‘Tis the season for setting goals. The natural momentum around January and the start of a new year often inspires people to make changes and take action.
Not only is goal setting an important piece to living a full life, but it’s a crucial component to leading effective teams and driving remarkable results.
Setting goals isn’t always about achieving the goal – it’s about the success you achieve in pursuit of the goal. Let’s say you aren’t a runner, and you set a goal to run a 5km in under 30 minutes. Even if you run 5km in 33 minutes, that’s better than if you hadn’t started running at all.
So what does this mean when you’re managing people? And where do you start?
1. Set a vision
Your job is to know what the big picture plan is – to choose the direction that you steer the company ship, and then get the rest of your team on board. The vision isn’t about objectives and deliverables, it’s about inspiring action.
You have to know where you’re going if you ever want to get there. This is where you get to live in possibility with your team – what is your absolute, best case, dream scenario? It’s important to start with this, because it gives you something to work towards.
- Create actionable goals
You use your vision to set your goals – the goals are the big milestones that let you know that you’re on track to reach your vision. They break the vision down into smaller projects that you can work on one at a time.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when setting goals is that they use passive language. Using words like “should,” “want to,” “would like to” take the power out of your goal. Set goals that are definitive and inspire action – saying that you will do something has much more impact than saying that you’d like to do something.
- Write them down
There is power in putting pen to paper – writing your goals down makes them real. So write them down and put them somewhere that you and your team can see them every-freaking-day.
- Get your team enrolled
Set a vision goals with your team – make them a part of the experience. There is power in getting your team invested in the bigger picture. Plus, what they bring to the table in generating that vision just might surprise you.
When your team is clear on the vision, they can create their own goals and action plans to make it happen. Your job is to help set the team vision and goals. Your job is not to create their to-do list. A good manager is an incredible asset to a team, whereas a micro-manager drives almost everyone crazy.
- Keep talking about your vision and goals
This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of situation. Check-in with your team and your goals regularly by having weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly conversations. By staying on top of that conversation, you help your team stay on top of their goals.
In our opinion, you can’t lead a high-performing team without knowing your team’s goals – and you certainly can’t lead a high performance company without them. The good news is that the practice of creating and chasing personal, team, and corporate goals is very much the same.
Meet Matt. He is bold. He is always up for the adventure. He is your biggest fan.