Five Pitfalls to Avoid When Using the GOST Model

pitfalls when using the Gost model

The GOST model from Rich Horwath is an excellent framework to map how to move from goals to the actions required to fulfill them.  I wrote about the GOST model in a previous Leadership Insight.  While it is an excellent framework, understanding the theory behind it is only the starting point.  Putting it into practice is the key to getting results.

After using the GOST model and working with clients for many years, several pitfalls frequently come up.  Here is a brief overview of five most impactful pitfalls.

Five pitfalls to avoid when Using the GOST Model

Poorly Defined Goals

A goal defines a desired outcome and knowing when you’ve achieved the outcome is key.  In addition to a description of the goal, focus on defining how you will know when the goal is achieved.  At Intel, we used the term ‘as measured by’ following any goal to do this.

Mixing Up Goals and Strategies

As mentioned above, goals define an outcome.  In contrast, strategies describe how to achieve the goal, the actions that will be completed.  When defining a goal, make sure it describes a finite outcome.  This is illustrated when using the word ‘better’ as a goal.  Better isn’t a finite result and it can describe an action, ‘we are going to get better at’.  If better is the goal, what does ‘done’ look like?

Rigidly Following the Plan

Strategies and tactics define your action plan. The plan is your hypothesis of what actions will achieve your goals. The best plans are rarely 100% accurate and require changes as you learn what works and what doesn’t.  Be careful not to stick rigidly to a plan of action that isn’t generating the desired results.  Success is achieving the outcome, not doing what you said you would do.

Ineffective Indicators of Progress to Goals

Building on the point above, you need effective indicators of progress to your goals. This is why you have objectives. Effective objectives describe the initial and interim results you expect. If these results are not achieved, it may be time to change your strategies and tactics.

Not Enrolling Your Team

The last pitfall is not enrolling your team and the best leaders gain the commitment of their team. They do this by explaining the GOST model, paying special attention to explaining the ‘why’ behind it. When your team understands the GOST model, they will be much more likely to embrace it instead of following it blindly.

This article provides a high level overview of the top implementation pitfalls. To learn more about getting results with the GOST model, join me on October 8th for a free webinar. Click the link below for details about how to secure your invitation.