The Subjective Ostrich
Subjective goals are slippery for a reason. Objectivity relies on accurate assessment that can be black or white. A pass or fail situation can put a lot of pressure on a team. True accountability is found in objectivity. Either something happened or it didn’t. However, a subjective opinion can be disbelieved and therefore anything that stands against my narrative leaves room for a favorable interpretation regardless of the truth. The more emotionally secure a team is, the more open they are to objective measurement. Sports teams understand this because every game is a pass or fail situation. Wins are easily defined. Teams that have a difficulty with a secure response to failure will likely set subjective goals that leave room for a favorable interpretation. That team is going to feel like a winner regardless of their actual effectiveness.
Our goals are a representation of what we want to see. If the team is striving to be the best they can be, they will set a goal that has a risk of failure in it. This is because that team is eager to learn and failure means learning how to set better goals in the future. A team that is setting a goal to prove that they are already as good as they need to be will set a safe subjective goal that will be able to tell them what they want to know…that they are good enough.