What’s the best way to set goals?

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
How Andreessen Horowitz Evaluates CEOs – Ben’s Blog

Goals and objectives are not the story. The story of the company goes beyond quarterly or annual goals and gets to the hardcore question of why? Why should I join this company? Why should I be excited to work here? Why should I buy your product? Why should I invest in the company? Why is the world better off as a result of this company’s existence?

Charlie Munger (Vice Chairman of the Board of Berkshire Hathaway Inc)
The Tension Created By Stretch Goals

There are two lines of thought. A whole bunch of management gurus say you need BHAGs — bold, hairy, audacious goals. Then there’s another group that says that if you make the goals unreasonable enough, human nature being what it is, people will cheat. What people generally do is give people the unreasonable goal and tell them, “You can’t cheat. ” That is the American system in many places. I’ve got no answer to that tension. Low goals do cause lo… (read more)

Google (Organizing the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful)
Ten things we know to be true

We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet them we can get further than we expected.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Lessons from Jeff Bezos: Set “audacious and inspirational” goals | A Founder’s Notebook

Set audacious and inspirational goals

Eric Barker (Founder at StubHub)
Is being busy the secret to happiness?

In general, then, low-to-moderate time pressure seems optimal for sustaining positive thoughts, feelings, and drives.

Eric Barker (Founder at StubHub)
How To Be Successful: 6 New Shortcuts Backed By Research

Perhaps most importantly, when you think 10x instead of 10%, you behave differently. Research shows when you set bolder, more audacious goals you work harder than when you’re reasonable. Subconsciously, we actually push ourselves harder when we’re going after bigger, loftier, harder goals. Research shows people who set higher goals end up outperforming their peers or themselves because they push themselves harder or because they force themselves … (read more)

Mike Perlis (President & CEO at Forbes Media)
Inside Forbes: With 50 Million Visitors, Here’s What’s Next For Our Editorial And Ad Models

Work for meaningful differences, not better sameness.

Ray Dalio (Chairman and Chief Investment Officer at Bridgewater Associates)

Great expectations create great capabilities. Don’t rule out a goal due to a superficial assessment of its attainability. Once you commit to a goal, it might take lots of thinking and many revisions to your plan over a considerable time period in order to finalize the design and do the tasks to achieve it. So you need to set goals without yet assessing whether or not you can achieve them.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to specify challenges and goals correctly | A Founder’s Notebook

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Relevant, and Time-bound. A good problem statement should be all of those things. For more on SMART, see the Wikipedia page. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/SMART_criteria

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Give up and go up goals

You will benefit when you tell lots of people your give up goals. Tell your friends when you want to give up overeating or binging or being a boor. Your friends will make it ever more difficult for you to feel good about backsliding.
On the other hand, the traditional wisdom is that you should tell very few people about your go up goals. Don’t tell them you intend to get a promotion, win the race or be elected prom king. That’s because even your… (read more)