For some people, reaching Basecamp at Everest is the goal. They plan, set an itinerary, and pack accordingly. It requires a specific type of trip and guide. For another individual, the goal is to summit Everest. Such an expedition requires a different set of equipment, planning, and support. You rarely hear somebody talk about their journey to Camp II as the goal of their Everest expedition. If you invest in the dream of climbing the peak then you are committed to travel as far up the mountain as your conditioning and the weather will allow.
Strategic planning goals are the same. It is scary to announce to the world that you are attempting to summit Everest or any mountain of note. There is a simple black or white result to announce to your constituents at some point- we made it, we did not make it. But there is something equally noble to present the dream and make you best attempt. An organization that believes it can only reach Camp II and states such is most likely to regulate its efforts and resources over the duration of the strategic plan to reach Camp II. A cause that aims for the summit may just catch a great weather window and find itself on the South Summit, looking at the true summit and knowing they have progressed much further than they ever imagined and Camp II is invisible in the clouds below. Neither enterprise may actually reach the summit but one journey is remarkable and the other a bit pedestrian in the scale of the mountain.
Strategic goals should be remarkable. They should inspire others and attract those who believe what you believe. Reaching for extraordinary is remarkable in itself.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.“