The Problem with Setting Goals

Be prepared to wing it

Traditional wisdom tells us that the key to success is setting specific, measurable, and time sensitive goals. You should know where you’re going and when you’ll get there. But there is a problem with setting goals.

When you set out to accomplish something, you attempt to plan for all the contingencies that come your way. You detail out every move to make. You leave nothing out, or so you think. What happens when events occur that you didn’t foresee? When you’re blindsided by what may seem obvious now? When you’re caught unaware?

Something can always interfer with your plan. There could be a major staff turnover that disrupts your sales target. A big competitor could move into town. Or a pandemic could interrupt your business model. Maybe a personal relationship sidelines your career plans. What if an injury halts your professional sports intentions. These are not remote possibilities – they are common occurances!

If you believed everything you hear, you’d think flying by the seat of your pants is a bad thing. It’s irresponsible, right? It means that you’re making it up as you go along. Unless you want to give up when you face an obstacle, learn how to fly by the seat of your pants successfully: Here are the basics a hang glider pilot uses to fly:

  • Be clear about why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you have to change direction, at least your primary reason will stay in tact.
  • Don’t confine your planning to what you know or assume. Leave lots of room for surprises.
  • Prepare and train for more than you think you’ll need to know or do. It’ll come in handy.
  • Keep your eye open for both obstacles and opportunities. The sooner you see them, the better.
  • Have the courage to change course as the situation warrants.

Being prepared to fly by the seat of your pants means that you can circumnavigate obstacles, and take advantage of the unforseen opportunities that come your way – even if you didn’t plan for them.

Get the more performance out of your most expensive and valuable business assets – your people. Contact me to find out how. You’ll get a free 30-minute consultation and my eBook “Leadership in Change.”

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