Goals are not easy to accomplish for many people. Research indicates that, with a bit of simple and straightforward effort, you can increase the chances of success in achieving your objectives by an amazing margin.
- All goals should always be SMART goals (an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Based). If your goals meet this standard, they are much more likely to be accomplished. For instance; “I want to lose weight” is not SMART. “I want to work out three times each week, eat a low-fat low-sugar diet and lose 20 pounds by December 31” is much more likely to meet the SMART test. Only you know what is truly realistic and achievable.
- Ensure that all business goals align up and down the value chain. Individual goals should never work at cross-purposes from team or department goals. Company goals should be recognized as primary in priority and team, department or project goals should be recognized as secondary. Finally, individual objectives for an individual contributor should always roll up to the project, department, team and company goals in a non-conflicting and congruent way.
- When you’re setting team goals in a business setting, recognize that your teammates will expect to be inspired to achieve goals and to be recognized for delivering results when the goal is met. Find creative ways to inspire the team to make the goals theirs and to prioritize team goals ahead of their own personal business goals. When your team delivers the behavior you were looking for and achieves the goal, reward their success and celebrate their accomplishment.
- Commit to achieving the goal and publicize your commitment to your team, your friends or your family. This too will affect a double-digit increase in the likelihood that you’ll achieve the goal.
- Once you’ve set goals for your team, don’t give in to the temptation to micromanage the team to their goal. There is absolutely no call to micromanage and get in the way of the team maturing and developing. Don’t steal the thunder of the team by taking the spotlight. Let THEM bask in the limelight and enjoy the credit for their achievement. Set the goals well, plan for the path to achievement, communicate the goals to the team, track their progress and throw a heck of a celebration with rewards and recognition aplenty when they deliver the results!
The best approach to important goals, whether personal, career or team goals, is to spend an appropriate amount of time to plan and set them realistically to increase the chance of success!