In 1993 GE decided to upset the apple cart and force everyone within the organization to up their game.
They did this by pursuing something Jack Welch called “stretch-goals”.
“Stretch-goals” are seemingly out-of-reach objectives that force you to a higher level of performance. They inspire you, force you out of your comfort zone and lead to enormous growth that transforms everyone involved.
After GE’s leadership agreed on the specific “stretch-goals” they were going to pursue, they then broke down the action steps required in order to achieve each “stretch-goal”. Once they understood what daily action they would need to take to achieve their “stretch-goals, management communicated these daily action steps to every employee in the organization.
GE’s “stretch-goal” strategy forced GE to change and grow. It also made Jack Welch a legend.
Pursuing “stretch-goals” engages two distinct parts of the brain – the old brain (subconscious/emotion center) and the new brain (conscious).
The old brain, upon receiving its “stretch-goal” directive, goes to work behind the scenes guiding and instructing you, through intuition, on how to best achieve your “stretch-goal”.
The old brain also enlists the emotional center of the brain to help motivate and inspire you to take the action steps you need to take in order to achieve the “stretch-goal”.
In a sense, the subconscious creates a scratch that you feel compelled to itch. And this scratch can only be itched by taking action.
The new brain becomes engaged once you start planning out the daily action steps needed in order to achieve the “stretch-goals”.
So, Welch intuitively understood that when you set audacious goals, something magical happens inside the brain,.
The pursuit of “stretch-goals” forces you out of your complacent, hum drum existence and supercharges your brain.
“Stretch-goals” create an itch that must be scratched. Daily action steps do the scratching.