I had a great e-conversation with the Skinny Professor (the SP) today. I found an interesting link to a working paper from the Harvard Business School, called “Goals Gone Wild“. The paper examines some of the negative consequences of goal setting — for example setting a goal that is too aggressive may lead to ethical violations. One that is too specific or short term may lead to an over-focus on one objective, at the cost of other activities that are equally important to the organization.
Which led the SP and I to a discussion about how to set personal goals. Are goals merely a to do list? Or are they something much bigger. One professor in my distant past once asked in class “What are your dreams?”
Maybe all goals don’t need to be so lofty. But perhaps we should all have a goal or two that make us reach out a bit, try something we thought we couldn’t do. We should all have some goals that, when we achieve them, someone looks admiringly at us and says, “wow, that was amazing”.
The SP and I are getting together in the Bricks and Mortar world next week, and one of our many topics of conversation will be how to set goals. I’ll let you know how it goes.