There are only two fundamental measures when it comes to achieving your goals, and they are governed by the lead and lag measures. A lag measure is a measure of the end result. For most people, they set their goals as a lag measure.
- To lose weight
- To make a million dollars
- To build a successful business
- To increase sales to $500,000 this year
The above are the examples of lag measures. The problem is that the majority of people tend to set their goals according to the lag measures. Lag measures are the targets that they cannot act on or influence.
The lead measure, on the other hand, is totally different. Lead measure is something that you can act on. Something that you can influence and actually do. Here are some examples:
- To exercise for 30 minutes a day
- To write 1,000 words a day
- To call 50 prospects and propose company’s new policy
- To make 3 appointments with clients a day
Lead measures are the things that are actionable. And when you act on them, you directly move the lag measure. For instance, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds by year end, you are focusing on the lag measure.
In order to achieve this goal, you must shift your focus from the lag measure to the lead measure. You should focus on the number of exercise sessions you can take each week if you want to reach your weight loss target. If you exercise every day for 30 minutes, eventually, you will lose weight, and you will reach your goal.
The exercise session is something that you can control and something you can do. This is why you should focus on the lead measures of your goals and not the goals themselves. If you want to influence the results you get, you must work on a predictive indicator.
For example, if you want to boost your sales, focusing on the numbers will only make you lost. Instead, you should focus on things that you can act on, such as the number of calls you can make to your prospects. The more calls you make, the more sales you will get.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso
How to Identify Your Lead Measures
Lead measures may not be easily identifiable and sometimes, they can be too simple to catch your attention. Take losing weight as an example, the number of hours you put into exercise and your calorie intake per day are the two main lead measures, but most people don’t track or focus on them because they sound too simplistic.
When you are trying to identify your lead measure, ask yourself this question, “What is the one thing that I can do that will influence my results(goals)?” You want to find out the action that you can act on so that you will get the results you want.
Which lead measures give you the most impact
The next step you can take is to rank your lead measure according to their impact. We have only so many hours in a day and thus, it is impossible for you to focus your energy on everything. This is why you should focus on the lead measure that gives you the most impact.
If you want to grow your blog, there are a number of lead measures you can focus on. Here are some examples:
- Writing and publishing quality content.
- Create share-worthy social media posts.
- Write and submit guest articles to other blogs.
- Placing ads on social media and drive traffic to your blog.
After you have brainstormed with all the possible lead measures, rank them according to their impact and the ease to act on them.
You want to focus and work on only one or two in the beginning. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin by focusing on too many things. Just one or two as a start can quickly boost your results and get you to your goals.
Work on your lead measure
Once you have identified your lead measure, work on it. Focus and put in most of your effort there. When you work on it, you will get the results, which will eventually move you to your lag measure.
“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” – Jim Rohn
Should You Neglect Your Lag Measure?
In short, the answer is no. Although the lag measure is a measure that you cannot predict and influence, having it is equally important. The reason is simple, if you act only on the lead indicator without a lag measure, it can make you feel good about being busy with a lot of work to do, but it will not provide you the answer if your business or what you do is getting you the results you want.
Therefore, you need both lead and lag measures to make things balance. A lag measure excites and drives you, such as setting a goal to lose 10 pounds, to look fit, or to build a successful online business. At the same time, you need to act on your lead measure in order to achieve your lag measure.
Most people set their goals in terms of lag measures. They want to have better ROI, they want to increase revenue, or they want to have 6-pack abs. The problem with these goals is that they are lag measures. Because of this, if you want to achieve them, you must work on the lead measures, not the lag. Act on the indicators that will directly influence the results you want.