One of the first rules of leadership, no matter what, or whom, you lead, is goal-setting. The goals you establish will direct your department or organization on where to spend the vast majority of energy, attention, and efforts. Below are a few tips on designing your list of goals:
- Bottom-up and top-down. No one employee, including the leader has all the answers. Leaders should not only identify their business goals but ask the employees reporting to them to identify their goals as well. This establishes essential data for goal setting, which is credible and achievable.
- Clean up your blind spots. Every organization and every leader has blind spots. The following questions are designed to help you and your organization find blind spots that can lead your organization astray;
- What have you tried to accomplish in the past, that you must accomplish in the future, and how will this reward you and your team?
- When you consider your outcomes such as results, quality, or customer engagement, which targets are you missing?
- What is it that you are not hearing or dealing with as a leader that needs to be addressed?
- Institute lessons learned. Goal-setting is the perfect opportunity for a company to evaluate its performance, and adjust course. Ask questions such as:
- What are the most relevant metrics for your company?
- What does success or failure look like?
- How has your (SWOT) strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats evolved over the past year?
- Make your goals relevant to the big picture. Once you have established your goals, ask yourself how do they align with your people, and your organization’s long-term business plans.
- Communicate. Decide how you will package your goals, and communicate them throughout your organization. For example, how will you establish your messages, to ensure everyone is crystal clear on the goals you’ve designed?
Using these tips can help leaders hone in and choose the right 3-5 goals to create a competitive advantage, and move your company forward.