Last month, I attended my daughter’s college commencement, which happened to be at the halfway mark of my company’s financial year — as well as the point when I typically initiate an assessment of the progress my team and I are making toward our annual goals.

Typically, this assessment time means a course correction for the remainder of the year. Being ahead of goals means utilizing that momentum to further propel success. Maybe your initial goal wasn’t lofty enough, and you want to push yourself and your team for more. But what if you are trailing? There’s nothing worse than being behind on your goals, with no plan for improvement, and reevaluation and course correction can help get you going in the right direction, even if you still don’t quite hit your initial mark. At least, that’s been my mindset.

But the commencement address, delivered by Dr. Nicole Cosby, gave me a completely different vantage point. Cosby is a professor of Kinesiology and Athletic Training at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Looking onward. The speech focused primarily on learning from one’s shortcomings and failures and using those experiences to “fall forward.” In this concept, you fall, but it’s onward looking. Cosby provided numerous examples from her career where she didn’t quite hit the mark, and then course corrected through falling forward and went on to achieve greater success each time.

Through incredible self-awareness, resilience, optimism and drive — aided by the guidance of excellent mentors and sponsors — each time Cosby didn’t achieve a goal, she found a way forward, resulting in achievement. Over time, the process of self-evaluation (against goals) became so routine that the walls she hit early in her career became mere speed bumps later on.

One day at a time. She learned to assess each day’s activities plus results against her goals, making small and relevant course corrections along the way, enabling her to persevere and grow while achieving her intentions. Rather than having a mid-point check-in with herself, she developed an art of continual evaluation.

I recognize that our fast-paced industry is driven by goals, and to be successful, we have to meet these goals and keep going. But here’s the thing: Our goals are not always inspirational. We are very metrics-driven. So whether you are managing different teams like me or just one small group, it all seems very one dimensional. Getting mired in progress and financial reports. Asking the questions: Do the metrics look good, what are they indicating? Are we meeting our goals? These tactics can stymie innovation and hamper creativity.

No, you can’t throw progress and financial reports out of the window. I get that. Goal setting and evaluation inspire me as an individual and a leader. I like targets and I like having a plan of how to achieve them. It’s probably something innate to my personality, but also something that has been fostered through my career in sales and recruitment.

Inspire. But perhaps you can mix it up a bit. Every meeting, set aside 15 minutes or so to discuss new ideas. Maybe someone in your team is a budding quant and can focus on presenting the numbers in a new and fun way. Maybe once a month, to reinforce the message that it’s OK to fail, focus on small setbacks and what the team learned from them. It’s more about taking actions where you learn from your mistakes and course correct.

People should leave these meetings feeling inspired to act. They should want to go above and beyond. The trick, according to Cosby, is to not be scared of the goals but use them to drive results and learn. I watched my daughter and the Class of 2019 applaud Cosby enthusiastically. Our industry’s future talent will come from this university and the other 2.3 million young adults who will graduate with bachelor’s degrees this year. They will be calling on you and your teams to help find them employment and success. When you set your goals in January of 2020, keep them in mind along with Cosby’s words.