I get irritated with targets. Targets upset me. Targets demoralize me as someone under or overestimated my abilities. Targets are those dark numbers and milestones, which give me nightmares. Targets slow poison my self-motivation and drive and drag me towards the results making me dislike both the process and the result.
I have also found targets useless. Neither they have given me any directions in life, nor they have helped in achieving. I have seen companies starting the year with targets and changing targets whether or not they are achieved. Targets are obsolete cosmetics to a business.
You show a signal that you are achieving a target, and your target is increased. You show a signal that you may not achieve a target, and your target is reduced. Target has no control over itself in both favorable and unfavorable situations. Target is merely a bargain. And I have heard people saying “our target is 100, dream target is 110, threshold target is 90, the second threshold is 80, but we will definitely achieve 60 if not 70” immediately after coming out from darkroom target communication sessions which are made to seem like a climax ceremony with stupid jokes that people smile, not laugh.
So, far, hardly have I met a person who fully remembers, likes, loves or is guided by his targets. Don’t believe? Ask yourself your targets coated in stupid abbreviations of KRAs and KPIs.
In my experience of 15+ years, most of the times when I have been given a target, I have not achieved. Target tries to rule me and make me feel inferior. Target abuses me. Target makes me feel like a broiler chicken that must follow feeding-programs, stay in an artificial warm place and take huge anti-biotic doses to reach X Kgs in Y days. Target hurts my ego, the ego that I have not been able to come out of despite several attempts and has now become an unchangeable part of me.
Alternately, whenever I have worked with entrepreneurs who were not well skilled in giving targets ;), I have achieved with flying colors. In a factory that has 60000 units of installed production capacity, I have produced 65000! It was because my team and I had no targets. We had the drive to produce more and more to meet the demand surplus created by an unplanned opportunity. With no targets, I am a free, productive, self-regulated, innovative man with a strong drive and self-respect.
Target is a doubt. Target is boss’s fancy. Your boss doubts you. He doesn’t have time to interact with you regularly and work together. He is always in a worry that you may not give your 100%. So, he attaches this instrument named ‘target’ with you that always follows you, judges you, and pushes you. Target is part of an insecurity complex. If you do not have a boss and you still take targets means you doubt yourself.
Can we live a life free of Targets? Yes.
Nature has not given any targets to us for living or dying. We are pursuing our life. We eat, we sleep, we dance, we work, we agree, we disagree, we run. We are conducting so many of our body systems without any targets. Even in organizations, just observe the happy people- they are the ones who take work more seriously than targets. Work and targets are different. Plans and targets are different. Dreams and targets are different. Work is about that DRIVE to perform and keep achieving results. How much? “As much as possible.”
The world is changing. Management styles and standards are changing. Humans are becoming different in terms of their lifestyle and self-concept every day. we also need to change the way we achieve results. Running with the bullet of ‘targets’ only stresses the performer. Let that dogfight of numbers stop now.
Who do you want to work with? Or whom do you want to be around with? The one who gives you target or the one who gives you energy? Targets are innovation drainers. Targets make the very situation a crisis. Target burns you out, exhausts your capabilities, and pushes you to your limits after which you break.
Trust in people. Work together with them. Be with them. Don’t show the lines. Let them see the long vision you have undertaken. Let them think about your dreams than your targets. Let them adopt your dreams and make their own. Results will follow. ‘Target’ takes you away from your people.
Let no ‘target’ bonsai you.
[Bonsai /ˈbɒnsʌɪ/ noun: the art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed varieties of trees and shrubs in pots.]