Some consultants suggest knowledge workers should have one main goal with a handful of secondary goals; others, 3 or 4 or 7, etc. Is there a magic number?

No. It varies with the talents, demands, and complexity required of each goal and the types of productivity pressures under which the company is operating.

The art of goal setting also must include balancing goal selection, goal choices, with the needs of management, company, and the capacity and capability of the knowledge worker. Too many goals may be a sign that either management or the employee, in the case of self-selection processes, lack discipline or fail to understand how to prioritize. An abundance of goals may also dilute focus and may interfere with effective execution.

In addition to the right goal selection, the right amount of goals is also important.