Goals are a good thing. Without them the likelihood that there would be accomplishments is slim. At least that is what I thought until I looked at a video about Black History Month and saw a quote by Rumi that was posted on FB. When I was a young and just beginning evaluator, I had three goals, one of which was related to my professional work. (This was after I had earned my doctorate and was just starting in the field.) So is full potential (related to my professional goal; see above cartoon).
Yet I found I could pursue my potential (and perhaps live to my full potential) and still meet my goal. I think I have done that. Pursued my potential and, eventually, achieved my professional goal.
So how does that relate to evaluation other than being a professional goal of mine? Perhaps there is a social justice view that we could take that will make more sense. If one looks at AEA’s guiding principles, principle C and D address the idea of goals and potential. The evaluator needs to remember them. Guiding principle C is: Integrity/Honesty: Evaluators display honesty and integrity in their own behavior, and attempt to ensure the honesty and integrity of the entire evaluation process. Guiding principle D is: Respect for People: Evaluators respect the security, dignity, and self-worth of respondents, program participants, clients, and other evaluation stakeholders. They respect people with honesty and with integrity. They allow individuals to have individual goals and fulfill potential. By meeting these principles, the evaluator allows social justice to be part of the landscape; to be an integral part of who the evaluator is.