25 Lessons from Jack Welch: STRETCH! 25 Lessons from Jack Welch Ten3 Business e-Coach (full version) Energizing Employees 3 Strategies of Market Leaders 1000ventures.com Leadership-Management Synergy Inspirational Leadership Set stretch goals GE (case study) Case Studies Jack Welch: success story Stretch Goals STRETCH GOALS: 25 Lessons from Jack Welch: STRETCH!


Stretch is a goal or challenge that is significantly beyond the organization's current performance level.

Stretch targets energize.

"We have found that by reaching for what appears to be the impossible, we often actually do the impossible; and even when we don't quite make it, we inevitably wind up doing much better than we would have done."


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Stretch your business strategy
Stretching means exceeding goals. "Don't ever settle for mediocrity. The key to stretch is to reach for more than you think is possible. Don't sell yourself short by thinking that you'll fail." Do the best possible and then reach beyond. Stretch "essentially means using dreams to set business targets with no real idea of how to get there. If you do know how to get there it's not a stretch target."

Stretch yourself
Don't be satisfied with the best you can now and the best you think you can do. The higher you aim, the more you are likely to achieve. Back up your stretch goals with ambitious self-development to ensure complete success. Develop Self-motivation by reaching for the skies.

Encourage daring actions
Ask managers and employees to reach for their dreams. "Dreams are exciting; decimal points aren't." Stretching "allows people reach for the goal. And people are getting more and more comfortable with the idea that you get the best out of people not by fighting budgets, which are all about minimal numbers, but by getting people to do the best they can, and measuring their progress toward it against last year, against what competitors are doing."

Reward daring actions
Reward business leaders even for falling short of a stretched goal. Punishing for falling short of a stretch goal is counterproductive. If the company aimed at 15 and made 12, celebrate. What's critical is setting the performance bar high enough; otherwise, it's impossible to find out what people can do.

Keep stretching
Don't be as good as you have to be; be as good as you can be. Set a stretch target and start moving towards it. As soon as you become sure you can do it, it's time for another stretch.

Don't abuse stretch
For stretch to be effective it should be tied to the overall business strategy so that it turns that strategy into a specific issue that employees can accomplish. Stretching forces you to do stuff you wouldn't otherwise do. Make sure that you do the right stuff. Think outside the box but stick to your commitments as well.


Jack Welch's 5 Strategic Questions