June 24, 2011

When Goals Shouldn't Be The Goal

Having goals are a good thing. So when are goals not the best thing?

As a coach, I'm focused on helping my clients set and achieve their goals, but part of what I love about coaching is the process. Development takes time and if you rush it, no long-term success can result out of it. 

Several years ago I groomed an intern to be my successor in a position I would be leaving. Over the 13 months we worked together, I took him everywhere I went and had him shadow me with everyone I talked to. In the end, someone else was chosen for the job. Sure, I was disappointed (even a little pissed) yet if the intern process was only about him getting the job, I would have looked at my time spent as a waste. Instead, I look back on the time very favorably because I wouldn't have done it any other way. We had great conversations, I took interest in him as a person and we got the opportunity to develop a lot of people along the way. If you focus only on the end goal, you miss the beauty of growth.

Goals keep us focused, but you can learn so much through the journey. It will be rocky at times and there will be points when you want to quit, but stick it out. Most of the time what our initial goal is and what actually happens are two completely different outcomes.

Imagine yourself on a road trip. Your goal is the destination, but don't forget to enjoy the ride. Our learning curve is at its highest during the process. Don't forget to pause, look around and enjoy the view.


  1. Appreciating the process is especially true for entrepreneurs. If you measure success solely by whether or not your business launches, you won't listen as well to changes made within yourself that could improve the idea, or (sometimes wisely) scrap it entirely. Relish the people you meet, the connections you make, and the life lessons you learn along the way.

  2. What wise words from a wise woman!


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