Paradox of the Product Goal

This is from an article by Jason Selk on Forbes.com:

Strategy number two is to help the CEO identify with the process, not the result.  Think about a baseball player in the batter’s box. If all he’s thinking about is, “I gotta get a hit,” he won’t. It’s what’s called the “paradox of the product goal.” What the batter needs to think about are the actions that will get him a hit – tracking the ball, the short swing, and the follow-through.

The same truths apply to CEOs. Instead of dwelling on meeting their numbers, they need to think about the process that will ensure that success. All they need to do is focus on the three most important tasks to get them to their goal. Science tells us that focusing on process is what brings results.

How many players get caught up in the paradox of the product goal? They think “I have to score” or “I have to make a play” and get so focused on doing that one thing that they forget the details that allow them to do that in the first place. They forget about moving their feet, seeing their options, skating hard, making the smart plays and instead try to force things and do it all themselves. Focusing on the process will ultimately lead to a successful result. Doing the little things right leads to big success.

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One Response to Paradox of the Product Goal

  1. Brian says:

    Chris,

    I really like the message here. As a player I was this way and I see a lot of my junior and college students getting rapped up in the end result instead of the steps that lead to success. As teachers we need to break down the steps and then praise the small plays that lead to the production. Over a long season, players will be much more consistent if they focus on puck touches, shots, getting pucks in side the house etc, instead of goals and assists.

    Thanks!

    Brian

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