We all want to receive “a good education”, but what does that actually mean?
“A good education” is a high-level objective that gives us little guidance on how we should act, without further interpretation.
For example, having committed to the goal of receiving “a good education”, should we encourage reading more? Or taking extra tuition? Or getting life experience in the “school of hard knocks”?
Should we spend the next hour in solitude and introspection, or in social interaction and teamwork? We can’t do all these things; we need to make decisions and trade-offs.
Another example of a high-level objective is “to build a high performing team”. What does that actually mean and how do we get there?
The point is that a high-level objective needs intermediate objectives that give a greater sense of direction and prioritisation. And we can break down intermediate objectives into actions that are discrete and measurable.
High level objective: receive “a good education”; “build a high performing team”.
Intermediate level objective: “develop good reading, writing, and speaking skills”, “develop a demanding (be clear on expectations) and supportive (be positive and encourage others) environment”.
Action: “read a book a week, write daily, give presentations monthly”; “give honest, critical feedback after every task, give praise and thanks daily, where deserved”.
These general concepts – high level objectives and how to inch closer towards them – deserve some greater thought and reflection…