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Wildly important goals

Like so many other things in life, what is “important” is entirely personal, and something that’s crucial to one person might be irrelevant to another. There are no right or wrong answers as to what matters more than something else, and, importantly, everyone of us will experience that different things become more or less important to us during various stages of our lives, depending on countless circumstances. For example, what is important to us in our 20’s (e.g. getting an education, entering the labour market, traveling the world, etc.) might be of much less significance in our 30’s and 40’s. This argument holds equally true in a professional context, i.e. we constantly need to define what is most important to us as a team or organisation at any given point in time. And given that everyone’s time, money and other resources are limited, we need to understand what matters most to us - in a personal as well as professional capacity - and pursue these goals as a matter of priority.

Wildly important goals take aim at precisely this. Simply put, the idea of categorising something as our “Wildly Important Goal” means that it is more important than anything else that we could be doing at the moment. The term is used by authors Covey, Huling and McChesney in their book “The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals”, and implores us focus fully on no more than one or two goals simultaneously in order to ensure we remain sufficiently focused to actually achieve these - spreading your attention and efforts too thinly will result in none of the goals being fulfilled, according to the authors.

In keeping with modern goal management theory as formulated by academics and practitioners, a wildly important goal is complete and properly executable only if the goal attainment and efforts to get there are measurable, and wrapped in a clear deadline. Examples of wildly important goals:

  • Reduce customer support response time from 4 hours to 2 hours by 31 March 2021
  • Improve our NPS from 75 to 80 by 1 January 2021
  • Increase average time spent on exercise each week from 1 hours to 2 hours by 15 February 2021

Check out Pembio for a ready-to-use tool that helps you and your team implement a structured goal setting process.

By: Johan Flodgren

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