Here are the next 2 in my list of 10:
7. Know the numbers. No matter where you’re leading – in business, not for profit, the church, or at home – there are numbers that help you to measure what you’re doing and how well you’re doing it. You, as the leader, should know the numbers. And not just know them, but know them well. Know what the numbers mean and how to use that data to make decisions and set direction. Numbers and measuring things tell us the health of the organization, family, or department that we’re leading.
Numbers should be reviewed regularly. Not only by you as the leader, but also by those that you lead. They should know what numbers are being measured, why they’re important, and what they are. They don’t necessarily need to know them as well as you do – but taking some time once a month or once a quarter (depending on what you do) is certainly valuable to the overall effectiveness of the team. Numbers shows us that what we’re doing matters.
Do you look at the numbers regularly? How do the numbers affect your decisions? Do you do a good job of informing those that you lead of the numbers? How could you do this one better?
8. Goals lead to growth. On a vacation, the goal is the location where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you will never know when you get there. Goals do that for us in leadership. Goals tell us where we’re going and let us know when we get there. In goal setting there are both short-term and long-term goals – and both are important. Equally important is the idea of setting both organizational and personal goals that will, both, help you reach success as a department, family, or organization.
Set SMART goals. I wish I could take credit for this one, but I can’t…so I won’t. But SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. And all goals, whether small or big, should be structured according to SMART goal setting. This will increase the effectiveness of your goals and the likelihood of achieving them.
Finally, you should share the goals with your team and you should all take part in holding each other accountable to accomplishing the goals. Regular review of the progress toward the goals is important and key to keep them in front of you. I’ve even seen these goals made into business card sized handouts that employees tape to a computer screen or put in a binder to constantly remind them. But review the results and be honest about them – and re-adjust as necessary to make sure that the goals do not become an energy and motivation killer for your team.
What method do you use to set goals? What do you struggle most with as it relates to goal setting?