Our subject of discussion this fortnight is the value of ‘Stretch’ in achieving overall success in life. Hope you enjoy the series.
One of our major problems is that we usually do not ask enough of our people. People at all levels of the organization can accomplish very much more than they are asked to under contemporary conventions. You have only got to see what your people can achieve when you are in an enormous period of expansion.
The reality is that we are conservative in our appreciation of others’ abilities and we are reticent and uncertain about our own. Not only is it necessary organizationally to stretch others, but it is also necessary that we should stretch ourselves. How many times have you told yourself you could not do something but when you ultimately faced up and had a go, to your amazement you succeeded. The art of ‘growing people’ lies to a great degree in this stretching process.
Everybody in a well run organization should feel himself under some pressure. Nothing is worse for young people when they start work, particularly if they join large companies, than to spend a year or so just sitting before they are trusted to do anything. People’s self-confidence grows when they achieve more, and an even more ambitious and difficult target needs to be set. If not, most people in this world will achieve only a fraction of what they are capable of.
(Based on ‘Making it happen’ by John Harvey-Jones)
Here’s a short poem on Stretch – as a belief
It can be done – by William J. Bennett
The man who misses all the fun
Is he who says, ‘It can’t be done.’
In solemn pride he stands aloof
And greets each venture with reproof.
Had he the power he’d efface
The history of the human race;
We’d have no radio or motor cars,
No streets lit by electric stars;
No telegraph no telephone,
We’d linger in the age of stone.
The world would sleep if the things were run
By men who say, ‘It can’t be done.’