The downside to goals

When I saw this article staring up at me from the kitchen table this evening, something inside “clicked”, and I thought, “Of course! It makes sense that goals can have a downside.”

A downside to goals? While important, goals can be dangerous if used improperly — by Michael De Groote, Deseret News:

Goals are pervasive in American culture. And the dark side of goals is just as pervasive. From the mortgage crisis to bank bailouts, government leaders struggle to solve problems caused by goals that went astray. And the solutions to these problems are goals also.

The point of the article is that goals, by nature, narrow our focus, and sometimes it is at the expense of important priorities like ethical behavior, cooperation and seeing the big picture.

The article concludes by listing ten ways to evaluate goals so as to avoid “dark side effects”.