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Why Goals Are Just the Beginning of Achievement

Why Goals Are Just the Beginning of Achievement

Last month while attending the 20Why Goals Are Just the Beginning of Achievement17 BSA National Jamboree in West Virginia, I visited a couple of different services with the scouts.  There was one in particular that fascinated me where a Buddhist priest shared the tenets of Buddhism with the crowd with his message focused on why Buddhism isn't a fan of goals.

He shared how so many people use goals and certifications to define an achievement, a measure, or a "victory".  As someone who deals with goals, outcomes, objectives, and managing projects, I reflected on his message and found the perspective powerful.  For so many of us in the United States, we often measure our work/team's performance by goals, measures, and milestones. I don't think that's bad at all--it enables us to create "checkpoints" for reflection on how we are doing. But, often, we do see them as a completion of work or a project or a goal.  And that's where we miss an opportunity.  For example, the goal of getting your driver's license. You set a goal to get it on your first attempt, and when you get it, you have completed your goal. Yet, it isn't really an end--getting your driver's license is the start of your learning to drive--as you gain experience, you improve your driving. You learn lessons of what to do and not do. Getting the license is the start of your path towards learning. Not an end.

How many teams fail to reflect on how they performed after the achievement? Or assess what they learned or need to change to improve themselves after the project completes?  Most don’t. We have a valuable opportunity to gain perspective and to improve if we will take time to reflect on the achievement.

It was an enlightening lesson listening to the priest.  One that I was not expecting to find, but was fortunate to experience.  And I thank him for it.


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About the Author: Bill Fournet

Bill Fournet
Bill Fournet is the Founder and CEO of The Persimmon Group, the award-winning management consulting firm he founded in 2004. Bill loves to solve complex problems for organizations of all sizes, and remains hands-on at Persimmon, consulting clients of all sizes and in many verticals.

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