While the contemporary view is that you should set S.M.A.R.T goals
These are illustrated by being…
His view is that you should set H.A.R.D goals
With the following definitions…
At first glance the major difference that stands out between the two systems is Attainable-Realistic versus Difficult.
Attainable-Realistic means uninspiring and status quo. It means doing what is expected. Fill in the blanks performance. Hardly something that is going to make me want to jump out of bed in the morning. It means hitting my quota of widgets/sales/documents that someone else set as an arbitrary goal. They are the perfect excuse to make it look like you are giving it your all on paper while actually just meeting the status quo.
Difficult means something different. As Mark explains in the book, Difficult goals are inspiring and challenging. You have to think, create, and improve. Since they are inspiring, they push everyone on the team to give more of themselves. A workday becomes exciting instead of a hum drum, and many times boring, existence.
This book has helped me see why some goals are just so hard to achieve. I’ve struggled over the years with seemingly simple organizational goals, yet have had great success with things that many people would have said were impossible.
As the book points out it’s the status quo, ordinary nature of things that makes them boring and so hard to do day after day.
While Mark’s book is focused on leadership, I’ve found it helpful in setting my own personal goals. And the really important thing is the book gives tips, techniques, and solutions to take that boring project and turn it into an exciting adventure.
Tomorrow we’ll look at some ways to setup some H.A.R.D goals.