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The Absence of GOALS – An Obstacle to Human


In this article I discuss an important obstacle to human accomplishment – GOALS.

  1. GOALS are the greatest obstacle to our accomplishment. That is – their non presence of it!
  2. The mental effort is too great for setting a GOAL and the mental effort of avoiding GOALS comes naturally. Just the fact that there are GOALS to be set, we doggedly set out to avoid the mental effort of GOAL setting.
  3. In a majority of organizations, business or otherwise, Goals are not well set in the first place. When I visit the organizations, a number of them do not have Goals to begin with! Its not that they don’t know what they should be doing! But all that is being done happens on impulse or because they felt their way through. My interaction with such managers also throws some amazing responses! Like: “Well… We don’t wish to be tied down with Goals ” or “We don’t plan that long, we are an action oriented company, we’d rather do somethingthan keep thinking about it”. Someone also told me that “We are a medium scale company and do not have the luxury to plan, we leave that to the larger organizations”.
  4. Where some goals are found, these are found to be ambiguous. Some organizations have Goals but they tend to be quite ambiguous. These can be interpreted in more than one manner. The people who set them had a specific context or situation in mind. Later the situation changed or the stakeholders saw these Goals in another context. Thereby, the purpose of the Goal was no longer same. Ambiguity also creeps in when Goals are not very specific. Qualitative approach to a Goal makes them appear different to a different set of individuals. What may be excellent for me may be just good enough for you!
  5. In those organizations where goals are clear, there is little or inadequate communication of these goals.
  6. And when communicated also, these goals are imposed on the teams (though they may have been motivated to own these goals). This is THE GRAVEST situation of all. GOALS are imposed on people.

While it is easy for any team member to say that Organization is imposing GOALS on them, what is most important on the part of an organization to actually succeed is to harmonize the Personal GOALS of its people with the Professional GOALS that they need to set for themselves to achieve organizational success.

Such instances are common place in organizations and consequently many conflicting situations arise. Organizations need to address this issue.

GOAL setting – the deep thought behind the whole process – is what is key to success. Yet it is the GOALS which cause a bulk of conflicts. It is like walking on the razor’s edge. But if we wish to accomplish, we need to walk this path.

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