Stretch Goals, The Field, and Choosing the Best Path

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Stretch Goals, The Field, and Choosing the Best Path | Stretch GoalsStretch goals are intended to push the organization to higher levels of performance. They stretch all teams and the individuals in those teams. Stretch goals can rarely be met with incremental changes, thus, management and staff must be dynamic and creative in planning how to meet the goals. This situation can be intimidating, but it is the ideal scenario for you to shift your career in a new, more desirable direction. There are two key components to help you make the shift: understanding how the Field works, and discerning the work activity you most enjoy – regardless of “normal expectations” for your position.

Defining the Field, Understanding Its Drivers. The Field – which is also referred to as “quantum reality” – is a matrix of electromagnetic waves that permeate everything. “So what?” you may ask. Consider the following reality as proven via scientific experiments and measurable observations: i) at the base of all physical matter are tiny electromagnetic energy waves, ii) as two electromagnetic waves intersect, they exchange data, and iii) communication in the Field is instantaneous. This reality means that all living and innate matter in our world are connected every single instant.

Okay, so how does one use this massive web of connection to choose the best path in a stretch-goal environment? Think about the basic formula that underpins all success in the workplace – to achieve a high performance rating, you need to understand how your boss thinks, what their expectations are, and what their goals are to attain a high rating from their superiors. Once you understand this, then you can design an effective performance plan. It is the same with the Field: understand what is important to the Field, then you can proactively engage the Field to aid in directing your career path to higher levels of success.

Why the Field supports you. What is the top priority of the Field? Expansion. Everything in the universe has a drive to expand – humans, animals, plants, bacteria, even the universe itself. At the individual level, the human feeling of “excitement” is most closely aligned with expansion. Why? The Field is connected to all things, so it is aware of your strengths and how those strengths can best help it expand. Thus, when you are focused on an activity that you enjoy (that you look forward to, that excites you), the Field gives you a clue you are on the right track via the feeling of excitement.

So find a comfortable spot at work – or even head to your favorite coffee shop – and review all your work activities, ranking them by how much you enjoy the activity. Be sure to include activities or skills that you have been wanting to learn. Next pick the top activity (or top two, not more) and create a plan around that activity, quantifying how your efforts will increase productivity or drive efficiency.

In the Field, a Low Risk. Your unique stretch-goal-plan is – in quantum reality – a low risk. This is because you have centered the plan around what excites you at work, and when excitement is combined with venturing into new territory, it will invariably lead to your growth as a professional. Thus, you grow personally, your wider team is challenged and grows with you, and the project itself will be productive. Put another way, each of these aspects expands – and, thus, the Field expands.

The Fringe Benefits. What about the other goals in your overall career plan? The good news is that by focusing so much energy on just one or two areas, your plan/project will create a larger momentum that will inevitably demand the demonstration of other skills. Besides the leadership and innovation capabilities you show in putting forth the plan, the additional skills of project management, team management, communication, selling, leveraging diversity, conflict management, and budgeting will likely be demonstrated.

Stretch Yourself, Stretch Your Boss… Expand the Field. In creating a plan that will stretch yourself in an area you enjoy, you will also be stretching your boss. They will need to acknowledge the merit of your plan, they will need to consider how best to sell the idea to their superior(s), and they may need to think about who else on the team will perform the duties they had expected you to be doing. All of that is a fantastic challenge for your boss. They don’t want a boring job; else they would not have accepted the promotion to manager. Besides, like you they may be a bit intimidated by the stretch goals, so you will be helping them with an innovative idea for meeting leadership’s expectations.

Understanding how the expansive properties of the Field work, combined with a focus on the top one or two work activities that excite you, ensures the design of a successful stretch-plan. It also raises your awareness of potential opportunities that may arise – whether those are hoped for or unexpected.

Stretch goals are not obstacles to success, they are unique opportunities to customize your path and accelerate your success. Embrace and use them to stretch yourself, stretch your boss…and expand the Field.

Rejection Epilogue. If your boss rejects your stretch-plan, this is not a failure. Remember that the Field is connected to all things, so it will be keenly aware of your focused and organized vision for expanding your career/team, and by default the Field itself. After the rejection, maintain a positive “can do” attitude and keep your eyes open for other development opportunities. Perhaps a mentor will ask you to join their team, perhaps someone outside the company will offer you a job, or perhaps your boss will ask you to lead a brand-new project in an area that you find exciting. As long as you focus your stretch-plan on an activity that you enjoy, the Field will not be able to help itself: It will notice your effort, and, one way or another, it will respond.

About the Author

For 28 years John Jay McKey has been a student of success, building and leading data analysis teams in the banking sector, a Big Four accounting and consulting firm, the Office of Inspector General, and a multinational Fortune 50 company. While commuting from Chicago to Washington DC to work for the OIG, Jay had a personal epiphany that led him on a deep dive into the world of quantum physics. That journey resulted in the writing of Leverage the Field for Success, which explains how one can use what scientists call the universal energy field, the zero-point field, or simply “the field,” to support and accelerate one’s success and/or the success of their team.