I grew up (professionally) in the Dark Ages1 when employees set their own performance goals for the year and enshrined them in a “P.D.P.”
Liz Arden and I talked about that a little this morning. “I don’t make resolutions,” she said.
Neither do I. It struck me as odd since both of us are hardwired to achieve goals. We Floridians did make a few resolutions for next year, though:
- Make sure the body you bury at sea doesn’t walk ashore.
- Do not eat giant African snail mucus.
- Do not wear an underwire bra to a federal detention center.
- Learn CPR. And carry a sidearm.
A Tampa alligator snatched a Jack Russell terrier from its owner. The man shot at the gator which let go of the dog. The catatonic pet wasn’t breathing until the man revived it with CPR. Hope he had some extra pooper scooper bags. Resolved: teach Cardio Pet Resuscitation.
A Miami attorney was stopped from visiting her client because the underwire set off the metal detector. Guards wouldn’t let her in after she took it off because she was braless! Resolved: find a better class of jailers.
A Hialeah man convinced his followers to drink the juices of smuggled African snails as part of a religious “healing” ceremony. Several became ill, lost weight, and develop lumpy bellies. Resolved: find a new weight loss ceremony.
A couple who paid $8 for a box of bones at a yard sale found their Halloween decoration was a real dead guy. And a family buried a deceased relative at sea; the body resurfaced at a Fort Lauderdale beach. Broward Sheriff’s deputies are conferring with the Coast Guard to figure out what charges they can bring. Resolved: pass a new law about cutting the feet off relatives and selling them in garage sales.
“In business we fill out the form at the beginning of the period and file it,” Liz said. “Spend the year doing our jobs. At review time, we sit down, pull out the form, and look for all the ways what we really did met the stuff we wrote down.”
And that’s why resolutions don’t work.
288 years ago, more than 100 years after 102 English reprobates and separatists set foot in the New World, Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards prescribed reading his 70 resolutions at least once each and every week. I hope he was able to do so; it’s the right prescription for keeping them.
Happy New Year, everyone!
1 “Management by Objectives is a process of defining objectives within an organization so that management and employees agree to the objectives and understand what they are in the organization…
“The essence of MBO is participative goal setting, choosing course of actions and decision making. An important part of the MBO is the measurement and the comparison of the employees actual performance with the standards set.”