Two Examples of Goal Setting
Here are two examples of goal setting.
- In 1961, President Kennedy set the goal
"First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him ..."
The goal was specific with a clear goal and deadline. It was achieved in 1969. The decision involved much consideration before making it public, as well as enormous human efforts and expenditures to make what became Project Apollo a reality.Only the construction of the Panama Canal in modern peacetime and the Manhattan Project in war were comparable in scope.
The capability to achive the mission was probably understood and there was sufficient knowledge and experience available to achieve the goal.
- On the other hand, President Richard Nixon in 1971 set the goal,
"Let us make a total national commitment to achieve this goal... a cure for cancer"
He invested $100 million to launch an intensive campaign to find a cure for cancer. The Army's Fort Detrick, Maryland, biological warfare facility was converted to a cancer research center, eventually becoming the Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, an internationally recognized center for cancer.After more than three decades, the "War on Cancer," declared by President Nixon is still going on.
There have been incredible advances in cancer detection, prevention, and treatment. The cancer death rate has been decreasing steadily. Today, nearly half of all cancer patients can expect to live for five or more years after the diagnosis of cancer.
However, scientists are still not able to pinpoint a "cause" for cancer. Instead, cancer researchers now believe that cancer can be triggered by many factors, such as our genetics, diet and occupation. We know that our chances of developing cancer can be significantly reduced if we choose to live a healthy lifestyle, not smoke and avoid certain foods.
This was a clear goal and backed by lots of resources, but the nature of the problem was not sufficiently understood at the time and so the goal was not really achievable. There was no deadline given in the initial goal, although may be President Nixon hoped it to be in the time of his administration.
I am sure there are many more examples of goal setting that you can think of. These particular examples could be described as 'Big Hairy Audacious Goals'.
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