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Should you be setting stretch goals?

You need to be setting stretch goals.

I’m curious. What emotional response did you have to my recommendation above?

Did you sigh?
Did you quiver at the thought?
Did you feel stressed out just thinking about it? 

I’d be willing to guess that you had at least one of these reactions! 

It is likely because you feel very stretched already. 

You probably have a huge to-do list, a lot on your plate, and enough stressors and stretch areas to contend with right now.

setting stretch goals versus setting realistic goals

In the past, I recommended that leaders set stretch goals for themselves and their teams. It used to be a great way to motivate people and push them out of their comfort zone.

But the world has changed.

Today, most of us are working out of our comfort zones already. You are probably in the “stretch machine” every day while trying to navigate return to the office stress, trying to achieve your goals amidst pre-recessionary conditions, managing four generations at work, being inundated with AI and the list goes on!

Today’s work environment is more complex than ever before and thus, is challenging enough for you and your team. 

So, let’s take the pressure off!

Based on the current state of affairs in the business world, I am NOT recommending that leaders set stretch goals for themselves or their teams.

​​​​​​​It is not motivating to always be on the stretch machine. 

These days, I think it’s motivating to be on the “realistic machine.”

So, instead of setting stretch goals, please set realistic goals with your team.

Ask them, “What do you think is realistic for you to achieve this quarter? 
Now track and measure this goal.

Being a good leader means adjusting your expectations based on the current workplace environment. 

It’s great to be a visionary and achievement-oriented.

But it is important to be realistic too! 

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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