Are you getting better?  Stop focusing on the numbers.

Are you getting better? Stop focusing on the numbers.


These days, one’s performance can be measured with a myriad of different metrics. Technology has definitely helped in that regard. If you ask me, the more metrics, the better; The more you can measure, the more you can improve. Right?

In business, we call these KPI’s, or Key Performance Indicators. They give us the ability to assess the “health” of a particular group or individual, so we can see trends, track progress, and make an educated assessment of the overall productivity of said group or individual. This data, used correctly, should always lead to better results.

Problems begin to arise when we use this data as our sole criterium for assessing the performance of an organization or individual, and when we start taking corrective actions, using only KPI’s as our guide.

Don’t believe me? Then I’d say you’ve never actually worked for a company that was in the business of making money.

Progress literally stops, or at the very least, slows way down, when we are constantly given new goals without any tools or coaching. Tools which would allow us to improve our performance enough to achieve those goals.

So what happens? If we have no tools, and there’s no ability to assess and correct behaviors, why do we still see improved KPI’s sometimes? The key word there is ‘sometimes’. Though we may see improvements in the numbers MoM (Month-over-Month) at times, when we look at the data as a whole, lets say, in this case, a year, we rarely ever realize an overall improvement in the organization or in the individual itself, at least not as it relates to the skill set required to do the job or task better.

So, next time you’re in a position to improve something in your life, just remember; when it comes to measuring performance, it’s not the data itself that slows your progress and kills innovation, it’s how that data is being used to improve productivity and performance. If its not being used to track progress and help you be more productive, it isn’t being used for anything good. Remember, KPI’s are only indicators. Your KPI’s (criminal record, report cards, number of degrees, touchdowns, etc.) in your life don’t tell your whole story, do they? Why would they tell the whole story anywhere else?




About The Author

Ryan P. Maier

Ryan is the co-owner and founder of DadLifts and an autism and fatherhood advocate. Ryan is also a Movement Coach and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach in Minneapolis, MN. Ryan is a husband and father of three.