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  • Sam Decker

Greyhound Goals

It’s important to set goals – business goals, professional goals, personal goals, financial goals, employee goals, etc.

Ever hear of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)? Similarly Rick Warren of Saddleback Church teaches “Exponential Thinking”. Essentially, add a ‘0’ to an original goal. You wanted to reach 10,000 people. What would it take to reach 100,000?

Stretch goals cause you to break through standard thinking. They cause you to think, “What would we have to believe to hit XXXX”.

I’m 100% for setting goals, and setting ‘stretch’ goals. But it’s equally important to build a plan to get there, and demonstrate or communicate progress to keep yourself or your people motivated. Otherwise, motivation wanes.

I was guessing Greyhound racing is a good analogy for chasing goals. I assumed if the Rabbit (the goal) got too far out in front, dogs would give up. So I emailed a UK Greyhound association. Turns out I was right. And if you’re a dog like me, chasing someone else (competitiveness) or your attitude (are you a low grade dog?) determine your perseverance to reach a goal:

Verbatim what they said:

There is a person who drives the hare. It is their job to ensure that the hare does not get too far ahead of the dogs. Greyhounds are sight dogs, which means they have to see the hare at all times. If the hare does get too far ahead, then yes, the greyhound can become distracted, but saying that they are trained to chase so most would probably carry on, hoping it will pop up again when they turn the corner. As for dogs not in the lead, again they will chase the hare, but they will also chase the lead dog, for they want to get the prize first. It is not unknown however for greyhounds to become distracted, but it only happens very rarely and generally with lower graded dogs. The driving of the hare is very important and you have to have a license to be able to operate it.

Lessons: – Set a realistic goal — don’t put it too far out there. – Keep your eye on that goal — track progress so you don’t lose sight. – Perservere because progress might pop up around the corner. – Add relational competitiveness to keep the goal alive. – Train yourself to have the right attitude. – And if someone is setting your goals for you, make sure they have a license to do so!

Off to the races!


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