By Justin Kerr


Should you grow your business by $1 Million this year or $80K per month or $18K per week or $3K per day? MR CORPO talks about how to set small measurable goals so your team can make decisions on an hourly, daily, weekly basis. MR CORPO also weighs in on how to trick your boss and why you need to repeat yourself constantly if you are a boss and why you need to repeat yourself constantly if you are a boss. A special call-in guest definitively re-affirms MR CORPO's feelings about cover letters.



JUSTIN: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Mr. Corpo podcast. I am actually recording this episode from the Newark airport at 7:44am on a Tuesday morning. It's gonna go live tonight. And the reason I'm recording from Newark airport is, I am an efficiency monster. And I recorded an episode and it was 30 minutes long, for how to write your goals, or how to set goals, and I just thought it was way too long, and it was a waste of your time. So, I'm re-recording it on the way to San Francisco from the airport. So, without further ado, let's get to work.


(Intro music)


JUSTIN: Hi everyone, and welcome to the first episode of Season 3 of the Mr. Corpo podcast. Welcome to 2017. On today's episode, we want to talk about how to set your goals. And there's three different parts to today's episode. I wanna talk about the individual setting goal, I want to talk about the boss setting goal, and then I want to talk about New Year's resolution goals. So, when we're talking about the individual, I just have one thing I want to say, because if you've read my book, How To Write An Email, and you go to page 70, there's an entire chapter on how to write goals. So just go out and buy the book, and then you don't have to listen to this podcast.


But I do have something new to say about setting goals for the individual. And what that is is, I want you to take advantage of your knowledge. You know more than your boss, you know more than the rest of the company. So no matter what, when you're writing your goals, there's always at least one or more goals that are up to you, the individual, to write. And you get to decide, what are you gonna do, what's the goal, what's the subject, all of those things.


Now, what I want you to do is, use what you know. Because your boss is busy, they don't have time to review every single sentence of every single person's goals. So what they're going is, they're scanning the goals to make sure there's something quantifiable, there's something specific, and then after that, they really don't care, and they don't do the homework, and they don't check. So what I mean by this is, you can pick a category that maybe was underserved last year, cause usually our goals are written against last year, and say you're gonna grow it 200 percent. When your boss scans that on the goals page, it's gonna look impressive and gonna look outrageous. But the thing your boss doesn't know is, you've already bought inventory for 300 or 400 percent. Or for example, something happened last year and the holiday lands on a different day, or your best customer didn't place the order in time and this year they will. You know things that your boss and the company don't know. And so use that to your advantage when you're writing the goals.


Now, the reason that it's important to have quantifiable, measurable goals is, even if you have a great relationship with your boss, even if your boss loves you and you love your boss, it takes more than the two of you to get you promoted. And especially when they're talking about raises and promotions, you get HR, you get bosses' bosses involved, you even get peers of your boss involved. You wanna have a sheet of paper in black and white that travels around the organization really easily that says, "This was the goal, this is what I achieved." So you can't argue with this. Even if the goal was unfair at the beginning of the year, or too easy, if that was the goal and you beat it, hey, more for you. So that's all I wanna say about the individuals setting goals. Use your knowledge to your advantage.


Okay. Now, I wanna talk about the boss. Alright, I'm working on my new book, it's called How To Be A Boss. And there's a segment in there where I'm talking about how to lead your team. And one of the keys to leading your team is setting small goals. So I'm not gonna talk about setting big, William Wallace, let's-run-over-the-hill-and-kill-everybody gigantic goals that are gonna motivate the army to take over the world in five years. I'm talking about daily, weekly, monthly, how are you guiding your team to get the mission accomplished? You've got to set small goals. Cause here's the thing: as human beings, we want to be measured. We want to be recognized. We want to be told we're doing well, and we want to be able to keep score. So in order to keep score, you gotta know what the measuring stick is, and you gotta know what the rules are, and you gotta know what the goal of the game is. So what you wanna do as a leader is set small goals.


Now, what I wanna do is, I wanna tell you, here's how not to set your goals. This is the absolutely wrong way to do it, if you say something like this: "I'm gonna grow my business. "That doesn't mean anything, that should be obvious. Here's another way: "I want to get promoted this year." Okay well, you want to get promoted, everybody does. At least you said this year, so you gave yourself a time frame. But it doesn't really mean anything. So you've got to be specific. Those are obvious examples.


Now, I want to go into some less obvious examples. People might say, "I want to grow the business by one million dollars this year." 05:00 Okay, we'll go into detail why that's not a good goal. "I want to grow the business by 20 percent." Alright, the thing about 20 percent is, nobody knows what 20 percent means, so 20 percent isn't a good goal." When you say 20 percent and your team is in a meeting and they're trying to make a decision, how do they hold onto 20 percent? It's not an increment that is really useful for them to make a decision in that day, in that meeting, or to solve an argument.


And the same goes when you're setting a goal for, "I want to grow by a million dollars this year." It seems specific, it has a time measurement, but my argument is, no human being can hold onto a year increment. We don't live and exist in a world of year increments. We live in a world of hours and days and weeks. So what you need to go is break down your big goal into smaller goals, so that your team can really take action against it.


So a couple ways you can do this as a boss. You take your million-dollar goal, let's divide it by 12 months, you're gonna get about 80,000 dollars a month. But again, I don't feel like 80,000 dollars in a month, it's not really gonna help me and my team make decisions and set small goals. If I look at it against 56 weeks, maybe I set this goal by week, okay, it gets me around 20,000 dollars. Again, 20,000 -- it's gonna depend what kind of business you're in, if a week is a good goal or not. But being able to say to your team, "We need to grow the business by 20 percent, or 20,000 dollars every week." That seems much more tangible and actionable than a million dollars in a year. I would even go so far as, what does a million dollars look like divided by 365 days of the year? And all of a sudden you get that math and it's about 3,000 dollars a day. All of a sudden if you say to your team, "Guess what, we want to grow by a million dollars this year, it's the equivalent of 3,000 dollars a day."


So when you're taking action, when you're doing your work, I want you to think, is this gonna add 3,000 dollars per day? All of a sudden, the 3,000 seems actionable. It's small enough that you can imagine taking things that are gonna make that happen, taking actions that are gonna make that happen. And then in addition, you can imagine every day, how am I gonna grow the business by 3,000 dollars? Voila, all of a sudden you and your team have actionable, small goals. So no matter your situation, no matter the goals, figure out a way to break it down and make it real for your team.


Alright, now the last thing I want to talk about is New Years resolutions. And it's related to the idea of a million dollars in one year. The reason most New Years resolutions fail is, the increment of time is unrealistic and doesn't help you make a decision. So if my goal is to get in better shape this year, if my goal is this year, it doesn't help me make the decision of whether I should get off the couch today or whether I can go work out tomorrow. Because in my mind, how can I determine if today's workout versus tomorrow's workout is gonna make a difference versus the year measuring stick? That's why small goals are so important. That's why you want to be able to say, "My goal for the next two weeks is to work out five times." That's much more measurable. And then set the next goal, rather than set some big lob that's too far out there that means nothing.


Now, one of the things I think's interesting as it relates to work and New Years resolutions, I've been seeing a lot of people talk about this idea of, don't set goals, instead change your life, or change the structure of your life. So if we're talking about going to the gym or something else, if gym is important to you, move your gym clothes to the top drawer of your closet. Change the order of your closet to reinforce for you what's more important. Some goes for your desk or your work. If you want to get better at something, if you have a goal for one particular area at work, guess what? Pick that area, rearrange the way you work or do that first. Change a behavior. Changing a behavior will get your attention and reinforce for you, something's different, I need to pay attention, this is more important, I'm setting out to do this. If you just keep doing the same behaviors and the same routine and expecting a different result, we all know that's not going to work. So rearrange your desk, move the clock to the other side, whatever it is, do something to change your behavior, get your attention, so you start paying attention and you start winning. So that's all I have to say for how to set goals.


And then the last thing I'm gonna say is on Sunday, we had a special guest, Colin, so I'm gonna hand it over to that segment, and then we're out. Rob, thanks for another good show and everything's great, excited to get this thing going in 2017.


(airport noises)


JUSTIN: Special guest coming in for a special section for the Ask Mr. Corpo 10:01 podcast, who do you have on the phone here?


JUSTINSF: Justin from San Francisco.


JUSTIN: Welcome, Justin. Thank you for joining us. For those of you that don't know, Justin is a world-famous, world-renowned, top of his field recruiter in the corporate world. Would you say that's an accurate description, Justin?


JUSTINSF: Uh, it's some -- somewhat accurate.


JUSTIN: Okay, alright. Now, I'm not going to disclose the name of your company. I'm gonna keep that a secret to protect your job, so you can answer this honestly and to the best of your ability, okay?


JUSTINSF: Sounds good.


JUSTIN: So, on last week's episode, I talked about interviewing. And for a brief second in the bonus section I talked about resumes, and I gave all these dos and don'ts of resumes, and one of the things I said at the end of the episode -- I know you're an avid listener so you probably heard this -- was I said, "Under no circumstances whatsoever should you ever do a cover letter." Now, this was my point of view cause I said they're a waste of time, I don't need to see them, I never read them, they're so generic. I got a super angry letter to the podcast from Rainor Castillo, who is a founder of Chubbies, a very famous and successful business, so it really got -- caught my attention when he said this. He said my point of view on the Mr. Corpo podcast is far too skewed to being a part of large, corporate organizations, and as such, before I even see a candidate they're gone through filters. But he said as a small startup, he receives hundreds of applications for any given job. And as such, they all start to look the same. And so he starts to rely on cover letters as a chance for people to have their personality shine through.


So as someone who probably gets hundreds -- thousands -- of resumes and has looked at tens of thousands of resumes in their career, I'm interested from your perspective, what is the time and the place and the usefulness for cover letters?


JUSTINSF: In my perspective, or from my perspective, I would agree with you. Uh, I do not really even look to open them and I have even said aloud in my office like, why do people keep sending cover letters? Um, I think a lot can be told from a resume, a lot can be told if you're a creative type from your portfolio, or your Instagram page, or your Pinterest board. Um, I don't need you to tell me, like, all the great things about you. I'd rather learn about them if you are a standout, from what I see on your LinkedIn page or your resume or those other creative outlets I mentioned previously. But I don't -- I don't believe in them and I don't read them. I think they're old school. Um, I can see his point, where he's coming from, because he's looking for somebody to stand out. But that takes a lot of time to read, you know, a five-paragraph cover letter. Um, and I just don't feel like I get much out of them, and I've kind of trained my team to not even worry about them because it's just them kind of, you know, self-proclaiming why they are a good fit for this role. Which maybe, from Rainer's point of view, that's what he needs or what he looks for. But my point of view, I don't. And I don't honestly really care.


And I have -- would tell people, and I've told, like, those that are, you know, soon-to-be graduates that like, don't -- don't spend time focusing on a cover letter. Spend time focusing on creating your portfolio and also getting your resume to a tight place that you can tell a story, um, even if you don't really have a big background and like, a lot of job history, like at least have a nice, clear, well-put-together resume to go along with your portfolio. Especially if you're a creative type. Uh, do not spend, you know, hours putting together a cover letter.


JUSTIN: I love it, I love it, I love it. Not only because you agree with me, um, not only because you have the same name as me, but also I think you make some great points. When you say cover letters are outdated -- when I think about a cover letter, when I think about 30 years ago, you had no other touch points for any of the hiring managers to get to know you. They just had your resume, they had this cover letter to ad more context. But I feel like in today's world, you're right. You've got LinkedIn, you've got your Instagram, you've got other places: a website you might point them to. And so I think maybe you don't need this. And especially when you talk about the five-paragraph, death by text of body. You know, it's just like impenetrable when you see all those words.


And then the final thing I'll add to this is, rather than doing a separate cover letter, what I like to do on resumes, what I recommend to people is, I like to see the two-sentence blurb at the top of a resume that is the hard-hitting short sentences that tell me everything that I want to know about this person, or this person wants me to know about them, at the top of the resume. What do you think about that as a replacement to the cover letter, just two sentences at the top of the resume?


JUSTINSF: Once again, and I'm not always so in a -- you know, a place of agreeing with you on everything -- but I do agree with that, too. I do feel that like, that is a strong way to like, from the get go, before I even dive into your resume, like this is who I am, this is what I can do, and this is what I will bring to your 15:10 company. Um, I much would rather see that versus all these words talking about what you've done and these credentials that you've racked up over the years, that doesn't matter to me. Just tell me what I need to know in a quick and brief format to highlight why you are a good candidate for this role.


JUSTIN: I love that. And then, you know, the only thing I'd add while we're uh, talking about these two sentences at the top of your resume is, make sure it has a little bit of personality. Because the rest of your resume is the black and white, here's what I've done. So don't just repeat that with like generic words. But make sure you've got something that catches people's eye. I remember when I was preparing my resume, I had one of the sentences in there said, "Not afraid to ruffle feathers." And it was just something that was gonna kinda tip the hat, maybe it's good, maybe it's bad, but it made you at least intrigued. So I would just encourage people, that's a place to use a little bit of personality and give someone an insight into hey, if you're the world yo-yo champion, like, get it out there. And -- and use that to get people's attention.


But listen Justin, thank you for calling in from San Francisco. You're our first non-present visitor on the Mr. Corpo podcast. So now we can say we're cross-country. We're calling in guests from around the world. Thanks for joining us.


JUSTINSF: Appreciate it.


JUSTIN: Bonus section. Bonus section. Bonus section. Bonus section. Bonus section. I forgot to mention the most important part of goals no matter what, whether you're the individual, whether you're the boss, whether you're anybody. The point is, everyone has to know about your goals. So if you as the individual set your goals and your boss isn't aligned, it doesn't mean anything. So make sure, no matter what you pick, that your boss agrees with you. And just because they don't say anything, that doesn't mean they agree with you. You have to get them in writing, in some type of acknowledgement, to agree with your goals. Otherwise they don't count. And the same goes for being a boss. If you set the goals, you put them on a piece of paper, you send an email and then you never mention them again the rest of the year, it doesn't count. You have to be reinforcing and talking about those goals tens of hundreds of times throughout the year, or whatever the time period is. Repetition is your friend. You have to keep talking about the goals so that everyone knows what they are. They way you can tell if you're doing a good job of communicating your goals is if your boss or HR or anyone walks into a room and they say to your team, "What are the goals?" Everyone would raise their hand and be able to say the simple sentence. Everyone could say, "Our goal is grow 3,000 dollars every day this year." That's a real goal, and you've got to communicate it.


So the bonus section is easy, but I'm just reminding you, at the risk of repeating myself, you've got to communicate the goals. Your boss has to agree, your team has to agree, everyone has to agree. And by the way, get your team to agree to the goals. Ask them to agree. They may not have a choice, but if you say, "Do you think this is fair? Does this seem real? Does this seem measurable? Do you think we can do this?" That's -- getting them to verbalize it is gonna get their buy-in to be even a little bit deeper. So you've got to do that. Communicate your goals.


Alright, that's it for the bonus section. I'm getting on the plane. We're out.





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