“Does Setting Goals Really Matter?”

Too many leaders kid themselves by ignoring present reality. Ninety percent are committed to a future that is idea oriented, but not goal motivated. Leaders without goals are never guilty of missing the mark because they have no clear target to miss.

The difference between winning and losing is the commitment to actionable goals and finishing. Finishing with sustainable results is always your greatest challenge as a leader. However, that never happens without setting legitimate goals, a plan to reach them and a passion to not quit.

Having hopes, dreams, good ideas, and even strong desires are not the same as having specific and clearly defined goals. Here are seven steps to set and achieve worthwhile goals:

1. Write them down. Until goals are compelling and clearly written they remain just good ideas.

2. Goals need to be clear and specific. They must answer the who, what, when, why and how questions. If yours do not, revise them. If you cannot measure your goals; how can you track the progress, improve your efforts and evaluate the results?

3. Set short-term goals. Without short-term wins you get discouraged, or worse, demoralized and abandon your long-term goals. Without long-term goals you lose focus and never realize the ultimate dream.

4. Make sure your long-term goals stretch you, but remain attainable. If you want to finish a marathon, you don’t run 26 miles the first day. Start small, stay at it and never quit.

5. Plan for obstacles and setbacks. They come to everyone, especially those who are determined to set and achieve goals. It is better to fall short of your goal than to have no goal at all. Just like a good weld we are stronger at the broken places. Tough times will make you more determined, or cause you to quit.

6. Track your progress and reward your team. Consistent goal-setters measure the progress along the way while adjustments are still possible, not just at the end when the results are final. Little victories keep you and your team energized and focused.

7. Picture achieving your goals. If you can’t “see it” you’ll never achieve it! Affirmation is confirming the truth of something verbally, or in writing. Visualization is seeing the victory and achieving the goal before it happens.

It was said of Moses, the great Israelite leader, “He endured seeing him who was invisible.”
Hebrews 11:27

Setting goals is one thing, achieving them quite another. Great leaders all have the ability to see the end before the beginning and maintain their focus on the benefits of reaching their goals.

Don’t start the journey and ask people to follow you until you have a clear vision of the destination, the goals are set, and the commitment to finish is without question.