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.

Still making goals and resolutions? Why?

Holy frijoles, 2013 is over! How did you do? How did those resolutions and goals you made at the end of last year work out?

Think about the word resolution – the root word is resolve. What was your 2013 resolve? What got in the way of achievement?

Personally, I am against traditional resolutions and goals.

And if my thinking bugs you, don’t be too concerned, you’ll soon be receiving a barrage of offers from various ‘experts’ encouraging you to achieve goals this year and have your ‘best year ever’ – the very same goals you didn’t achieve last year.

Most resolutions and goals set for the New Year are never achieved. Reason? They’re set emotionally and they’re set without an understanding of the circumstances around the goal. Better stated: Your circumstances.

For your 2014 (and all years to come) I have created an easy-to-understand, ‘achievement opportunity’ formula. Once you read it, and a few of the details, you will at once see where your achievement opportunities are, how they may fit into your life, and how you can use this formula to make this coming year a raging success.

Here’s my formula: Situation + Opportunity + Objective + Why + Plan + Intentions + Responsibility = Favorable Outcome.

STOP BEFORE YOU START: Don’t make any resolutions for the future until you have defined your present situation.

IDENTIFY YOUR BIG PICTURE: What’s going on in your life and your career right now? What’s going on with your family, your money, your health, and your happiness? Will your present situation help you achieve and encourage you to achieve? Or will it be a barrier to achievement? What are you seeking to accomplish in 2014 and what is your real resolve to make it happen?

WHAT CAN BE? Identify, in writing, your opportunities. Think about the opportunities that might change or enhance your present situation. What triggers are you hoping to pull this year? What mountains are you hoping to climb? What hurdles are you looking to leap over (without knocking them down)?

Look for opportunities in places you may not be thinking about:

  • Key relationships
  • New social media strategies
  • Trends in your business
  • Technology shifts
  • Apps
  • Blogging

I think it’s also important to separate family opportunities from business and career opportunities. Make sure you have a list for both.

Once you know where you are (situation), and you have identified how you can get from here to there (opportunity), then I recommend you make a 90-day game plan to achieve at least ONE of your opportunities. Not a goal, an opportunity. January, February, March. Document why you want it, what you have to do to make it happen, and what you’re hoping the outcome of that plan will be.

Here are some details of the achievement plan and process:

  • Describe WHAT the opportunity is, the OBJECTIVE that the opportunity creates, and WHY you want to take advantage of it and/or achieve it.
    A NOTE ABOUT YOUR ‘WHY’: All too often ‘why’ you want something is left at a superficial level. ‘To make more money’ or ‘to support my family’ or ‘to grow my career’ – those are ‘surface whys’ and may not provide enough incentive to achieve. Once you identify the surface why, ask yourself why again and again until the real why appears. “Why do I want to make more money?” “Why do I want to support my family?” “Why do I want to grow my career?” Second and third levels of ‘why’ will provide the real incentive to achieve. Try it. You’ll be amazed at your own answers.
  • Write a brief, 90-day plan of action. It can be a few short paragraphs or even bullet points. Writing the plan helps clarify your thinking, and solidify your determination to take action.
  • List and describe your DAILY INTENTIONS. What do you plan to do every day to make this opportunity to achieve a reality? Beyond resolution, it’s your resolve combined with your hard work.
  • Figure out the DAILY DOSE. What do you have to do each day to keep the momentum rolling?
  • Come to the realization that in order to achieve, you must take total RESPONSIBILITY for the actions, the results, and the outcome.
  • Describe the OUTCOME in more detail than you described your 90-day plan. Make sure the ‘after achievement’ is clear.

And then the hard part – do it!

Here’s my formula again – try it, it works: Situation + Opportunity + Objective + Why + Plan + Intentions + Responsibility = Favorable Outcome.

Follow my formula and my concepts, and you’ll take your achievement to a new level – a success level you’ve never attained before. I hope you do.

Happy, healthy, wealthy, fun filled-family holiday season and New Year!

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

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About the Author

Nathan Ives, StrategyDriven Principal is a StrategyDriven Principal and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.

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German philosopher, poet, composer, and philologist