3 Key Objectives for Leadership Goal Setting

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You’ll often see advice on which leadership goals you should set, like increasing team communication, motivating sales staff, or engaging in more networking events. While, of course, this advice is important and well-intentioned, even the best goals will stall out if you don’t know why you’re working towards them. That’s why understanding the objectives for leadership goal setting is absolutely critical. 

Knowing the why is what motivates us to do bigger and better things, as in the examples that follow:

I want to increase team communication because it gives my employees and myself energy when we are positively interpersonal. 

I want to motivate my sales staff because they have huge potential, and I want to reward them for living up to it. 

I want to engage in more networking events because my team would benefit from a larger pool of community and industry resources.  

Simply defining the “because” of your goal takes it from vague and intangible to intrinsically valuable. When your goals help you accomplish something important to you, you’re more likely to stick to them.

Unfortunately, figuring out the why can sometimes be more difficult than setting the goal in the first place. In any business, there are things that we know we have to do, and things that would theoretically benefit the bigger picture, but understanding what exactly it will give us in the long run can be tough.

Let’s look at three objectives for leadership goal setting that can help you keep your eye on the prize, and know why you want the prize in the first place:

Ambition Breeds Ambition

As the leader of your group of employees or your business, you are setting an example for everyone else on the team. Too often, leaders feel that they have already ready the zenith of their abilities, as evidenced by the fact that they are in the position that they are in. This leads to a lack of ambition and begets a breeding ground of complacency. This is not a healthy environment for success to flourish. 

Even if you have a lackluster team that is dead-set on doing “just enough,” your willingness to struggle, fail, triumph, and celebrate your own goals can spark a natural human response to competition. People want to feel like they are good at things. They want to taste victory. A great way to rev up that feeling is showing them what victory looks like. 

Make your goals public… You can go as far as displaying them in a common area or on the walls of your office. As you hit your goals, demarcate your progress. It’s not about “rubbing it in” or being cocky. It’s about quietly doing the things that are going to make you a better leader and letting your team see that every person has room, resources, and support to grow. 

Goals Create Data, and Data Creates Proof

Every person who has ever worked in a field that requires creativity, flexibility, and skill has floundered. Depending on individual personalities, one small failure can be a motivator or a tragedy. These small failures can cause confidence to flag, imposter syndrome to set in, and employees to question whether or not they are cut out to tackle the challenges that lie ahead of them. 

When you’re dealing with a team member who is questioning their abilities, goals can come in handy for reminding them of how much they’ve already grown. If these goals and benchmarks are well-documented, it creates the perfect opportunity to sit down with someone who needs a little TLC and share your data. While it’s easy for someone who is having a crisis of confidence to doubt kind words, it’s a lot more difficult to distrust data. 

In fact, one Harvard Business study found that focused goal setting has a direct correlation with success, and that the act of documenting those goals has an even more profound effect. While 83% of the population reports that they don’t have specific goals, 14% say that they have a plan, but have not written down. The final 3% have clearly written goals. 

Of those, the 14% with unwritten goals are 10 times more successful than those that don’t write them down. The 3% with written goals are 3 times more successful than the ones with unwritten goals. Imagine the power you could have to motivate your employees by simply making one of your objectives for leadership goal setting to spend more time helping your employees set their own goals. 

Confidence Leads to Autonomy

One of the greatest objectives for leadership goal setting is creating an environment where every team member is allowed the space to share ideas, work independently, and still have your trust that the overall aim of your business is being met. 

When both the leaders and the employees know what they are striving for, they have more confidence in what they are doing. An article on goal-setting from Pick The Brain notes, “The more you will achieve goals, the more you will gain confidence in your ability to achieve even bigger goals. By setting clear goals, you will increase your chance of success and thus boost your confidence.”

When your team members are confident in their ability to achieve both the goals that you set for them and the personal goals they have for their career, they are more motivated to work efficiently and autonomously. 

Think of it as someone cleaning out a house. If they open the door, and the whole mess is laid out before them, it’s tempting to quit before you even get started. As they continue to struggle, that temptation grows, especially if it’s difficult to see the progress they have made. They might seek out others for help and validation, even if, technically, they could do it on their own. 

On the other hand, if they walk into the situation with a checklist, a set of tools they need to get the job done, and the confidence of knowing there is an end in sight, it’s a lot easier to dive in and get their hands dirty. 

What Are Your Objectives for Leadership Goal Setting?

When you set out to create leadership goals, it’s critical that you consider why you are setting them. Is it to create a more confident employee? Build a culture of autonomy and creativity? Stoke the fires of ambition?

Whatever reason you have, setting off on the journey to effectively and successfully setting goals can be a challenging first step to take. That’s where a leadership coach can help. 

Catalyst Group ECR works with business owners and executives to help them realize their potential and experience growth in their focus areas. Through one-on-one meetings, we work with you to build a sense of community and rapport that provides a foundation for growth.

Give us a call or send an email to set up a consultation. We look forward to helping you reach your full potential as a leader!

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