“Goals, are they servants or masters?”
On April 15, 1912, news of the Titanic’s sinking on her maiden voyage shocked the world. 1500 of the 2200 on board lost their lives. People around the world either blamed the ship’s builders for shoddy design and construction, or the ship’s captain, Edward Smith, for running her at full speed through a shipping lane filled with icebergs.
What many did not know is that the ship’s owners, the White Star Line, sent their own representative, a naval architect, Thomas Andrews, to see if the Titanic could break the speed record for crossing the Atlantic. Against the urgent advice of Captain Smith, Mr. Andrews drove the ship far beyond her reasonable limits attempting to reach the goal.
Great leaders set ambitious goals, however, they never demand on reaching them at any cost. Goals must be achievable and sometimes stretch the team beyond what they feel are reasonable. Great leaders know that critical point and never push themselves or their team to go beyond it.
The benefits of reaching a goal must never outweigh the value of its achievement, especially at the cost of ruined relationships and emotional scars that may last a lifetime.
Great leaders inspire their team to achieve things thought impossible, while poor leaders drive their team to break production goals, but most of the time for their own selfish reasons.
Goals are servants, they are meant to inspire teams to accomplish great things. They are never masters to drive teams to their breaking point, emotionally and physically.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations.”