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The difference between means and aims

Once the goals are settle by the direction, the machine is set out and ALL the company’s resources are committed: time, money and personal energy.

An error from a field worker can normally be easily fixed; from a specialist, it can be expensive. But, what happens when the goals are not the right ones? The consequences could be catastrophic for the company.


Here are some tips that might be good to read before going into a management meeting:

- Take time to define goals. It is a creative process, with trial and error.

- Always ask yourself these questions: Why is this goal important? There is something more important or urgent than this goal?

- Don't confuse means with aims. Goals must be clear and contribute as directly as possible for the improvement of the situation of our present and future clients and our company. If our goal is clear (increase market share, for example), we can change our means very fast if the results are not the desired. If we hang on to means as if they are the ends and we are wrong, then we are lost. We are visual beings, so we struggle to see the big picture. We also judge ourselves harshly and don’t always take criticism well. We are social, so we avoid conflict and don’t want to say no and often sabotage our own goals by satisfying others’.


A company's solution to these problems requires the implementation of a "culture of openness" in which telling the truth and early detection of problems are encouraged. It is a complex program, but if applied well and professionally, it will give exceptional results.

This new perspective lets the manager observe and correct behaviors and activities to come back to the way that leads directly to the goal. Apart from this "self discovery" process, the role of the psychologist is controlling, following up and reinforcing the behaviors that lead to the aim’s fulfillment and therefore to succeed.

I wish you a great day!

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