world.

Goals 2.0 is Performance Management

In this article I have focused on many of the soft skills and attitudes we see and face with people and companies when addressing goals. There are many hurdles to overcome and yet most of these are mindset based.


There are less physical restrictions today for many steep challenges, be that landing a probe on Mars or sailing across the ocean as a disabled person due to advanced technology, materials, know-how and experiences from other pioneers. We also are now at a time in human history with more available knowledge to address the mindsets of individuals.


Goal setting has provided great results and continues to be an influencing factor for people and companies. The continued path of improvement and embracing new levels of performance standards opens the doors for a performance management mindset, as opposed to a goal focus mindset. The difference between these two areas is easy to understand.

Goals: A goal should be specified in design through a SMARTER construction. The question is what happens if the goal is NOT reached or if it is reached? There needs to be a reason of WHY you are chasing the goal. From this question the answer most often leads to some form of performance improvement.

Performance Improvement: Your measurement of goals can incremental on a year by year basis. The principles of kaizen for continual improvement highlight the need for step by step ongoing positive improvement change. Therefore your goals can often remain but their performance levels can also develop and grow with them. This is the mindset of the millionaire who wants to become the billionaire, or the World Record holder who wants to break their record with a new time or distance.


The changes we undertake in life and business are normally upwards focused. We feel constantly stretching our abilities to new levels. Anyone who has downloaded a fitness program will see that rest is an integral part of the program. The resting time allows your body to restore and repair itself. During this time your muscles also further develop and become stronger.

The same is important for your mind. During the resting time, people often review their performance and gather a sense of reward of their performance and generate mental plans on how they will deal with the new forth coming challenges. The same applies to your goals. It is important to adopt a mindset of reflection and review in life and business. Appreciate and respect the success and progress you have made, look back and feel proud of the progress.

Check your progress


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By James Doyle – Founder of JAMSO


JAMSO helps people and business transform their performance and results. From goal setting to goal management or performance management systems. We help with free online training content about metrics, key performance indicators, business intelligence and the application of analytics.

 Further Reading

  1. Leadership from within

  2. My 4 rules for goals

  3. The system elements your goals need to succeed

  4. Articles with goals

By James Doyle – Founder of JAMSO