Can setting goals backfire?
The case for prioritizing systems over goals
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When Network Capital was incorporated as a company, we set multiple goals for ourselves. They included
Find 1000 true fans in 6 months who would be happy to pay a monthly subscription fee
Add at least 1 new subscriber each day
Create the highest quality of career content on the internet
Build the highest talent density among all social networks
Become the most trusted brand in career advancement, one that is premised on inclusion and diversity as core values
Launch outcome-oriented fellowships and educational programs that nudge people toward the career transitions they care about
Provide full support to the government of India as they scale the Mentor India mission to all school students in the country. Do it free of cost.
The list went on. We have done well on most of these fronts. You would probably call these goals SMART but there is a downside to setting goals. This newsletter will make the case for setting an alternate way to getting to where you want to be.
Even though we met most of our goals, the journey turned out to be stressful in parts and left us with a sense of disappointment on many days. Could that have been avoided? Was setting ambitious goals wrong? Plans change, life happens, and things evolve. Does that make planning a waste of time?