Lead vs Lag Metrics

October 22, 2021

Yesterday, I mentioned (see You Need a Goal Funnel) that the 5th stage of your Goal Funnel is Lead Metrics.

Today, I figured I would explain what lead metrics are and their partner lag metrics because it’s a crucial distinction that I think many people overlook.

Lag Metrics

When someone creates a goal, they know that it needs to be specific and measurable. Examples are losing 50 lbs or making one million dollars. These are useful because you need a target to aim for, but you’re setting yourself up for failure if this is as far as you go.

If you want to make a million dollars, how will you do that? Of course, you’re hoping that you can sell enough goods and services to earn a million dollars, but at the end of the day, you don’t have control over whether other people decide to make this exchange with you or not.

Lead Metrics

Lead metrics, on the other hand, are the things that you do have control over. In the million-dollar example, you can decide how many people you’ll call to try to sell your product. You can choose how many pieces of content you’ll publish every week that direct people to your sales page. If you want to lose weight, you can control how many calories you eat every day. You can decide how many times a week you work out and for how long.

You Need Both

The lag metrics are essential because they align with your why. For example, if you want to retire and not work until you die, you may need one million dollars saved up. The lead metrics are essential because they represent what you’re going to do every day. In a future post, I’ll describe how to connect these two to ensure that your lead metrics lead to your lag metrics.


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Written by Andrew Shell, a web developer from Madison, WI.