We know that goal setting is the strategy for successful people. It is the common theme that is highlighted in any interview, article or book written on successful people. So why don’t more businesses have robust goals in place? To be honest, a little bit of laziness and a little bit of not seeing the importance of goals and the power it has within the business.
As a leader in a business it is critical that you have goals in place. How do you know in which direction to drive the business? If you have your vision, you’re driving in that direction. However, very rarely does a long-term plan have a direct path. You need to go left, then right and maybe even reverse a little to realise your vision. How do you keep motivated to remain in line with your vision? How will you experience success along the way? The answer is having goals in place.
As a leader of self, the same principles apply.
Goals should be tangible for the mind. I also believe they should be written down on paper. This, in effect, crytallises the goal for you. There are many models for setting goals, the most commonly used is the SMART principle. It goes like this:
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Timed
Follow this process and you can’t go wrong. If you have a team of people, it’s also a great idea including them in the goal setting process. The more ideas on how to achieve a goal the better. It also encourages people to ‘buy into’ the goals. When you establish your long term goals, your medium term and short term goals will fall out from this. This is not the only way to set goals, you can also start with the short term and build on them.
While it is important to have business goals in place, it is also very important for you to set and agree on goals for your employees on an individual basis. How do your employees know what success looks like for them as an individual? As a leader, you are there to grow and develop your people so not only do they survive, but they thrive. By setting goals together, you understand what is important for them, they know what their plan is and it aligns to your business. Fantastic. You are working towards a common goal.