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Aiming High the Right Way

Do you wish that you could squeeze more success and victory out of your business?

After examining stretch goals a few months ago, I believe a redefinition of Aiming High is in order.

Aiming High, as I have mentioned in the past, is a method that I have used to demand and achieve greater performance out of myself. It is not difficult, it doesn’t require you to be a genius. All you need to be is ambitious.

Aiming High requires you to do the following three things:

  1. Set Stretch Goals
  2. Motivate yourself to achieve these high-aiming goals
  3. Utilize the Small Wins strategy to make steep goals more manageable

Setting Stretch Goals

Stretch Goals is a tactic that General Electric’s former CEO, Jack Welch had espoused.

The Stretch Goal philosophy is simple and one that I have mentioned before: set a very ambitious, even seemingly impossible objective, and you would be surprised with the results.

Welch says that we will often achieve these difficult tasks and if not, we will in the very least accomplish phenomenal results, better than if we aimed much lower.

Since this strategy can unveil to you just how much you can actually accomplish, it would be foolish not to use Stretch Goals. Aiming lower means you are generating inefficient results. Using Stretch Goals, on the other hand, will allow to stretch every last drop of success out of your business.

Then, like a muscle, your business will be poised to do even heavier lifting, so setting even more ambitious goals will yield that much more impressive results!

If you have read my article on Why Your Business Can Be the Next Google, you know that the only obstacle preventing you from being as big or successful as you would like is yourself. You have to actually try to be that large or profitable in order to make it happen. If it is your dream for your business to be that successful, by all means, aim for it!

A word of advice: being ambitious is stressful. If you did not achieve your actual target, but still have gotten stellar results, you should still be very proud and praise your staff. Never being satisfied is a sure fire way to seep motivation out of yourself and your employees.

Motivating Yourself

This is probably the most important part of Aiming High. You can set the most ambitious, superhero-like goals in the world. If you have no motivation to back your goals up, your goals are as good as garbage.

With enough motivation, you will go to the ends of the earth to achieve what it is you are looking for. Motivation is a very powerful driving force and if you want something badly enough, you will find a way to do it.

That said, getting yourself motivated can be difficult. Sometimes the desire to get something accomplished is all you need. Oftentimes you need more than that.

Check out the links in my last post for a treasure trove of information on motivation and motivational hacks. I will be posting my own guide to motivational tips soon.

To motivate your staff to move these objectives forward, read this article.

Small Wins

So you have set some ambitious goals and are all hyped up to get started. By all means, go right ahead.

However, goals this ambitious can sometimes be discouraging. You definitely don’t want any discouraging forces present when try to keep your staff and yourself motivated.

What to do? Divide these Stretch Goals into smaller sub-goals. Completing each of these mini goals is a success, or “Small Win”.

Using this strategy will make steep goals appear much more scaleable as if you are turning a steep cliff into a tall staircase or ladder. You are still climbing the same distance, you are just making it easier to climb.

. . .

My Aiming High technique is constantly being tweaked and reformed to make it a more and more effective strategy at setting and tackling dreams of ambition. Expect future posts on new ways to improve upon this technique.

Does anyone have any thoughts on Aiming high or how it can be better?

2 comments… add one
  • Tom Volkar / Delightful Work January 27, 2009, 11:26 am

    Well said. Small steps lead to small wins. There is nothing like the feeling of completion to fire us up and continue on. This is great post for those who want something more, Matt. Go for it!

    • Matt Thomas January 27, 2009, 2:36 pm

      Exactly, having any feeling of completion can certainly help to keep you motivated, even if they are smaller steps that lead to a larger overarching goal. It makes it easier to create more ambitious goals without feeling overwhelmed.

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