Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Are Your Goals Outrageous Enough?

If not, you're probably selling yourself short.

But, Why would I want to set Outrageous goals ???

Simple ... Because you just might get whatever it is that you ask for!

And on that note, I could probably just end this post right now.

But I won't ...

Here's a quick story that recently happened at work.

I'm going to start with the ending first; I know, I know, ruins the suspense, but oh well. Back in November, the 3rd Weather Squadron here at Fort Hood Texas had our biennial inspection, called the SEPWO. We scored a perfect 100%. That never happens in Air Force Weather ... ok, apparently it's happened one other time ... but it's not something you'd Expect to happen in a squadron our size.

Rewind about 5 or 6 months.

Earlier this summer, we had a new commander come in. Obviously he was aware of the upcoming inspection, and within a couple of days of his arrival; at his first commander's call; we were All made aware of the fact that he was aware ...

He told us straight up: "My expectation for the Inspection is a score of 100%. We've got a great group of people here, I know you can do it."

Now I've been in the military long enough that I've heard similar pep talks many times before .. and I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I didn't really believe him. In fact, if I'm really honest, my thoughts were more along the lines of: "yea right, the inspectors Always find Something wrong".

Well apparently HE believed it. Because every time we got together in the months leading up to the SEPWO, we heard again about how we were going to earn a Perfect score. And when you went into many of the offices, especially our Standards section, they had 100% written on the white board in big read letters.

We worked hard, fixed some things that needed fixing, did a lot of practicing on stuff we were already doing well; and then when the big week came, we Aced it ... just as the commander had predicted.

Even after the fact, I'm still a little bit surprised.

But here's one thing I definitely know: the only reason we even had a chance of achieving that perfect score, is because that's the seemingly (to some of us) outrageous goal that the commander decided to set.

I'm absolutely convinced that if the commander had stood up at that first meeting, and told us that his goal for our Squadron was to earn an "Excellent" rating on the upcoming inspection, that we would have ending scoring something like a 98 or 99% ... still really good, but not unprecedented.

So what's the takeaway?

Scroll back up to the top and read that bolded sentence again.

If you're going to go to the trouble of setting goals, you might as well ask for whatever it is you "really" want .. just in case this is destined to be one of those times when something "outrageous" or "unprecedented" happens. ;-)

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]

3 comments:

  1. I seriously never thought of that before.

    Yeah, I have set goals simply because those goals are what I want in life. But it never crossed my mind that aiming for something outrageous and actually achieving it would yield maximum satisfaction (I wouldn't know that but I figured based on the case study you provided).

    I am having trouble realizing my dream now. I know i'm still young but life just doesn't seem to offer the "pause" and "stop" button for me to go slow. Seeing those around me excel pushes me that much harder to achieve what I want sooner.

    But it would be definitely paradise on Earth if my outrageous dream becomes reality.

    Life is tough, isn't it?

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  2. Hi Shz,

    Decide what you want and keep on pushing .. you'll get there. As for "pause" and "stop" buttons, I think they're there .. only problem is, we don't have the "remote control", so instead of choosing when to pause/stop, we instead have to learn to adjust when they happen.

    lol, and yes, life is tough ... but easy would be boring ;-)

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  3. Very inspiring post! I'm feeling this one and I think it comes down to this:
    'Being realistic is the fastest way to mediocrity'

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