Step, Stretch and Leap Goals
One of the common theories of goal setting is SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound. Now in general I’m not sold on this SMART theory, but human beings need achievable goals. Goals that are too grandeur are given up on, because really what the point if it’s very much out of reach. Goals which are too easy, well by definition not really a goal and shame in that manager.
Now why is achievability difficult?
It relies on the person setting the goal knowing the recipient and intricacies very well. These are the steps and levels of risks and ambiguities to get to that goal (especially when a timeframe is issued) Sometimes this is fine, other times for natural reasons like is boss not of the same discipline / craft as recipient it becomes more of a problem.
A “step” is probably in most cases too close and easy to be a goal. A “leap” often falls into that category where people give up. Wether you adhere to SMART or not, give great consideration to achievability. It’s harder to nail than it sounds.