5 Goal-Setting Sins to Avoid

Motivation Insiders

Managers often become managers because they were successful in a non-management role. They routinely met – or exceeded – their goals, which can make it difficult for them to cope with members of their team who fall short of their goals.

In this episode, we explore the fact that missed goals are not always solely the fault of the person who misses them. Managers can be partly – or even mostly – to blame.

There are numerous goal-setting sins, but we focus on five and speak with three experts about why these mistakes can have such a negative impact.


  • Paul Nolan

    Paul Nolan is the editor of Sales & Marketing Management.

  • Ayelet Fishbach

    Ayelet Fishbach studies social psychology, management and consumer behavior. She is an expert on motivation and decision making. She has presented her research all over the world. Fishbach’s research has been published in psychology, management and marketing journals, including Psychological Review, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Journal of Marketing Research, Psychological Science, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Her research is regularly featured in the media, including WSJ, CNN, Chicago Tribune, NPR and was selected to be featured in the New York Times ‘Annual Years in Ideas.’ Fishbach has served as an Associate Editor on several journals, including Psychological Science and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and she has served on the editorial board of leading journals in psychology and management. She has further served as the president of the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON) and the Society for the Study of Motivation. Fishbach is the recipient of several international awards, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology's Best Dissertation Award, Career Trajectory Award, and the Fulbright Educational Foundation Award. In 2006, she received the Provost's Teaching Award from the University of Chicago. Fishbach earned a bachelor's degree with distinction in psychology in 1992, a master's degree summa cum laude in psychology in 1995, and a PhD magna cum laude in psychology in 1999, all from Tel Aviv University. She joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 2002.

  • Tom Miller

    Tom Miller teaches sales leadership and business at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is an entrepreneur who has created, built, and sold two businesses and is a veteran of the incentive and recognition industry.

  • Mike Sullivan

    Mike Sullivan is the director of business development at Quality Incentive Company. With nearly 20 years of experience designing and implementing incentive and recognition programs, Mike specializes in employee recognition and multi-step channel sales incentive programs.

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