10 years ago
January 6, 2015

Work Smarter, Not Smart

SMART: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely

Rhys Metler



How often would you attempt something if you knew there was a 90% chance you’d fail?  While not an exact science, evidence* has shown this is exactly what people face when looking in the mirror to proclaim this year’s New Year’s resolution.

The New Year’s resolution, while inspirational in theory, has become a laughable, amusing topic of conversation that by now is more often an image in our rear view versus a destination.  Try 90% more often. 

While the resolution is typically of a personal flavor be it through weight loss (or weight gain), spending more time with family, or giving more of ourselves to philanthropic efforts, the business side of us is not immune.  How many of us have approached the New Year with optimism around attaining more customers,  increasing marketshare, earning greater revenue, larger T4’s and so on…Well, we’re 7 weeks into 2010, how are you doing?   For those of you on target, keep up the great work (and email me with your reasons for success).   For those who can’t remember what their resolution was by now, keep reading.

At some point in your sales career you probably made your team come up with a set of S.M.A.R.T goals as part of a performance review or perhaps New Year’s resolution.  Perhaps, you recall being a rep and jotting down a few goals on an empty Starbucks cup minutes before your review (actual story from a colleague who will remain nameless).  If you’re not familiar with “SMART” goals it’s an acronym (with various meanings) that can be used as a guide to achieving the said goal.  Here is a widely accepted version:  Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.  However, there may be other variations that make sense for you.  For example the “S” could also be for sustainable (as in monthly quotas) or stretch (as in President’s Club), the “A” could be for agreed-upon (important for team based goals) or achievable (so as not to be part of the 90% club).  Whatever it is, customize it, keep it and review it. 

What’s important is that the acronym is clearly defined and memorable (hey, another option for “M”).  It should be written down and visible for daily review (think Rocky eyeing up Drago every morning in the bathroom mirror).  Also, I believe it should be shared.  Nothing helps you hold up your end of a commitment, if there’s someone to hold it up with- accountability.  

Getting SMARTER.   If you’re not Enthusiastic about your goal why would you ever think you’d achieve it?  Don’t aim for something only because a colleague is.  Choose a goal that you will benefit from.   Lastly, when you reach your goal, what do you get?  Achieving your goal should be a catalyst to a Reward.  We have been conditioned from an early age that winning results in a tangible reward i.e. a smiley sticker, a trophy, etc.   If you set a 25% revenue growth target and you achieve it, perhaps you receive a monetary bonus.  Great!  Reward yourself with a “trophy” that can act as a reminder of the sacrifices and moments outside of your comfort zone that it took to achieve the goal. 

In conclusion work S.M.A.R.T.E.R.  Cross reference your resolution with the SMART acronym and then make it SMARTER.  Be Enthusiastic and Reward yourself and you may just reduce the failure rate to 89%.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.