In is book What They Don’t Teach You in Harvard Business School, Mark McCormick reported the results of a study that tracked Harvard MBA graduates from 1979 to 1989. In 1979, the graduates were asked whether they had set clear, written goals for the future and made plans to accomplish them.
Here’s what the study found: Only 3 percent had written goals and plans for accomplishing them; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; 84 percent had no specific goals at all, aside from getting out of school and enjoying the summer. These statistics may not surprise you.
However, these may. In 1989, the graduates were interviewed again. The 13 percent who had unwritten goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And the three percent who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent of their classmates! The only difference between the groups was the clarity of their goals.
So where do you fit? Have you written down your goals for 2008? If not, what better reason do you need? Go for it!
The point you make is an excellent one but interestingly enough there is no evidence that this survey ever took place. It has been quoted in many self help books but if you look for the research it doesn’t seem to be there! That doesn’t detract from the point I don’t think but is interesting nevertheless…
Its Interesting what you wrote about written goals.
I asked my LinkedIn network there feelings about written goals and the effects it had,
They gave lots of ideas and reasons why it works.
You can see it at
http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/ZaleTabakman <- An invite to me will add 1,600,000 people to your linkedin network