October 4, 2023

“I demand pretty aggressive goal setting and a commitment to measured progress towards those goals because I don’t like surprises. I don’t even like good surprises.” ― Abigail Johnson, CEO Fidelity Investments

Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity Investments, emphasizes her management style and approach to goal-setting in this statement. Let's break it down:

  1. "I demand pretty aggressive goal setting": Abigail Johnson emphasizes that she expects her team or organization to set ambitious and challenging goals. In other words, she encourages them to aim high and not settle for easily achievable objectives.
  2. "a commitment to measured progress towards those goals": This part suggests that she expects her team to set ambitious goals and work diligently and systematically towards achieving them. More than lofty aspirations are needed; a clear plan and consistent effort must be made to progress toward those goals.
  3. "because I don't like surprises": This is the key point of her statement. Abigail Johnson is expressing a preference for predictability and transparency in the management process. She doesn't want unexpected developments or surprises, even if they are positive (hence, "I don't even like good surprises"). In a business context, this may mean that she values open communication, regular updates, and a well-structured approach to achieving objectives to minimize unexpected issues or deviations from the plan.

In summary, Abigail Johnson's statement reflects her desire for a proactive, disciplined, and transparent approach to goal-setting and management to avoid unexpected and potentially disruptive surprises in the business world.

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