Sunday, June 18, 2017

Stretch Goals, Boards, & Banks

One of the difficulties in setting Almost Impossible Goals is trying to figure out how to communicate them to people who just don’t get it.  I encourage you to share this article on The Power of Goals with those who have not been exposed.  But, let’s face it, even after that – some people just don’t understand.

If that is your situation, then I suggest you not push the matter too far – depending on the audience.  For example, my experience is that some Boards do not really want to know what your “goals” are, they want a “promise” from you regarding the results you are going to produce.  In other words, they want a “forecast” – not a goal.  They don’t want your aspirations or dreams, they want to know what they can count on.  I suggest – give them what they want.

You can do this with complete integrity and still keep your Stretch Goal. Let’s say that you raised $100,000 in your annual fund last year and your team set a Stretch Goal for $140,000 for the coming year – a big stretch!  Now, it would be IDEAL if your Board understood the stretch philosophy and got excited about assisting with this big, bold goal.  

But, if they are not bought in, then I suggest keeping the Stretch Goal quiet and giving them a reasonable forecast – maybe a 5% increase up to $105,000.  Then add “Of course, we are always working on ways we can do even better.”  Now you have an accurate forecast – which is what they want.  And you have a bold goal for your team – which is what you want.

By the way, if you have a loan or a line of credit with a bank – they don’t want to see bold goals.  Show them something conservative when you share your budget and make sure you do even better every year.  That will keep your loan intact.

Almost Impossible Goals can do amazing things for your organization.  But until we have everyone converted to the philosophy you need to be careful how you share them.  This will let you make even more of a Mission Impact – and keep your job (which is nice).

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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