What is important to me might not be important to you --
making sense of our lives and the workplace
Readings from pages 155-156.
KEY: Setting goals at work and in life increases the odds of success.
We understand a lot about setting goals. We know how to do it. We have decades of research studying what works. In a nutshell, goals need to specific. I want to lose weight is not specific. I want to lose 20 pounds in the next six months is. It is also measurable. You can step on the scales and chart your progress. In six months you will know if you are successful. From my experience, 20 pounds in six months is challenging, somewhat difficult but attainable. Specific, measurable, somewhat difficult -- these are characteristics of goals that are most likely to motivate action.
Bruce returned to his office after the meeting of the supervisors with their director, Mr. Horn.
“So what’s the latest, boss?” asked Mary Kay, a great worker and Bruce’s right hand.
“Horn wants us to increase our productivity.”
“He didn’t say.”
“He didn’t say.”
“Did he give you any specifics?”
“Nope. Just said do our best.”
Vague goal. No metrics. Ambiguous. What are the goals of your organization? What are the goals for your workplace? Your work group or team? Hopefully they meet the requirements for good goals but sometimes they may not. If you work in an environment with clear, measurable, challenging goals, there is a higher probability of accomplishing workplace goals and probably a higher level of commitment from the employees.
Your co-workers will probably vary widely in terms of personal goal setting. I believe goal setting can make a big difference in one’s life, especially if you make goals correctly as just discussed. I know people who go through life just responded to whatever happens, no planning, no thinking about priorities, few if any goals. That is their choice. Some people prefer to live their lives that way and just let events unfold. As for me, I love life-long learning. There’s so much I’d like to learn that I have to set priorities. Few things are more valuable than our time.