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Setting Goals…Important or Dangerous?

Mmmm, setting goals… important or dangerous.

Well the answer of course is, yes. Setting goals, it is an important process. It is important to put a mark ahead of you, to put a carrot out there to know where you’re going. But everybody knows that setting goals are important. Very few people know that setting goals can be dangerous and the way that setting goals can be dangerous…and I’ve seen this so much, it is amazing to me that it absolutely will swallow a company up because it’s goal setting time and all of a sudden the company is in a quiet chaos and doesn’t even really seem to understand what’s going on at the beginning of the process or the end of the process. But the problem is that in traditional goal setting, especially in a corporate culture or even an athletic culture, when we’re talking about a team sport, the problem with goal setting is that people lie. They lie about it, it’s like the supervisor comes in and says, okay, so, uh, what’s your goal for this year? And, and, and the guys says 40 I’m 40 I’m going to do 40 so just put me down for 40 baby.  Well he didn’t really believe he can do 40 he don’t believe he can do 40 he just knows what happened last year when he said 30. He said 30 and the supervisor said 30, is that as much as you can do, 30? If you can’t do more than 30 we’ll get somebody in here who can. And he said, okay, well 40 then and the supervisor wrote it down and said more like it. Now the problem is, he didn’t believing do 40, and what we believe is so powerful that we just can’t perform against it. What you believe controls your behavior. It controls your performance. I’m not saying what you say you believe. I’m saying what you really believe deep down in the middle of the night in the dark by yourself. What you really believe controls your performance.

Now, we’ll try to kid everybody will try to get ourselves, you know, the award banquet at the end of the year. And the guy walks around, and he goes, yeah, well I did 32, you know, all the thirties, we’re going to recognize othors. Yeah, I did 32, you know, that was after 40, but you know, me shoot for the stars. Hit the moon, 32. I’ll do 40 next year though. I’m after 40 baby. Well, you know, come on, in the corporate culture in that company, nobody can ever figure out why they can’t hit forecast. Well isn’t it obvious everybody’s lieing and passing the lie. And because the supervisor, we know, he’s got a group of numbers that he has put together now he’s handed it to his manager and he said, okay, here we are. You know, it looks like we’re after a 270 this year. And so the managers, so ah, that’s great. That’s awesome. And so he’s passing those numbers up to the vice president from all his supervisors and he says, Hey, looks like we’re after, um, 1,450 and, you know, the vice president or the last great. And then all the vice presidents pass it up to the CEO, the president and you know, the president thinks they’re going to do 5,000. Well, they’re not.

You know, we would do better, to spend more time figuring out how to legitimately increase what we believe, how to legitimately increase the level of our belief.

Instead of just setting some number or some weight or some length or some distance. Instead of setting some arbitrary goal, we would do much better to spend some time figuring out how to legitimately increase what we really believe is possible and figure out not only is that possible, but then figure out how it’s possible, how do we do? And then you can set a goal that you will actually hit and then you can move on from there. But, but goal setting is important, but it can be dangerous.