Goal-Achievement Game: ‘Two Truths and a Lie’

Ever played the game “Two truths and a lie?” Hang around a bunch of kids and, odds are, you’ll find it’s a popular game that’s shockingly indicative of our culture in which weeding out facts from fiction is anything but a game.

In case it’s new to you, the game goes like this: One player comes up with two personal truths and one lie. The other players try to guess which one is the lie.

In the real world, where information easily gets muddled, determining what’s real and not real is tricky. Moreover, in professional environments, it can be even trickier. For example, when it comes to business development activities such as goal-setting, there’s a lot of room for misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

For example (and for fun!), let’s test your knowledge. Which of the following statements is the lie?

1. Goals are more achievable with an accountability system to support them.

2. Effective goal-setting builds employee engagement. 

3. Writing down goals makes them easier to achieve. 

Now, how do your answers compare to the ones below?

1. Truth. Goals are more achievable with a proven accountability system. Employee engagement research by Gallup shows that “the best organizations know there is no meaningful mission or purpose in the absence of clear expectations, ongoing conversations and accountability.” Add to that, the American Society of Training and Development found there’s a 65 percent chance of goal achievement if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you've committed, your odds of success soar to 95 percent.” That means leaders and organizations that build in accountability to their performance management systems win. At Management Action Programs (MAP), we’ve coached over 170,000 leaders and organizations for 60+ years to achieve success over and over again. MAP’s “accountability” secret? “The Vital Factors® System,” which aligns everyone around goals and controls, transforming cultures and driving results.

2. Truth. Again, we turn to Gallup’s strength-based training research as the data demonstrates the link between goal-setting and engaged employees. Employees who understand their strengths, receive strengths-based training, and then set goals that align with their strengths are more engaged and motivated to perform.

3. Lie: Writing out goals doesn’t make them easier to achieve. It just jumpstarts a process that will become easier to manage but only with accountability in place. That said, recording your goals does deliver value. A 2015 study by psychologist Gail Matthews showed when people wrote down their goals, they were 33 percent more successful in achieving them than those who formulated outcomes in their heads. So do get them down, using paper, a Google doc or a handy goal-tracker app. But don’t stop there! Commit to building and implementing that essential accountability system, focusing on your most vital goals.


​ The Disciplined Leader

What do the best leaders have in common? The answer is one word: Discipline. A disciplined leader is one who identifies and focuses on the Vital Few: the 20% of activities that will drive 80% of the results. Learn More

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