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  • alectcoughlin

#7: Calibrating Leading vs Lagging Indicators + Achieving Your Goals

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

We've all been in those weekly meetings with 20+ colleagues for 60-75 minutes where a leader says "we're going to run through the pipeline in Salesforce" and there's a collective groan...

I get how this benefits leadership by helping them avoid 20+ 1:1 meetings but whenever I found myself in those weekly meetings, I would wonder why we didn't spend most of the time focusing instead on the leading indicators that drove / drive what actually shows up in Salesforce vs spending time reading aloud what's already in there?

Lagging indicators are looking in the rearview mirror at what's behind you, what you've achieved.

Leading indicators are focusing on the success drivers that drove those outcomes.

Strengthen your leading indicators, improve your results.

The more you focus on strengthening the right leading indicators, the more your results will improve.

One of the challenges, especially with longer sales cycles is having faith and enough runway to prove out the impact of your focus on a short-list of leading indicators.

Said differently, you won't feel the positive or negative impact until 45+ days later which is why it's so critical to consistently invest in understanding your leading indicators, stack ranking them and focusing on those that have proven to have a disproportionate impact on your priority lagging indicators.

Understanding this relationship between your leading and lagging indicators is mission critical. Benefits include risk mitigation, reduced churn, increased productivity per hour / dollar invested in growth, increased execution velocity etc.

The outcome is easy to measure as you either did or didn't achieve your goal.

But understanding what you did day-to-day to deliver that outcome so you can do more of what's working + less of what isn't is where the sustainable growth stuff really happens.

January 10, 2021 (Tweet Link)

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