We live in a target rich environment. Targets for this and targets for that but what do targets do to people? Targets are the domain of managers they assist in policing productivity whilst vision through inspiration is the domain of leaders. So why is that and why do businesses remain focused on targets when other motivators can be so much more effective?

Change your thoughts and you change your world. – Norman Vincent Peale

A target is set and predictable it is a way of motivating people to perform and monitoring performance. A target unless regularly reviewed is a glimpse from the past into a predicted future; so how accurate can it be? Now what happens to the individual owner of that target if the target is achieved and even more importantly what happens when the target is not achieved? It becomes a de-motivator as the subject relaxes as they reach it or become disillusioned when they don’t. So it can cut both ways.

Targets belong in a world where trust does not exist and they can be very useful when used in particular scenarios but there are other more effective and liberating ways.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter F. Drucker

Life is about continuous improvement, striving to be better just look at the continuous progress made by athletes as world records are broken. Look at organisations and businesses that free up their people and optimise their people’s power to deliver constant improvement. Free from targets they can exploit things further they can truly achieve and go beyond the expected.

Great moments are born from great opportunities. Herb Brooks

……..and not great targets.

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