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What We Measure Matters 

Aug 19, 2021

What we measure matters, or does it? Typically, I would tell you that what we measure matters, but over and over again I see examples of measuring and not making a difference. The easiest example is stepping on the scale each morning and yet not changing any behavior related to weight. 

Some of you know that my wife recently suffered from an aortic aneurysm that became a dissection and required emergency open heart surgery. Six months ago, her and I started checking our blood pressure with a home blood pressure cuff. We started that because a dentist thought that I had a blocked artery on my dental x ray. The results from the at home wrist blood pressure cuff were all over the place. The measurements simply didn’t give us confidence that they were accurate. In fact, we ordered a blood pressure cuff that goes on the upper arm, but it seemed our readings were even more inaccurate. In our frustration my wife even took the cuff to the doctor’s office and had her blood pressure checked and tested the home devices against the devices in the doctor’s office.

We lost confidence in the measurement and completely lost sight (focus) of the issue of high blood pressure.

We didn’t make any lifestyle changes to change our blood pressure. Now mind you, in our minds it was elevated, not high and the risks seemed low for our age and overall health. We weren’t overweight, we were walking two miles a day and generally felt like we were in good health. 

Today, I am reminded that what we focus on matters. In our focus, we must find measurements or numbers that help us maintain that focus. If the measurements fail, we can’t give up, we must try harder to find effective tools.

It is the lead measures that matter, the revenue generating behaviors, doing the ACTION steps that help you reach the goal. Lead measures are always harder to quantify and measure.

It is easier to step on the scale each day than to count the calories you intake and the calories you burn through exercise.

It is far more effective to focus on calories than it is to focus on your weight. Your weight is the outcome of good behaviors. The lead measures of calories creates the behaviors that will give you the outcome you want.

For my wife and I, the traumatic event has been the reminder that we lost focus. We got so caught up in the measurement that we didn’t focus on the behaviors that would change the outcome, tracking sodium intake, reducing stress, and paying more attention to signs. My wife had headaches and now we have learned that headaches are a symptom of high blood pressure, the two certainly could be related. We have lead measures that we can track and record, we have symptoms that we can track and record. 

Obviously, I can’t say that our negligence caused my wife’s aortic dissection, but I do know that we have lots of room for improvement in how we are caring for ourselves and what we are focusing on in the area of our health. 

What are we measuring in our business that the measurement is not producing or even impacting the outcome that we desire?

The number of people on our list, in our fb group or downloading our podcasts can be important, but the real measurement is how many of those people are we converting to clients that we serve. The number of calls that you make or ads that you run will all come down to conversion. It is harder to track sometimes, but where your focus goes your energy flows. Find the numbers that matter in your business, find the right tool to measure them and track them to help you grow.

Setting an outcome goal is important, you need to know where you are going. The outcome goal is only the first step, you need action goals, or lead measures, daily activities that you can track that lead to the outcome you desire. Lead measures or process goals. Process goals are the daily activities, the phone calls, the meetings, the referral follow ups, the deal closing meeting, in some business it is the production, number of products made, videos or podcasts recorded. 

There are two groups that should be growing each week, the people in your list and the people in your referral network. The focus on serving those two groups is important. How do you add value to your list, your audience and how do you add value to your network?