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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Sep 15, 2023


Given how important goal setting is to performance and satisfaction, we can all use some tips to improve our goal setting. This week we explore how to set better goals.



Hello and welcome to episode 201 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we share practical tips to improve your leadership. This week we explore how to set better goals.

Goal setting is a core activity that guides individuals and teams towards success. As a leader, your ability to set clear and meaningful goals is central to achieving excellence. However, we’re often less effective at goal setting than we think. Today we will explore four practical actions you can take to set better goals, both for yourself and for your team.

1. Align with Vision and Strategy: Every goal should be a stepping stone towards a larger vision. Before setting goals, ensure that they align with your team's overall vision and the organisation's strategic objectives. This alignment keeps everyone focused and moving in the same direction. When goals resonate with a higher purpose, they become more meaningful and more motivating.

2. Make Goals SMART:

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This framework provides a set of criteria for goal setting that ensures clarity and accountability.

  • Specific: Define goals clearly and precisely. The more specific the goal, the easier it is to understand and work towards.
  • Measurable: Set concrete metrics to track progress. Measurement adds objectivity to the process and enables you to assess whether the goal has been achieved.
  • Achievable: Goals should be challenging yet realistic. Ensure that the goal can be accomplished with the available resources and effort. Also make sure there is an achievement point - a moment when you can say that the goal has been completed.
  • Relevant: Goals should be relevant to the individual, team, or organisation's current needs and priorities.
  • Time-bound: Set a clear timeframe for achieving the goal. This adds urgency and prevents goals from dragging on indefinitely.

3. Foster Ownership and Collaboration: Involve your team in the goal-setting process. When people have a say in setting their own goals, they feel a sense of ownership and commitment. Encourage collaboration by soliciting input and feedback from team members. This not only leads to better goal alignment but also promotes a culture of shared responsibility.

4. Break Down Goals into Milestones: Large goals can feel overwhelming, but breaking them down into smaller, manageable milestones can make them more achievable. Each milestone serves as a mini-goal and a progress marker. Celebrate successes as these milestones are reached, boosting motivation and maintaining momentum.

Goal setting is both an art and a science, and leaders who excel at it inspire their teams to reach new heights. By aligning goals with vision and strategy, making them SMART, fostering ownership and collaboration, and breaking them down into milestones, you set the stage for success. Remember, the best goals are those that not only drive performance but also resonate with the hearts and minds of your team, creating a sense of purpose and fulfilment in every achievement. Have a great week.


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