We have all heard the story that people who can "delay gratification" are more successful than those poor fellows who give in to the instant gratification temptations. (Think about that tasty chocolate muffin in front of you vs. your latest New Year Resolutions...)
However, the study below implies that the focus on long-term goals is over-rated and that in fact people who follow through on their longterm goals have fun along the way. Even when people believe their motivation for the longterm is the key driver, apparently in reality instant rewards play an important role during the process.
What does that mean for your success as a leader?
First of all, you can't motivate your team just by focusing on longterm goals, especially when it's just about the "dry" numbers (sales, EBIT, quality metrics...)
How can you make work for your team (and for yourself) more enjoyable on a everyday basis?
Well, how about some rewards and recognition along the way (saying "thank you" works wonders), a fun work environment, or simply allowing people more autonomy in the way they work?
Second, you need to apply the same principle in your own development. When I work with clients on behavioral changes, we constantly look into ways of making it more fun. A key element is monitoring progress and celebrating success during the journey.
What KPI can you put on your own development? How can you reward yourself for the progress you're making?
Have a successful and fun day at work!
What Separates Goals We Achieve from Goals We Don’t Yet people overestimated how much delayed benefits influenced their goal persistence. When we asked people what would help them stick with their goal in the upcoming months, they believed both immediate and delayed benefits—enjoyment and importance—mattered for their success. In actuality, delayed benefits had less influence on persistence; they mainly played a role in setting the goal in the first place.