Stretch to Impress!

End the Year on a High Note by Delivering on a Stretch Objective!

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

In my last post, I recommended you proactively take stock of where you are at with respect to your work objectives for 2011. Even if you had a midyear performance review, I hope you gave the ‘3 list’ method a go. Not only will it serve you well when the annual performance appraisal process kicks off in a few weeks but being clear today about where you at with respect to your 2011 objectives will make it possible for you to precisely focus your energy for the last 3 months of the year.

Now you’re got your three lists, there are two main scenarios:

  1. You’re doing well. In this article, we’ll work on this assumption and look at making use of your restored energy to lift the bar a bit higher and thus end this year with a flourish!
  2. It’s clear that you won’t be meeting all your objectives for 2011. This delicate situation will be the topic of next month’s series so you can still have a decent yearend evaluation.


If you’re doing well with respect to meeting your 2011 objectives, this quarter could simply be about making sure that you steadily complete all outstanding tasks by their due dates. While you should clearly do this at a minimum, it is possible that you may also have the opportunity to raise the bar and exceed your objectives. You could set yourself one or more stretch objective.But how to find a stretch objective? This need not be a complicated exercise. Those of you familiar with my work may recall that one of my first articles walked you through the SMARTEY way of setting objectives. Well, let me show you how to use SMARTEY to articulate a stretch objective. First, here is a reminder of what SMARTEY stands for:

  • ‘S’ is for ‘Specific’
  • ‘M’ is for ‘Measurable’
  • ‘A’ is for ‘Achievable’
  • ‘R’ is for ‘Recorded’
  • ‘E’ is for ‘Energising’
  • ‘Y’ is for ‘Yours’


To articulate a stretch objective, follow this simple recipe:

  1. Pick one of your remaining objective.
  2. With respect to the ‘Measurable’ element of your objective, turn it up. For instance, make more money, speak to more clients, save more money. In short, deliver some kind of ‘more’.
  3. Regarding the ‘Time-bound’ dimension, do it sooner. Surprise them with an early delivery!

Simple, indeed!¬† So have a go, look at what’s left on this year’s to-do list and see if it is achievable to deliver more than expected or sooner than planned or both.

About as important as what you do is that you are seen to have done it. I call appropriately communicating about one’s adjustments “ethical bragging” and I’ll be talking to you about this in a few weeks, in time to get you all prepped up for your yearend performance discussion.

Let me know if you were able to find one or more stretch objectives for this quarter by writing to me at To your success!

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