Stretching means exceeding goals. "Don't
ever settle for mediocrity. The key to stretch is to reach for more
than you think is possible. Don't sell yourself short by thinking that
you'll fail."2 Do the best possible – and then reach beyond.
Stretch "essentially means using dreams to set business targets – with
no real idea of how to get there. If you do know how to get there – it's
not a stretch target."
Don't be satisfied with the best you can now and the best you think you
can do. The higher you aim, the more you are likely to achieve. Back up
your stretch goals with ambitious self-development to ensure complete
by reaching for the skies.
Encourage daring actions
Ask managers and
employees to reach for their dreams. "Dreams
are exciting; decimal points aren't." Stretching "allows
people reach for the goal. And people are getting more and more
comfortable with the idea that you get the best out of people not by
fighting budgets, which are all about minimal numbers, but by getting
do the best they can, and measuring their progress toward it –
against last year, against what competitors are doing."
Reward daring actions
leaders even for falling short of a stretched goal. Punishing
for falling short of a stretch goal is counterproductive. If the company
aimed at 15 and made 12, celebrate. What's critical is setting the
performance bar high enough; otherwise, it's impossible to find out what
people can do.
Don't be as good as you have to be; be as good as you can be. Set a
stretch target and start moving towards it. As soon as you become sure
you can do it, it's time for another stretch.