Last week, I attended a sales and business conference hosted in Atlanta, GA. During on the of the breakout sessions, a speaker make the following statement “Losers have Goals, Winners have Systems”. To be honest, I was initially confused by the statement because its counter-intuitive to what most people learn — successful people are often goal oriented.

I think the point he was trying to make was this – goals are something one hopes to achieve at some point in the future whereas a system is a process, often repeatable, for solving a problem.  As defined on businessdiretory.com, a goal is: an observable and measurable end results having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more less fixed time frame. Think of goals as a target  to be achieved at some point in the future.

Systems, on the other hand, are repeatable actions used to solve a problem.  A system is: a set of detailed methods, procedures and routines created to carry out a specific activity, perform a duty, or solve a problem. All systems have inputs, outputs and feedback mechanisms. The key distinction between goals and systems is that systems have a repeatable aspect to them and execution is inherent within them.  James Clear, wrote an interesting article on  the difference between goals and systems on Lifehacker.com:  http://lifehacker.com/get-more-done

Goals are easy to create but meaningless if no action is taken.  Systems are more difficult to create and constantly evolving based on the feedback loop. I think that success comes from having both goals and a system or process to achieve those goals.

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