Goal setting, whether it is in strategic planning or for personal/professional growth requires stretch and limitations. Too much stretch and our goals are unrealistic. Too much emphasis on limitations, and we don’t reach. Some organizational leaders view the limitations as key to safe steady leadership. Their goals tend to be more tactical, tangible. They are typically not inspirational, but they are doable. Other organizational leaders think big and leap without too much concern for limitations. Their goals are bold but not always attainable. The strongest organizations I have worked with have a mix of leaders who think big and act boldly and leaders who are cautious and plodding.
Depending on whether we typically view leaps as exciting or scary, determines how we react when those to whom we are accountable perceive of us as out of balance. For some of us, it is easy to double down on our risk. For others it seems more comfortable to decide some goals are unattainable and to quit. Very few of us take a step back and look at the data. When we do, we often find that goals and the pathway to attaining those goals can be modified. If we have been intentional in developing a diverse leadership team, we will have the potential middle way of modification voiced by our team.
I encourage you to think about a current goal that seems impossible. Is it possible to modify it, to chunk it, to create an alternative path to achieving it? Who approaches goal setting differently than you? Who on your leadership team can you call upon to brainstorm alternatives? What data do you need to help make modifications to your goal or to your approach to attaining the goal? Schedule a walk-and-talk or other creative meeting setting to simply discuss the barriers and the opportunities with your team. What new steps emerge that make the goal less of a leap?