01 Mar 2010

There was an excellent article by renowned leadership expert Michael Maccoby in the Washington Post  about the upside and downside of “stretch goals”.

 

The Olympics, a perfect example of watching individuals and teams push themselves, motivated by the desire to achieve greatness. What Maccoby suggested is that we need to look at the fine line between going toward a vision that is possible and one that can ultimately turn sour.

 

Thinking about the concept of stretch goals, my mind wandered to some of the costs for the moment of fame standing on the podium to get one of the three medals. I thought about one of the coaches who gave up being with his family to train the children of other people to greatness.

 

It brought to mind a day many years ago when my daughter had a roommate post-college who had been an athlete in the Olympic Games. She was a beautiful young woman with the strong and lithe body of a swimmer.

 

It was during the summer Olympics, and we had turned on the television to watch those who were competing for greatness. Diana walked into the room, sat down for a brief moment and then excused herself.

 

Later that evening she shared the pain and upset she had experienced in training and how her life had been so buttoned down with stretch goals she had no life outside of training and competing.

 

Her anger began to subside as she talked. We heard about the back story to competing for success as children. She would teach her children to swim, to have fun, to become excellent, yet never, never to compete.

 

As I watched this year’s group of athletes, coaches, and parents, I was awed by their skill and grace, their healthy glow, and yet I wondered about the long-range effects having stretch goals that leave out so much of the fullness of life.

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10 Responses to Stretch Goals and Human Relationships
  1. You have described a quotation, which will definitely be needed in future world. One day, stretch out goals will be ended and new version of olympics will come out.

  2. Stretch goals energize and push you to work harder at meeting more difficult targets and to achieve more than if you had set an easier goal. When you set a stretch goal for yourself you know that you may not meet it 100%, but by coming close you will likely achieve extraordinary results

  3. [...] Jorgenson's daughter and Sylvia's teenage son who are appalled by their parents' mistakes …Stretch Goals and Human Relationships | Sylvia Lafair's BlogThere was an excellent article by renowned leadership expert Michael Maccoby in the Washington Post [...]

  4. Most people that achieve anything truly great (such as Olympians) have seriously large goals and no doubt in their mind that they can achieve them. These goals are usually backed up with detailed action plans which they have the will to stick to. Thanks for sharing this post – its a good one!
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  5. Apparently if you write down your goal and read it aloud at least once a day there is a lot higher chance of you actually achieving it. I read this on a website all about goal setting and project planning a few weeks ago. I think its also a good idea to put your goal written in a place you can see it often so that you are always thinking about it.

  6. Stretch goals energize and push you to work harder at meeting more difficult targets and to achieve more than if you had set an easier goal.

  7. It brought to mind a day many years ago when my daughter had a roommate post-college who had been an athlete in the Olympic Games.

  8. I thought about one of the coaches who gave up being with his family to train the children of other people to greatness.

  9. I cant imagine anyone wanting to give up time with their own children to help other peoples children achieve their goals. Not to such a huge extent anyway.
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