Are There Metrics for Meaning?
“The single best machine to measure trust is a human being. We haven’t figured out a metric that works better than our own sort of, like, ‘There’s something fishy about you.’”
In my work as a coach, I hear about metrics all the time: performance measurements, 360 assessments, objectives, sales figures, quarterly earnings.
Drucker’s famous maxim, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” isn’t always true; qualitative measurements differ drastically from quantitative ones.
It’s been my experience that the most important aspects to building a successful life are difficult to measure, and certainly the metrics of interpersonal relationships are both subjective and relative.
In a recent discussion with a client—an EVP of a global company—he attempted to articulate what success looked like to him. I challenged him on something he said and asked him to think about what his motivation was for turning away from an opportunity to become CEO.
A week later, he had done some significant digging and discovered that he did indeed want the opportunity to lead an organization. That being number two was a safe and known place. That it wasn’t the position but rather the purpose behind the company itself that he found off-putting.
He wanted to do meaningful work, work with a purpose greater than quarterly earnings, or profits for partners.
Money and position are not his motivators; purpose, passion and meaning are.
Show me the metrics for those.
Sometimes the best measurements are provided by our feelings, our own internal voice of truth.
And we’d be well-served to listen.