IS SETTING ‘WILD ASS’ STRETCH GOALS MOTIVATING YOUR TEAM OR IMPEDING THEM FROM HITTING THEIR MARKS? CAN DREAMING BIG GET TOO BIG? 5 STEPS TO MAKING THOSE DREAMS ACHIEVABLE

I work with many leadership teams, supporting and coaching the team to be clear and succinct on their company goals. In business, these goals can be classified as long term goals (10-30 years), near term goals (3HAG – The 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal) and short term goals (1 year and 90 days). When setting metrics around these goals, the biggest question and discussion we have is “should these goals be stretch or achievable?”  

 

 

I find this question (sometimes dilemma) interesting.  Before a plan is put into action, everyone is dreaming big and wants stretch goals. But once the plan is in play, they want very achievable goals.  Teams find themselves so far off their stretch goals that they becomes unmotivated and are requently replanning. This is a reactive behaviour and when you are in this state, it feels awful!

 

Where does this mindset come from?  We don’t want to set goals that we know we can easily achieve but we do want to set goals that will challenge us. We want our cake, and want to eat it too! This causes most teams to take the easy way out.  They set stretch goals, but then do not take the time to map out to see how they could actually achieve them.  Look, I am guilty of this too – we have all been guilty of this!   At the end of the day, our goals and plans are all about the “how” and having the discipline to make the time to map it out with your team – end to end – to ensure its achievable.

 

After countless hours of going through my own companies goals and my clients, I have picked up some helpful tips. Below are 5 steps to ensure your goals are achievable:

 

  1. Meet with your leadership to collaborate on what the team wants to achieve.  Its important that the team decides not the CEO.
  2. Once the goals are what I call “gutted out” – then create a plan for the leadership team to map out each step on how the goals will be achieved. The more detailed the better.
  3. Once the mapping is complete – reconvene as a leadership team to discuss if the goals are achievable based on how the team mapped out planning including all the assumptions.
  4. If the team does not agree with the approach or assumptions – have a bigger discussion around the assumptions and the end goals and look at adjusting one or the other.
  5. Once the goals are agreed upon and there is a clear road map on how to achieve – these goals become ACHIEVABLE not a wild ass Stretch goal.

 

I used this approach with the companies I lead. Mind you, I had to find my way there the hard way – after making so many unattained stretch goals in the early years of my first company I had to find a different system.  Now I ONLY use the above approach with my clients and am a big fan of setting only ACHIEVABLE goals. My second book is based on the 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal (3HAG) Framework I developed. Being released this spring, it will guide you step by step through the Strategic Execution System required to achieve all your goals. Please message my team for your early release copy!

 

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-Shannon Susko

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