November 20, 2019 2

SMART Goals: The Power of Goal Setting with Charles Duhigg

SMART Goals: The Power of Goal Setting with Charles Duhigg

– Hey everyone, welcome
to The Secret Power of Setting SMART Goals. We’re gonna get started
here in just about a minute. We’re gonna give a few more seconds to let the stragglers get in and settled, and then we’ll be off and running. Once again for anyone who’s just joining, we’re waiting for the
stragglers to come in, this is The Secret Power
of Setting SMART Goals, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place. We’re gonna get going
here in about 30 seconds. Okay, this is The Secret
Power of Setting SMART Goals. My name is Kyle Jepson, I’m a
professor at HubSpot Academy. I’m joined today by Charles Duhigg who is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the New York Times. Most of what we’re talking about today comes from his bestselling
book, Smarter Faster Better, but you may have also
read The Power of Habit which is also excellent. I’m very happy to have
Charles with us here today. This masterclass is
presented by HubSpot Academy, the official training resource of HubSpot. If you’re a HubSpot user,
you can find HubSpot Academy and all of its courses
in your HubSpot portal, but for anyone who is not a user yet and is interested in signing up, on the page here, the
class page down below, we have some links for
you, we’ll also be sending some follow-up resources
tomorrow afternoon. But without further ado, let’s
go ahead and get started. Charles, thanks so much for being here. – [Charles] Thanks for having me. – So your book talks a lot about a lot of different great things, but the one we’ve decided
to start with today is this idea of SMART goals. Can you just give us a basic
idea of what a SMART goal is? – Sure, so there’s a basic science, and in Smarter Faster Better we actually have a whole
chapter about this, about the science of goal-setting. And what we know is that there’s basically kind of two types of
goals that people need to really be successful,
really be productive. And there’s a kind of
tension between that. The first is that we need what psychologists traditionally
refer to as stretch goals. These big ambitions, sort of
where we’re moving towards. Because one of the key attributes of people who are more
productive than others, is that they tend to do a better job at identifying what goal
they ultimately want. They’re working about the
same amount as everyone else, they’re just as busy and spend
just as much time relaxing, but they’re chasing better big goals, and as a result, they’re more efficient because they know what
they’re going after. So everyone needs a stretch goal. You need to know that you
wanna start a company, or that you wanna run that marathon. You need to have something that is a month or three months in front of you so that you know you’re
moving in the right direction. But the problem with
having a stretch goal, this really big ambition, is that it makes it hard to decide what to do every single
morning when you wake up. You can’t say like, oh, right now I’m working on the marathon. That’s just too big for you
to get your arms around. You need to break it
down into smaller pieces. And there’s been a lot of science about what kind of breaking down activity, what kind of pieces are most effective at helping people motivate
and helping them stay on task, and get the right things done. And that’s where the science
of SMART goals comes from. SMART goals is an acronym. It stands for a method
for taking a big goal and breaking it into smaller pieces. It’s just a series of
questions you ask yourself. They start with S-M-A-R-T. So if I have a big goal, specifically, what do I wanna get done
tomorrow in the first step towards that big goal, or
the second step, that’s S. How am I gonna measure whether
I’ve been successful or not? That’s M. Is it achievable, is it something that, A, I can actually get done, or
am I setting a small goal for tomorrow morning that’s just too big? That’s A. R is realistic, what
do I need around myself in order to make that goal happen? Do I need, for instance, to
have some resources there? Do I need to close the door to my office? Do I need to turn off
my email applications so that I’m not getting interrupted? Just think through a little bit exactly what makes it realistic that you’ll get this small goal done, and then T, T is a timeline. Figure out ahead of time
exactly how much time you’re gonna spend on this thing, so then rather than being
distracted by emails popping up or saying now I need to take a break, you know that you have two hours that you need to spend devoted on this and you’ve broken it up
into 15-minute increments. S-M-A-R-T, it’s just a mnemonic
to help you take a big goal and come up with a plan on
how you’re going to start. Because what we know is that it’s the starting that’s hard, right? It only takes 60, 90 seconds
to go through those S-M-A-R-T and figure out how to start a big goal. But once you know how to start, odds are that you will be
much much more successful at actually getting that goal done, rather than simply diving in and saying okay, what do I do now? – Yeah, I love that, and I
think that the combination of the SMART goal with the stretch goal is so insightful and important, ’cause I know in my own life
and when I’m teaching people, it’s easy to either have a big goal that nobody knows how to achieve, or a simple, small goal that
doesn’t really matter. (laughs) – That’s exactly right, and what we know from all the researches available to us is that it’s the interplay
between those two that genuinely make people
productive and successful, right? People who do amazing things are people who have set
big goals for themselves, but big goals, too much
ambition can be overwhelming if you don’t have a
plan on how to start it. And so SMART goals, breaking
it down through a system into something that will make it tangible, that’s how you actually get started. – That’s great, and so a lot of the folks joining this webinar today are
either in marketing or sales, that’s sort of the
audience HubSpot caters to, and these are teams that
tend to have big goals, tend to be driven towards results. Another section in your book
talked about team dynamics and what it takes to
make a successful team. Can you talk about that a bit? – Sure, absolutely, so
in Smarter Faster Better there’s a chapter about
the science of teams, and it starts with a story,
it was in the Times Magazine, we ran an excerpt from the
New York Times Magazine about how five years ago
Google actually decided to start this huge study
to try and figure out how to build the perfect team. So for two years, spending
millions of dollars, they collected data on
almost every single team within the company, and
initially what they wanted to figure out is how you choose people who are gonna work together
really really well, right? Do you want maybe introverts
working with extroverts, or do you want people who are friends away from the conference room so they all get along really well, or do you want people who are strangers so there’s no social
tensions between them? Do you want strong leaders,
do you want weak leaders? They measured thousands of variables among their most successful teams and their least successful teams, and then they started looking for patterns because this is what Google does, right? They look for patterns. For two years they collected
data and looked for patterns, and they couldn’t find anything. They couldn’t find anything
that would tell them why some teams were more
successful than others. They would have some teams that basically would have
the exact same membership, and one of those teams would do great, and the other team with
almost the same cast of characters would do terrible. So at some point they said
look, we gotta take a break and approach this from
another perspective. Rather than asking who
should be on a team, let’s start asking how teams interact. If the how of a team is
more important than the who. So they started collecting more data and they started running more regressions and all of a sudden
everything became clear. What they figured out was that
the habits that a team has, the culture, the unconscious
ways the team members treat each other, that’s
much much more important that who is on a team. And in particular, as they look at this, they found a number of habits, a number of what are known as group norms that were particularly important. But one of them was much more
important than anything else. It was this thing known
as psychological safety. Huge amount of data and research
into psychological safety. One of my favorite stories and a story that we tell in Smarter Faster Better is about the making of
Saturday Night Live, because when Saturday Night
Live started in the 1970s, everyone basically thought
it was gonna fail, right? And it should’ve failed. The idea that Lorne Michaels,
the executive producer had, was to get a whole bunch of comedians, most of whom had at one
point slept with each other and now kind of disliked each other, and who aren’t really the
most warm and cuddly people in the first place. He wanted to get a bunch
of these comedians, put them in a room together, have them come up with sketches, and then tell them “If your
sketch makes it on the air, “it means that we’re
cutting your sketch,” right? He wanted to… Competition, and this is a
recipe for disaster, right? There’s no reason why a group of people who are already misanthropes
should come together when they’re all
competing with each other. But Lorne Michaels, he did
this really interesting thing. The way that Lorne Michaels runs meetings is unlike almost anything
else I’ve ever seen, ’cause he does these two things. The first thing that he
does is he forces everyone to speak in roughly equal proportion. So if you’re sitting in a
meeting with Lorne Michaels and you haven’t said anything
in the last five minutes and three other people have spoken, he will have a sheet of
paper where he’s checked off how many times you’ve talked, and he will stop the
meeting and he will say “Jim, I haven’t heard
from you in five minutes, “tell me what you’re thinking, “tell me what’s inside
your brain right now.” He forces everyone to speak up, what psychologists refer to as equality in conversational turn-taking. But that’s not the only
thing Lorne Michaels does. The other thing that he does
is he listens ostentatiously, so if you’re in a meeting
with Lorne Michaels and you tell him an idea, what he’ll do is he’ll echo that idea back to you, and say like “That’s a great idea, “what I hear you saying is” and he’ll repeat back what you just said. Or he makes this really
kind of ostentatious display of picking up on non-verbal cues. So again, if somebody’s
sitting at the table and suddenly they scowl,
he’ll stop the meeting and he’ll say “Ben, I
see that you’re scowling. “I’m kinda picking up that
you don’t like this idea. “Tell me what you’re thinking right now.” He demonstrates how he listens, how he picks up on non-verbal cues. And it turns out that these two things, equality in conversational turn-taking and ostentatious listening, these are the foundational building blocks of psychological safety. And so that’s what Google started to do. They created all these
training systems and modules for leaders to teach them
when you’re having a meeting, what you ought to do is
you should force everyone to speak equally and you
should listen ostentatiously, and this is harder than it sounds, because in a company like Google, you walk into a meeting,
everyone flips up their computer, they start looking at their computer, they’re taking notes, so they made a rule. During meetings, no one is allowed to have their computer open. You have to close it, because we think that you’re gonna be able to
ostentatiously listen better if you don’t have
something else to stare at. And that is why Google
ended up figuring out how to build the perfect team. Not because they figured out which cast of characters is right, but they figured out how to
foster psychological safety. And in the book I go into more details about how exactly we do that, but undergirding it is this idea that if you can create an environment where people feel like
they can be vulnerable, where people feel like they can speak up, they have to speak up, and
that they’re being listened to, then that team is much more likely to gel and do something amazing. – That’s awesome, and this
is so counter-intuitive in a lot of ways to me,
just because we expect that if you take all the best players and put them in a room together, you’re gonna get awesome things. But what I learned reading the book from some of the studies you cite in there is that’s not the case at all. The team norms and the way the leader runs the team matter so much more. – Yeah, no, that’s exactly right. In fact there was an interesting
experiment that was done where researchers took a bunch of people and put them on teams, and they
would actually test their IQ and their professional
achievements and things like that. What they found was that
IQ really did not correlate with team success very much at all. So if you take a bunch of stars and you put them on a team together, the question is are they individual stars or are they people who became stars because they know how to work on teams? If they know how to work on teams, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the all star, right? Someone who’s just
really good at listening and encouraging their
colleagues to speak up, and as a result they look like a genius when it’s all analyzed. – Yeah, I love that. For those of you who are watching, we do have a hashtag on twitter. Please chime in on #HubSpotMasterClass, we’re monitoring that,
if you have any questions send them our way and we’ll
be happy to address ’em. So Charles, you mentioned in Google people having to close their laptops, it makes me think of the section on focus. Can you talk a little bit
about focus and how that works? – Sure, so one of the big
questions in productivity is why are some people so much better at focusing than others, right? Why do some people seem
to maintain their focus and not get distracted,
not just by procrastination but by the things that, at first glance, seem like they should be
things that should distract us. Some people, the most productive people, the most successful people,
they seem to be able to choose what they ought to focus on
better than everyone else and they seem to maintain that focus better than everyone else. And so when I started looking into this and trying to understand what do we know about the neurology and
psychology of focus, I came across this
really interesting story, and it was the story of Qantas Flight 32. So, Qantas Flight 32 is this
plane that took off in 2010, headed from Singapore
to Sydney, Australia, and when the plane first took off, it was like a picture-perfect
beautiful day. It was an Airbus A380 which is one of the most complicated and sophisticated planes
that’s ever been made. And the plane takes off into the air, and it’s flying to Singapore. Everything goes according to plan. And about 20 minutes into the flight, the captain and the co-pilot
sitting in the cockpit, they hear this noise
like thousands of marbles being thrown against the hull,
the fuselage of the plane. Now, unbeknownst to them,
what had just happened is this kind of freak accident. A fire broke out in
one of the jet engines, and these are huge, huge jet
engines, right, enormous. And this fire broke out at
exactly the wrong place, which is the fire started right
where one of the fan blades on the jet engine shaft
attached to the shaft itself, and because it was
spinning around so fast, when the fire broke out it
caused this fan blade to detach, and the fan blade started
shooting through the plane and ended up punching this enormous hole in one of the wings. There’s actually a photo
that someone on the plane that they eventually
recovered, their cell phone. Someone took it out their
window of this huge hole that just appeared through the wing. But what’s really interesting is that this isn’t actually the bad thing that happened on Qantas Flight 32. Because an Airbus A380, it’s
such a sophisticated plane, it can actually sustain an injury like that and continue flying for about nine hours without any problem. The bad thing that happened
on Qantas Flight 32 is that when that fan blade
detached from the shaft, it hit another fan blade, and
it hit that other fan blade at exactly the angle of incidence that caused that second
fan blade to explode into thousands of pieces, right? The odds of this happening were incredibly small, but it happened. And as those thousands of pieces of metal starting moving through the wing, it was like the shrapnel
from bomb going off in there. The pieces of metal, they started cutting through electrical lines and hydraulics lines and fuel lines. When they eventually recovered
the wing on the ground, someone said that it looked like someone had taken a machine gun and had sprayed the
underside of the plane. So for the captain and his
co-pilot sitting in the cockpit, for them, suddenly their dashboard lights up with all these alarms. It would actually later be ruled the worst midair mechanical
disaster in modern aviation. 12 of the 14 systems
that are needed to keep a massive jet aloft suddenly
went offline within 30 seconds. But what’s interesting is who
is sitting in that cockpit. So the captain is this guy
named Richard de Crespigny who’d been taught to fly by
the Australian Air Force, and if anyone’s an air
force vet themselves or knows anyone who was taught
to fly by the air force, what you know is that
when you’re taught to fly by any air force, they teach you a way of thinking, a set of mental habits that are known as situational awareness. Most people have probably
heard this phrase, situation awareness, it
actually comes from aviation. First is the ability
to build mental models. The habit of building mental
models, or put differently, getting into the habit of
telling ourselves stories about what’s occurring as it occurs in order to sharpen our focus, because one of the things that we know from study after study
is that our brain learns what to focus on and how
to pay attention by relying on the stories we tell
ourselves about what’s going on. So for instance, there was
a really interesting study that was done on Fortune 500 executives that found that the most
successful executives, they tended to have this habit they would go through every morning. Now, most of us when we are
trying to think about our day, we kind of visualize our
day a little bit, right? We’re like oh, I have a
meeting at 10 o’clock, I need to leave by 10:55 so I can make it to my 11 o’clock lunch. But the most successful executives, they would just visualize their day with a little bit more specificity. They would say something like okay, I have a meeting at 10 o’clock, and it’s gonna start with Jim bringing up that dumb idea he always bring up, and then Suzy, Suzy’s
gonna disagree with him ’cause Suzy always disagrees with Jim. And then I’m gonna jump in with my idea and I’m gonna win the
meeting because I did that. Put differently, it’s not as
if they were telling themselves a much more complicated story, but the most successful executives, the ones who got promoted the fastest, they were in the habit of
telling themselves stories about their days that were just
a little bit more detailed, because that extra detail, it
somehow programed their brain to pay attention to what matters, to pick up on the things
that really are important during that meeting and
ignore the distractions that might occupy everyone else. And Richard de Crespigny, the guy who’s flying Qantas Flight
32, he loves this stuff. He loves building mental models,
he loves telling stories. In fact, just that morning, before they had even gotten
on board Qantas Flight 32, they were in the shuttle from
the hotel to the airport. And de Crespigny went through this routine that he went through
before every single flight, which is that he asked his
co-pilots to tell him stories about what they would do
in case of an emergency. He would say okay, if engine two goes out, tell me what are the first
words out of your mouth? Where are your eyes gonna go? What’re you gonna do with your hands? He would drill them on this stuff. And if you listen to
the cockpit recordings from the initial minutes of the emergency on Qantas Flight 32, right
when the hole appears in that wing, what you hear is
you hear all of these pilots speaking in short, calm sentences as if they were reading from a script. Nobody is panicked because
they’ve actually practiced this before, they know
exactly what to say. They have the mental models in their heads about how to react. And in 99% of cases, that would
have saved everyone onboard. That is how a damaged
plane gets landed safely. But in the case of Qantas Flight 32, there were so many things
wrong with that plane. So many emergencies breaking out that there literally
weren’t enough scripts in anyone’s heads, enough stories to accommodate everything
that was going on. So as soon as they would fix one problem, five more problems would pop up. And then they would fix two of those and 15 new problems appear. They literally couldn’t keep track of everything that was going on, so after a couple of minutes, about 15 minutes into this emergency, Richard de Crespigny,
the captain of the plane, he does this incredibly interesting thing. He takes his hands off of the controls. He puts them in his lap,
and he closes his eyes. Now, the reason he did this
is because he felt himself getting drawn into what’s
known as a cognitive tunnel. And we’ve all experienced
a cognitive tunnel, a cognitive tunnel is what happens when you’re driving down the freeway and you’re going under the speed limit, and suddenly you see a cop car
out of the corner of your eye and you slam on the brakes, or when you’re at home
and you’re making dinner and you’re talking to the kids and you’re trying to get
everyone ready for bed and your boss sends you a text
and you pick up your phone and you hit reply and you type a reply and then you hit send, and
then immediately afterwards you think I kinda wish
I’d waited to hit send and taken an extra five minutes to think about what I really wanted to say. A cognitive tunnel is what happens when our brain feels overloaded. It tends to latch onto
the most obvious stimuli and simply react to it. But for Richard de
Crespigny, that’s a disaster, because he feels himself
sitting in the pilot’s chair, he sees all these alarms, he’s reacting to computer
prompt after computer prompt, and he stops making decisions,
he just starts reacting. And he feels like this is dangerous, so he takes his hands off the controls, he closes his eyes, and
he thinks to himself and he says look, I’ve
been trying to tell myself a story about this Airbus A380, I’ve been trying to envision
where the fuel lines work and where they’re busted, where the hydraulics are operating and where the hydraulic fluid is leaking. It’s overwhelming, I just
can’t handle that much. I need a different story in my head, I need something else that will make me feel like I’m in charge. So at that moment he
decides to start imagining that Airbus A380 as the plane he learned to fly on, as a Cessna. Now if anyone watching this
has ever been on a Cessna, you know that a Cessna has nothing in common with an Airbus A380. It’s like comparing a
bicycle and a Maserati. But what a Cessna has, this small little almost hobbyist plane that, you know, 13-year-olds
learn to fly on, what a Cessna has is the basics of flight, which is it has the ability
to go up and down in the air, it has a navigation system,
and it has landing gear. And basically if you have
that, you’ve got an airplane. So de Crespigny, he’s
sitting there and he says I’m gonna start pretending
that I’m flying a Cessna, and by now they’ve managed
to turn the plane around and they’re headed back
to the Singapore airport, and they can see the runway approaching. And as they get closer
and closer to the runway, this alarm goes off inside the cockpit that’s known as a squealer. Now, a squealer is hopefully an alarm that no one watching this has ever heard. It’s an alarm that was invented by NASA that is so loud and so annoying that it’s impossible to ignore it. It can actually revive pilots
who are under unconsciousness. And as they’re approaching the runway, because they’re approaching
with such a high rate of speed, the squealer goes off in the cockpit. And de Crespigny turns to his colleagues and he says look, I know
the squealer is going off, I know it’s designed
so you can’t ignore it, but what I think we should
do is just ignore it, because in my head I’m flying a Cessna, and they don’t even bother to
install squealers on Cessnas. It’s like, too junior a plane. So at this point his
co-pilots think he’s crazy, but they say okay, you’re the captain, we’ll do exactly what you want. They’re getting closer
and closer to the runway. They touch down, and the wheels hold up, they don’t explode on contact. And as they’re zooming down the runway, de Crespigny has to make this decision, how is he gonna brake? In his head, he’s flying a Cessna, so he decides to brake the same
way he would brake a Cessna, which is if you’re in a Cessna, (coughs) excuse me, in an emergency situation, what you do is you just
hold the brake pedal down as hard as you can, and then basically just hold on for your life,
so that’s what he does. In this huge Airbus A380, he
presses the brake pedal down and he just keeps it
pressed down to the ground. And they’re zooming down the runway, they can actually see around the runway that there’s these sand dunes, and if they hit those sand
dunes with too much speed the plane will literally flip over and kill everyone onboard. And they’re zooming down the runway and de Crespigny’s
pushing down on the brake, he’s flying the Cessna in his head, they can hear the metal
of the plane groaning as it’s trying to give
off all of the speed, and they get closer and closer
to the end of the runway and with these sand dunes, and
as they get closer and closer the plane’s going slower and slower, and it eventually comes to a
stop with 100 meters to spare. 48 minutes later, all 469
people onboard that plane all walked off without one injury. Now they have tried to
recreate this landing over 100 times in simulators. They’ve had some of the best
pilots trying to land it. No one had ever landed that plane without killing everyone onboard. And if you talk to Richard
de Crespigny and you ask him and I’ve talked to him half a dozen times why he was able to do that, he’ll tell you that he
doesn’t actually know. Maybe he just got lucky. Maybe the plane wasn’t as damaged as the computer said it was. Maybe thinking about the plane as a Cessna was exactly the wrong thing to do. But what he will tell you is this, is that the most important thing was for him to focus on what matters most. The most dangerous thing would
be to stop making choices and simply start reacting
to everything around him. And that when he decided to
change the story in his head, when he decided to change the mental model from an Airbus A380 to a Cessna, it put him back in charge. Simply saying I’m gonna
tell myself a story and I’m gonna choose the
story that’s in my head, that allows us to focus better. That puts us in control. And that is the key to why some people are able to focus better
than everyone else, because they’re there in the
habit of telling themselves a story about what’s
going on as it occurs, and that means rather than
being in a cognitive tunnel, rather than just reacting,
they are making choices. – I love that story so much. (laughs) I think that’s the third
time I’ve heard you tell it and I read it in the book and I read it out loud
from the book to my wife, and I just, every time, that may be the best thing
that’s ever happened. (laughs) So sort of lacing these things together before we move onto the next point, I’m just kinda spitballing here but it seems like in
the context of a plane, if your stretch goal is to
get from Singapore to Sydney, you have SMART goals along
the way like taking off, and like, you know,
delivering drinks to people or whatever the case may be. And I think as organizations and as teams have their stretch goals
and their SMART goals and they’re operating,
the danger of getting in these cognitive tunnels
where you’re focused on this is what we do because
this is just what we do, and an inability to
adapt is potentially one of the most deadly
things that could happen to an individual or an organization. – Oh, absolutely, and
in fact it’s interesting that you bring up SMART and airplanes, because one of the things that’s
transformed modern aviation is the use of checklists, and actually some of the
checklists are literally SMART, it says S-M-A-R-T, you know, there’s a guy named Atul Gawande who wrote a book called The Checklist Manifesto, and a lot of that book comes from aviation because we’ve made aviation so much safer by instituting the checklists. Same thing that’s true of
hospitals and operating rooms, the checklist has really transformed how people are able to pay
attention to the details. Rather than relying on their memory, they have something there to prompt them, and that’s really all that
SMART goals are, right? It’s a checklist to get you to think about the things that are important and sort of just quickly make some choices about them before you start. If you go into a cockpit
and you ask to look at their checklists, you
will literally see checklists that say S-M-A-R-T on them, because that’s how you take a big goal like navigating almost 500 people from Singapore to Sydney, and you break it into a series of steps that
feels really manageable. – That’s great, thank you. So with all of that in place, another key point you hit on
in the book is motivation, and just getting things done. And I especially like in
the appendix in the end where you talk about how,
I had all this research and I needed to write a
book and it was really hard. Can you talk about motivation and how people can get themselves moving? – Sure, absolutely. So we know a lot about motivation, and in Smarter Faster Better
there’s a whole chapter about motivation, and part of it talks about how marine corp basic training has been revolutionized, because
for a long time, you know, I think when most people think about the marine corps and boot camp, they imagine drill sergeants yelling at these recruits and
you just follow orders and learn discipline,
and that’s part of it, that’s sort of a holdover
from the olden days. But nowadays, boot camp has
actually been transformed. What boot camp does is it
teaches, it forces recruits into a habit of making choices, because one of the things that we know is that when you feel in control, it is much much easier to motivate. And the key to feeling
like you’re in control is to make a decision, to have a system for making a decision. So one of the big ways to remember this is that if you change
a chore into a choice, you’re much more likely
to motivate yourself. Really important, and actually
one of my favorite examples of this comes from Starbucks, and there’s a couple of
videos I could show you. So a few years ago, Starbucks, and I actually talk about
this in The Power of Habit. A few years ago, Starbucks
had this basic problem which is what Starbucks actually sells is customer service, right? When you walk into a Starbucks you know that there’s gonna be soft
music and wood paneling and there’s gonna be some barista, and they’re gonna ask your
name and they’re gonna write it in big cursive letters on your cup. Being able to charge, you
know, $4.50 for a latte that costs them about $0.13 to make, is because they know that if they deliver customer service, you’re gonna pay more. The challenge for Starbucks though is that most of their employees
are like, 19 years old. In fact, that’s the average age
of a Starbucks employee, 19. And the tough thing about 19-year-olds is that they sometimes
act like 19-year-olds. When you’re 19 years old, you tend to not have the most willpower, you do stupid things. And this particularly became
an issue for Starbucks as social media took off,
and I’m gonna show you one of my favorite videos of this. Let me go ahead and open this up. So before you watch this,
imagine for a minute that you’re sitting at home, and let’s say you oversee
Starbucks’s advertising. And you come home from a long day and you kick up your heels
and you turn on the TV, and this is what you see appear. – She was a loyal customer of Starbucks, loved the coffee, loved the service, but that changed a few weeks ago. This native New Yorker got steamed not by what was inside her cup, but something written on the outside. That’s when she called Nina Pineda and ordered a special brew of fully caffeinated 7 On Your Side. – [Reporter] And then when you looked at it, what’d you think? – I was shocked I didn’t understand why, why would they do that? [Reporter] Vicki Reveron is
talking about this Starbucks. The side, the Starbucks employee wrote what she ordered, a caramel frappuccino. But instead of scrawling
her name on the side, she says he wrote the B word. – It says (beeping). My name is not (beeping), it’s Vicki. – So I love this video
because it illustrates exactly how dangerous it
is to have anything bad happen in one of your companies. And social media sort of
explodes the opportunity for something to go awry. And so Howard Schultz,
the head of Starbucks, he actually starts an investigation to try and figure out why this happened. And what he discovers is that the kid who had helped Vicki that day, this kid was a 19-year-old
who had been working for Starbucks for nine months and had never had any problems,
spotless employment record. But the night before Vicki comes in, this kid gets into a fight with his mom. He ends up sleeping for about two hours. He goes into work the next day
all wound up and exhausted. He’s in hour seven and a
1/2 of an eight-hour shift, and that’s when Vicki comes in. And this kid makes a terrible choice. And I think Vicki was a little
bit bossy with him maybe, but this kid decides to write a bad word on a cup, and it’s disastrous. And for Howard Schultz,
the CEO of Starbucks, and for everyone inside Starbucks, they started trying to figure out how do we stop this from happening? We need all of our employees
to have great customer service. ‘Cause it’s not just this one instance, this has actually happened in other stores in different ways, they kept on having all of these problems. So they started saying look, what can we learn about willpower, about how to make someone
feel like they can motivate themselves to do a great… They start looking at
research, and what they learned is that there’s actually a lot of really interesting
research about willpower. Most people who are watching,
they’re probably familiar with something called the
marshmallow experiment. The marshmallow experiment
was the foundational study in willpower, and it was
done in the late 1960s when a guy named Walter Mischel, he was a researcher at Stanford, he took his daughter who was
four years old at the time and a bunch of her preschool classmates, and he would put them in a room one by one and he would put a
marshmallow in front of them and he would say to each of them, okay look, I’m gonna make you a deal. If you want, you can eat that marshmallow, but I’m gonna leave the
room and when I come back, if the marshmallow is still there, then I will give you a second marshmallow. They’ve actually repeated this
experiment a number of times. Let me show you, I think I
have some of the tape here. Let me show you what it looks like when you put a marshmallow
in front of a four-year-old. Hold on just one second,
see if I can find it. – [Woman] I’m gonna go to eat something and then I’ll come back. – [Child] It smells yummy. It smells really good. (goofy music) – [Woman] Alright, it’s up to you, you can have it now or you can wait, okay? – [Charles] So only one of
those kids actually managed to go the whole 10 minutes
waiting for the marshmallow, let me show you which one. – [Woman] How’d you do? Did you do good, you did? You wanted to eat it, didn’t you? Yeah, so I told you I’d
give you another one. Okay, now you can have both. – I love that kid. (laughs) So what’s interesting is that Mischel, the researcher,
he does this experiment, and he finds that about
40% of the preschoolers, they could resist the marshmallow. So he publishes his results. Basically nobody pays any attention, it’s like a totally ignored study. But then a couple of years later his daughter now is in fourth grade, and he’s at dinner with her and he’s struggling to make conversation. So he’s asking her about her friends and eventually she starts
talking, she starts saying you know, like, oh
Jimmy does well in class but Suzy keeps on getting into trouble, and as he’s listening he
realizes because he had tested all of her classmates all those years ago, the friends that she says
are doing well in school, they’re the same kids who had managed to resist the marshmallows. So he goes and he tracks ’em all down. He tracks ’em down in middle school, he tracks ’em down in high school, he follows them in college, after college, it’s this huge longitudinal study. And what he finds is that at every stage, the kids who had managed
to resist the marshmallow, they do better than their peers. They get better grades, they get their homework
on time more often, they’re more popular in high school, not because they’re good
at sports or prettier, they’re just better at being friends. They get into better colleges, they get higher-paying jobs,
they get married earlier and stay married longer
than everyone else, and the other thing
that Mischel figures out is that you can teach people willpower. You can teach them how to take control. You can teach them a habit of willpower. And so for Howard Schultz and
his colleagues at Starbucks, this is fantastic, this is
exactly what they wanted to hear. They wanna teach their
employees willpower. And so they start talking
to all these researchers and they redesigned all
of their training methods, and what they do is they start teaching people willpower habits, so for instance, in your first week at work in Starbucks, your manager will sit down with you and they’ll teach you what’s
know as the LATTE habit. What they’ll say is okay, look, if a customer comes in
and they’re really angry, you got their order wrong and they’re just being a
jerk, screaming at you, then what you should do
is you should LATTE them. And what that means is that
you should listen complaint, you should acknowledge their complaint, you should thank them for complaining, you should take care of their complaint by giving them a free cup of coffee or anything else they want,
and then you should explain why this will never happen again. And it’s easy to remember
’cause it spells L-A-T-T-E, just like SMART goals,
it’s just a mnemonic, and it’s a dumb mnemonic ’cause
you work in a coffee shop so LATTE is easier to remember. But the reason why this
is really powerful, the reason why people
do this, why it works, is because of the reward
that it gives you. Because if you’re 19 years old and you’ve had a fight with your mom and you’re exhausted and someone comes in and they’re kind of rude to you, or there’s some i-banker screaming at you because you gave them the wrong
cup of coffee or something, your instinct is to
run away or fight back, and so you do something stupid like write a bad word on a customer’s cup. But now Starbucks has told you exactly what to do, you LATTE them. And when Starbucks started doing
research with its employees and after they taught
them the LATTE method, they found that they would say things like oh yeah, I LATTE my mom all the time, or I LATTE my friends
when they get mad at me. What Starbucks is actually doing is teaching them life skills, and this is how it gets
back to motivation. It’s because when Starbucks was trying to figure out why these worked, what they discovered is that if you give a 19-year-old a technique like LATTE, it makes them feel like
they’re in control. It makes them feel like they
can handle a scary situation. It’s that same basic lesson of boot camp, teaching people to look at chores and find a choice within it. If you can find something
that makes you feel like you’re in control of the situation, you’re gonna have an
easier time motivating. We know this neurologically, and so if you’re someone who’s struggling with procrastination, or there’s some task that you have to do and
you don’t wanna do it, and you’re having trouble starting, you’re having trouble motivating for it, find some choice you can make. Find something that makes you
feel like you’re in control. Some stupid choice, if
you’re dealing with emails that you don’t wanna answer,
just start making choices. Say I’m gonna answer this email first. This guy asked me if
I have time for lunch. I’m gonna say yes but I
wanna go eat Indian food. Find whatever choice you
can, because that choice, it is going to trigger the part of your brain where motivation resides, and it’s going to make it
easier to motivate yourself. If you can turn a chore into a choice, you’re gonna get it done
much faster and more easily. – Great, thank you. We’re gonna start taking
questions here pretty quick, I’ve already had a couple come through, but before we open it up to a Q and A, Charles, any last
thoughts you wanna share? – No, no, I’ll go look on Twitter with you at what’s coming in. – Alright, the first one
I see here, this goes back to what we were talking
about earlier with teams. It says “Do you have any
recommendations on best times, “days, frequencies for
teams to have meetings?” – No, not really, because I mean, the research that there is, nothing. It depends on the group, right? So for a long time there was
a lot of interest in like, does it matter if you’re a virtual team or if you’re in person with each other, and researchers spent
a lot of time and money looking at those questions,
and what they discovered was it just doesn’t matter. What matters much much more is how team members treat each other. And that’s what’s really critical, is do you have these group norms, these habits where people
feel like they can speak up and they’re listened to, where they feel like I can say something in front of you that’s not gonna be held
against you in the future. There was actually five things, so psychological safety was
the most important thing that people found, but they
found four other things, and here, I’ll look them up really quickly so you can see them. The point is it’s not about these small little tactical things, it’s not about what time of day you meet. It’s about, rather, instead,
how you work together. Here, let me just share this with you if I can figure out how to do this. Sorry, hold on one second. What matters is the norms,
that’s what’s important. Hold on, I’m gonna show you the image. So these are the five things that Google found to be most important. At the top there’s psychological safety, and that’s about equality in
conversational turn-taking and ostentatious listening. Then these other four things, they’re actually less important
than psychological safety, but they are other habits
that makes a team work, and this is according to the data. You know, dependability. When we set due dates, do people actually follow through on them? If I give you an assignment, do I know that you’re gonna do it? Structure and clarity, we wanna know what our goal as a group
is, but equally important, you wanna know what each member’s role is, why I’m part of this team and
what I’m supposed to be doing, meaning it’s important that the project that we’re working on,
this team’s purpose, it’s something that I believe in. Not just like, this is something that’s going to help
us hit our Q3 numbers, although that might be
meaningful to some people. More importantly, does
this have a deeper meaning? Is this important to the company? Is there some value with
the team and bodies, and finally impact. People need to believe that
the work that they’re doing will matter to the company as a whole. I’m gonna take this off. If you get these five things, you basically are gonna
have a team that works. It doesn’t matter what
time of day you meet, it doesn’t matter what
kind of room you meet in. And focusing on those things is a misapplication of
what really matters. What matters are these things, the norms of how people treat each other and how they communicate and
decide to make decisions. That determines whether
a team works or fails. – Yeah, so that makes me think, ’cause the question asked about days, times and frequencies for meetings, I think those things only matter in as much as they help these good norms. Like, if people are less likely to be nice and to listen and stuff
at a morning meeting, or if you’re meeting so frequently people are just exhausted with it, you need to make sure you’re
supporting the good norms with the ways of the meetings. – Yeah, absolutely, and I
think you need an environment where if you have equality
in conversational turn-taking and ostentatious listening, people are gonna let you know if you’re meeting too frequently or you’re having each of your
meeting at like eight p.m., people will feel comfortable speaking up and saying like, I’ve got
kids, I can’t do this, but that’s the point, is
that there no special answer. There’s a method for making sure that you’re choosing the right frequency and setting for your members. – Yeah, here I’m seeing a
few other questions here. (laughs) I like this one, “How can we resist the
marshmallows of life “if you’re already into
the tunnel of cognition?” – In a cognitive tunnel? Well, the first thing is to pull yourself out of that cognitive tunnel, right? A cognitive tunnel is not something that happens without permission, it happens because we’re
not on guard for it. And if we’re in the habit of
building these mental models, it’s much easier to guard
against that cognitive tunnel. So, for instance, every morning
I go through the same ritual and it takes, like, 45 seconds. I literally just try and
envision my day hour by hour, and I just decide on what’s
the most important thing, like if I was telling myself
a story at the end of the day, how do I want that story to go? So from nine to 10 o’clock, what’s the most important
thing I wanna get done? How’s that gonna roll out? Usually I have a to-do
list where I’ve written my stretch goal for this
week and this month, but then I also break
it down in S-M-A-R-T, so I know exactly how I’m gonna start on the three things I
wanna get done today. That’s the point, the SMART
goals are basically a system for telling yourself a story about how you want things to unfold. If you’re in a cognitive tunnel, the key is to take your hands off the controllers and close your eyes, and figure out what story
you want to tell yourself about how you want your day to unfold. That’s how you take control. – Great, another question here, “How can we get marketing and sales teams “to feel like they’re
part of the same team, “to be vulnerable with each other?” – That’s a great question,
’cause marketing and sales, every single company
deals with this tension between marketing and sales. And I think the key is there is no hack. You can’t trick people into feeling vulnerable with each other. All that you can do is you
can create an environment where people are encouraged to speak up and say how they’re feeling,
and then other people show that they’re actually listening to that. I mean, imagine for a minute if you were to take marketing and sales and put them in a room together. The biggest complaint, probably, is that both of them would say I feel like you’re not listening to me, I’ve got this problem and
I’m trying to solve it and you keep on screwing up my solution. And then the other side says
no no, I’ve got this problem and you keep on screwing with my solution. You have to create an environment where each side says I
hear what you’re saying, you’re telling me this,
now let me build on that by telling you what I’m feeling. Often there is no magic wand for resolving tensions
within organizations, but there is a method
for airing those tensions and trying to get as close
as you can to a solution. And at the core of that
is coming up with systems where people feel like
they’re really speaking up, like they have to speak up, they have to say what’s
most important to them, and they feel like everyone
else is genuinely listening. If you have that, then
people are on the same side of the table, they’re working
together to solve a problem, instead of just shouting at each other or feeling like they don’t
get a chance to shout at all. – I love that. I don’t understand this next question, hopefully it means something to you. “Have you studied Pomodoro
Technique in SMART goals?” – Yeah, so the Pomodoro Technique. Yeah, so the Pomodoro
Technique is great, right? For the people who don’t
know, the Pomodoro Technique is where you set a little timer, I think there was actually
a timer named Pomodoro that came with spaghetti
sauce or something like that, Pomodoro spaghetti sauce. And you could set the timer
for like five minutes, that’s why it’s called
the Pomodoro Technique, I think, I haven’t verified that. But the idea is that
basically you set a time limit for yourself, and you have
to work for that five minutes and then you get to take a break at the end of the five minutes, and sometimes it’s easier
when there’s some type of external pressure,
what’s often referred to in psychology as a commitment device, that it helps people overcome
the urge to procrastinate. That’s great, if that works for you then you should absolutely do that. That’s also why SMART goals
work, it’s a commitment device. It’s just a way of forcing yourself to break a big plan into
smaller pieces and start. All of those commitment devices are effective for many people, and what you should do
is you should experiment with different ones to see
which one works for you. And the key here is to
actually pay attention to what works for you. There’s some people for whom
SMART goals is not the answer. There’s a lot of people for whom it is. There’s some people for whom
Pomodoro works like magic. There’s a lot of people
for whom it doesn’t. None of us know what’s gonna
work for us until we try them, and so in Smarter Faster Better that’s actually what this is about, is it’s about trying to run
experiments in your own life and then, and this is
the most important part, paying attention to the data that comes out of those experiments. ‘Cause what often happens is
that we start using SMART goals and they work for a little while and then we just kind of trail off and we don’t pay any
attention to what works or why it works, and then we
fall back into old patterns. People who are successful,
people who are productive, they are people who see all of
their choices as experiments, because every choice you
make is an experiment. And some experiments fail, that’s the whole point
of running experiments. If every experiment succeeded then it’s not a good experiment,
it’s not a real laboratory. You’re supposed to do
some things that succeed and some things that
fail, but most importantly you’re supposed to pay
attention to why they succeed or why they fail or
which ones are effective and which ones are ineffective. And then you’re supposed to take that data and use it somehow, that’s what matters. – Awesome. Going back to focus,
“What are your suggestions “for all the beeping and interruptions “from modern technology
that can disrupt focus?” – So my first suggestion
is to turn them off. And sometimes that’s not realistic, but if possible you should turn them off. But the other thing is to understand that our brain has this amazing ability to actually learn to ignore those things if we have these mental models. So here’s a great example. Back around the 1920s
when cars first started, I guess maybe it was more like 1910s, when cars first started becoming
popular in New York City, the legislator passed a law that said that you are not allowed to speak and cross the road at the same time. And the reason why is
because they were afraid that if people were talking, that they would become distracted and they wouldn’t notice
if a car’s approaching and they get hit by a car. And today we laugh at that, but actually they were totally right. At that time, people were so unpracticed at noticing vehicles that it
was actually very dangerous to have everyone talking
to their companion and crossing the street at the same time. Now, of course today
all of us can do that, there’s no problem. We have learned how to
manage the distractions of conversation when
we’re crossing the road, so it’s not like we have
to stop the conversation. We’re able to continue talking
and then look both ways. It’s a habit that we’ve learned. The reason why is because as you grow up in today’s modern world,
you learn kind of a story in your head about how streets work. You know that you have to look both ways. Probably your mom or your dad told you, and I do this with my kids, look both ways before
you cross the street. They repeat it again and again and again until it becomes this little mental model that you automatically have, that you check every single
time you cross the street. And this is kinda the
point, is that if the beeps and the interruptions, if
they’re really bothering you, then first of all try and turn them off. Try and pass the law that says you can’t cross the street
and talk at the same time. But if that’s not realistic,
then work on that mental model, because that mental model’s
gonna make it much easier for you to ignore the distractions or manage the distractions or not even see them as
distractions anymore. It’s gonna teach your
brain how to accommodate all of the noise in the environment and to focus on what really matters. – Great, so this one goes
back to psychological safety. “How about people who feel shy, “even scared to speak in a group?” – That’s a really good question,
and for someone like that, there’s this really interesting
research about introverts, Susan Cain wrote this book called Quiet. She has a whole website
called The Quiet Revolution to talk about how introverts can bring their best selves to
work and be successful. And so I’d really recommend
you go listen to that, but I think the other thing is that it really comes down to the leader. So it’s not just your responsibility to talk up in a meeting. It is some of your responsibility, but it’s also the responsibility of whoever is leading that team to talk up, to find an
opportunity to help you talk up, to find the right environment to do so. And so in additions to
introverts should read Quiet, leaders should read Quiet
’cause there’s a lot in there about how to help introverts
be their best selves, even if you’re not an introvert yourself. And a lot of that has
to do with figuring out when do you feel comfortable speaking. Because we know that extroverts
like to think out loud. Introverts, and this is
a gross generalization so it’s not true across the board, but introverts oftentimes
like to figure out what they want to say before they say it, which is a pretty good thing. So how do you create an
environment as a leader of a team that allows people to
succeed by encouraging them to speak in a way that
is comfortable to them? – Got it. We’ve got about five minutes left here. Another question, “So what’s the best way “to practice LATTEing people to change a chore into a choice?” – So just to be clear, LATTE is actually a little bit different than
changing a chore into a choice, although it’s an example,
LATTE is an example of that because dealing with an angry
customer is kind of a chore, but you choose to do this five things. You’re putting yourself back in charge. So I think the thing is
that if you have a chore in front of you, figure out some choice. So for me, it’s emails. I despise replying to emails, it’s just boring and I don’t care about it and it’s just something I have to do. So this is how I do all my emails. I’ll set down at like,
six o’clock at night or after the kids have gone to bed. I’ll identify all the
emails I need to reply to, and I’ll hit R-R-R-R-R, so that my screen is filled
with all these replies. And then what I do is I go in each email, and as fast as I can, I just
find some choice to make. So if someone’s like hey,
do you wanna have lunch, I just type yes, Indian food. Or if someone’s like hey, can you come to this meeting at 3:30, I’ll type yes, but I can
only stay for 15 minutes. That’s literally all I
type, but I don’t hit send ’cause it’d be rude to send
something back like that. So what I do is I fill up all the emails with some choice that I’ve
made, I just assert myself. And sometimes the choices are small and sometimes they’re stupid. Sometimes it’s not even the
choice that I really wanna make, but I just make a choice as fast as I can. I force myself to make a choice. Then I go back through all the emails and I type in all the pleasantries, like hey Jim, thanks for your note. Yes, we can go to lunch together, I’d like to eat Indian food, there’s a nice restaurant
over on 39th, Charles. I fill out the rest of the email, and then I usually kind of
decide that choice that I made, that was a dumb choice, I
wanna make a different choice. But the point is it’s so trying to get through all these emails, it takes like 20 minutes whereas normally it would’ve taken an entire
hour and I would’ve hated it. It feels really empowering,
’cause I’m in charge, I’m making choices, I took a chore and I transformed it into a choice. Another great example from the marine corp is you oftentimes have to
clean your own barracks. And so what they teach all
these recruits to do is when you start cleaning, make a choice about where you want to start cleaning based on what you prefer. So don’t start sweeping in the corner just because everyone
sweeps in the corner, go start in the middle
of the room if you want, or start by making beds, or
decide that you’re gonna wash only the bottom of the mirrors at first. Just make some dumb choice, make yourself feel like you’re in charge. Turn this chore into a choice somehow, and it’s gonna be much
much easier to get it done. – I loved in the book the stories you told about the people in the
retirement homes rebelling, (laughs) like refusing food
and rearranging furniture. – That’s a great example,
so one of the things that they found is that
people who tend to do best in nursing homes are what
they refer to as subversives, because most people, they
move into a nursing home and their health declines precipitously, because a nursing home is a
really controlled environment. You don’t get to make that many choices. So the subversives, what they do is they just create
choices for themselves, and there was this one
guy that they interviewed who loved chocolate cake, but he said he’d go into the cafeteria each night and sit with his friends, and he would take the
meal that he was served, ’cause you didn’t get to
choose what you wanted to eat, they just served you a meal, and he would trade his chocolate
cake for other desserts. And they asked him why are you doing this, you love chocolate cake, and he said “Because I would rather
eat a meal of my own design “than something that’s
delicious but is forced on me.” That’s why this guy thrived
inside a nursing home. He was able to motivate to go work out, to follow his doctor’s
orders, to make new friends, this guy had lived something
like another 18 years in a nursing home, and the reason why is because he made choices,
he found choices for himself. We should all be subversives. We should all figure out
how to try and undermine the chores of life. – That’s a great point to leave off on. We’re out of time here, Charles, thank you again so much for doing this. – Thanks for having me. – And for everyone else, the
couple of different books, The Power of Habit and
Smarter Faster Better, be sure to check them both
out, they’re delightful, and as I mentioned at the beginning, my team will be sending out
to everyone who attended some follow-up resources that should be coming
out some time tomorrow. So, everyone have a great day,
and see you again next time.

2 Replies to “SMART Goals: The Power of Goal Setting with Charles Duhigg”

  • Steve Ziemba says:

    Was hoping the moderator would say the word "straggler" a few more times.

  • SEO Tools TV says:

    Charles, over 50% of businesses don't have a content plan at all, the rest of them have a general content plan, only a tiny percent have a personalized content plan with clear goals.

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