5 Goal Setting Tips For Executive LeadersJul 10, 2023
Goal setting is something many leaders think they know how to do, but they are missing key components. It is one thing to set a goal...it is another thing to achieve the goal.
Goal setting and goal achieving are two different things, and we want you to be both a planner and an achiever using the tips below.
But before we dive in, let's remove any skepticism you may have towards goal setting. Goal setting is important for many reasons, but here are three:
- Goal-setting boosts clarity. When you set a goal, you will know what needs your focus most, and clarity is key to being a great leader. Having a goal is like a bullseye. All the things around you won't distract you from your target -- allowing you to be less of a reactive leader and more of a proactive leader who knows exactly what's important.
- Goal-setting boosts motivation. When you set goals, it's because you want to picture a better future for yourself and your business. A brighter future is motivating! Part of being a great leader is having a compelling vision, so be sure you set goals to help motivate you and your team and keep everyone on track.
- Goal-setting boosts efficiency. Teams that are aligned towards common goals find ways to be more efficient with their time...increasing productivity as a result! People want to reach goals...the how and the what can change as long as the result remains the same. Find efficient ways to get results by setting goals!
Now that you understand the benefits of goal setting, here are 3 goal setting tips used by executive leaders:
1. Think big picture.
It's far too common for leaders to set goals based on what they want in the "here and the now" but that are not relative at all to big picture dreams or their "why." If you set a goal that is out of line with what you want in the future, then you will find yourself going down the wrong path! The hard thing is that some goals seem like great goals until you filter them through your big picture plan. If they are taking your focus off of what's important, then even a seemingly "great goal" can be detrimental.
Ask yourself: What is my big picture plan? Set a timer for 15 minutes and write uninterrupted for that time where exactly you see yourself and your business in 5 years. Describe it in detail and set the scene. Then, keep this picture at the forefront of your mind when you are setting goals. With each goal ask yourself: Does this goal get me closer or further away from this big picture dream?
2. Set SMART goals.
Use the SMART framework to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. First and foremost, goals should be Specific, meaning they should be clearly defined and leave no room for ambiguity. Measurable goals enable progress tracking and provide tangible indicators of success.
Achievable goals should be realistic and within reach, considering available resources and capabilities. Relevant goals align with the organization's overall objectives and contribute to its success.
Lastly, Time-bound goals have a defined timeframe, creating a sense of urgency and encouraging focused action. By applying the SMART framework, individuals and organizations can set goals that are well-defined, trackable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive, increasing the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes.
3. Establish supportive habits.
Establishing habits is often a step leaders skip over. They plan their goal, but they forget that it's the small choices they make on a consistent basis that's going to help them achieve their goal...not one giant leap. Our brains aren't built to support our goals without proper habits put into place. In the book Innercise, John Assaraf shares how our brains operate and why it is so difficult to reach goals thanks to our mind wanting us to stay comfortable at all times. We must establish supportive habits to retrain our brains to reach our goals!
Spend time analyzing last year's habits. What has worked well? What isn't working anymore? What things in your life are on autopilot that you need to take action against because it's no longer serving you?
4. Foster accountability.
Hold yourself and your team accountable for achieving the goals. Regularly review progress, provide feedback, and address any obstacles or challenges that arise. When you hold yourself accountable for reaching goals, you encourage a culture of ownership and responsibility at the same time.
5. Up-level your circle.
When you set goals, you are calling yourself to a higher standard. In order to operate at a higher standard, it's important to show up with excellence in what you do. To do that, you must surround yourself with other people going after big things! Look at those you surround yourself with. Are they challenging you or encouraging you to grow? If not, it's time to up-level your circle.
Do you want to make time for things like goal setting, setting vision, and direction? Our free guide gives tips on how to align your employees in the same direction, has helpful visuals, and a plug-and-play chart to take your vision to the next level. Just click here to download for free.