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achieving goals

Achieving Goals Has a Runner-Up

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The day a marketing campaign launches. When the big order ships. The sale that puts you above the forecast. A high school graduation, college degree achieved, and a bank loan paid-off. Achieving goals is a feel-good experience. Yet, there just may be a runner-up.

Managers everywhere want team success. Success may be measured in many ways and is usually compared to a key indicator, a forecast, or some form of metric.

It’s been said in racing and other sports, “Second place is the first loser.”

Loser is a harsh word. Sure, it may motivate some by sparking anger, creating a feeling of disappointment, and invigorating a competitive spirit. Yet, it is certainly not a confidence booster.

I don’t like it.

Meeting and exceeding goal is fantastic. However, coming up just a little short doesn’t always mean the effort was wasted.

Is there a runner-up?

Achieving Goals

Perfection is a nice thought. All or nothing can be inspiring. Being the runner-up in any situation can still mean a lot of value.

Did you make something better? Have you achieved something more when compared with your last best effort? What have you learned?

Life has many second chances. You may have a second chance to close a sale, another opportunity to exceed customer expectations, or a refreshing reset as a new month with new goals begins.

The next best thing to winning the race is to be the runner-up. If you didn’t achieve the goal did you break a personal record? Did you overcome an adverse condition, or make something better than it was before? Maybe you learned what not to do.

Runner-up just might be the second winner.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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