Leadership and Goals

Take a risk, take a chance,
Make a change, and break away.
Out of the darkness and into the sun…

Music and Lyrics by Avril Lavigne, Bridget Benenate, Matthew Gerrard and Kelly Clarkson; recorded by Kelly Clarkson, “Breakaway

Part of the skill set of being an effective leader is being able to set and achieve goals – for yourself and for your organization. But setting – and reaching – for goals involves taking a risk – you have to move out of your ‘comfort zone’ and into a place where others will be watching. Accordingly, it is vitally important that you set goals in the best possible manner. The following tips, taken from the Leadership Moments newsletter by Beth Flynn at the Ohio State University Leadership Center offers great advice:

The Key Essentials of Effective Goals

  • Effective goals are internalized. It does not matter who has set your goals, you have to own and commit to them.
  • Effective goals are nurturing. They should include a developmental element so that significant learning occurs in addition to the targets being achieved.
  • Effective goals are specific. They are clear and unambiguous so that it is obvious when they have been achieved.
  • Effective goals are planned. You should break them down into aligned shorter-term goals, or sub goals, and form a plan for achieving them.
  • Effective goals are in your control. Their achievement should be attainable through your own efforts.
  • Effective goals are reviewed regularly. Regular reviews of progress toward them should be included in the planning process.
  • Effective goals are energizing. They should excite and energize you by being challenging in that they are just about achievable, but should also create a level of uncertainty that sustains your motivation, focus and effort.
  • Effective goals are documents. Documenting them in some form and recording progress toward them provides a continual reminder of commitments that can be important when things are tough (Jones, p. 162-163).

This is an excerpt from: Jones, G. (2009). Thriving on pressure: mental toughness for real leaders. Westport, CT: Easton Studio Press. Thriving on Pressure is available on loan from the Ohio State University Leadership Center. [Click here to borrow this resource or any other resource. Then click on the Spectrum icon.]

Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu (you can subscribe to their newsletter as well).

Properly set goals can help you make a real change and break out from the darkness into the sun. Thanks Beth!

Comments are closed.