Blind Side


The ubiquitous SMART Goals. In the corporate world, it’s practically a mantra chanted at every meeting, scribbled on every whiteboard. But let’s be honest, haven’t we all felt that sinking feeling of going through the motions? We craft those perfectly Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals, check the boxes, and… nothing. The needle barely moves.

So, what gives? Why is this seemingly foolproof framework failing to ignite the fires of corporate ambition?

The problem isn’t the SMART framework itself. It’s how we often turn it into a hollow ritual, devoid of true meaning and engagement.


The Box-Ticking Trap: We get so focused on hitting the SMART criteria that we forget to ask the crucial question: Does this goal actually matter? Are we chasing metrics for the sake of it, or are we aiming for something that will genuinely propel us forward?

The “M” vs. “A” Mismatch: We obsess over measurability, churning out quantifiable numbers, but neglect the achievability aspect. Setting unrealistic goals is a recipe for discouragement and missed deadlines.

Goals vs. To-Dos: We blur the lines between strategic aspirations (goals) and tactical steps (to-dos). This muddles the direction and leaves everyone scrambling in the weeds, unsure of the bigger picture.

Employee Buy-In & Accountability: People need to understand how their individual goals contribute to the collective summit, or they’ll lose sight of the climb altogether. More often than not, we set the goals, pat ourselves on the back, and then… crickets. Regular progress checks, feedback, and adjustments are essential to keep everyone on track and adapt to changing landscapes.

How do we break free from the cycle of empty SMART goals and set the stage for real achievement?


    • 1) Infuse your goals with purpose and passion. Align them with your company’s core values and long-term vision. Make them something people can get behind, not just another checkbox on a corporate form.

    • 2) Involve your team in the goal-setting process. Let them bring their ideas, concerns, and expertise to the table. Shared ownership leads to deeper engagement and a more realistic roadmap to success.

    • 3) Challenge yourselves, but keep your goals achievable with dedicated effort. Setting the bar too high leads to discouragement and missed opportunities.

    • 4) Break down your overarching goals into clear, actionable steps. These smaller milestones become stepping stones on the path to the summit, providing a sense of progress and keeping everyone motivated.

    • 5) Regularly check in on your progress, celebrate achievements, and adapt your goals as needed. The business landscape is dynamic, and your goals should be too.

SMART goals can be a powerful tool, but only when we use them with intention. As you ascend together, guided by these purposeful goals, you reach not just milestones, but new heights of organizational success. Remember, the view from the top is always worth the climb!


If you’re interested in further discussing business strategy and goal-setting, feel free to connect with me @