Don’t believe everything that you read…


Lazy, hazy days of August are a good time to access your communication goals. Goals are important and so are the facts. There is a lot of information out there to guide us and harm us. It’s important to figure out what information is true, and what is filler. Here is an example that should make you think about the importance of goals, but also the importance on relying on yourself to get the information you need.

There was this infamous Harvard study that many of you have heard me reference in my bootcamp. Turns out, it was an urban myth, but originally I got this information from a colleague while at Harvard. He had referred me to a book called “What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School” by Mark McCormack. It stated that, in 1979, interviewers gathered together new graduates from the Harvard’s MBA Program and found that :

  • 84% had no specific goals at all.
  • 13% had goals but were not committed to paper.
  • 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them.

In 1989, the interviewers again spoke to the same graduates, this time to check in on their career status (thus, financial status). You can guess the results:

  • The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 % who had no goals at all.
  • Even more staggering – the three per cent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 % put together.

These results seem powerful, yet as I was recently told by one of my bootcamp attendees, this is an urban legend. Even though the theory behind it was interesting and should encourage us to strive for the top, it’s still important to keep in mind that not all stories are fact and that we should research and study our own theories in order to keep ourselves successful. So although the idea behind the study is interesting; those who had goals earned more – one must realize that while making money is important, it’s not everything. Don’t let studies or stories scare you into working harder; make sure you motivate yourself instead!

About releaseyourvoices

Release Your Voice with Pamela Hart: Public Speaking training based in Vancouver BC. We offer training seminars, oral presentation skills, corporate communication, private lessons or group training
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