29 Jan 4.3 Set and achieve personal objectives and work program outcomes
Becoming better leaders is a top priority for most executives. They want to prepare for more senior roles, develop greater influence, and have greater impact on their organization. If you share this desire, then are you designing your personal goals to help build your capacity for more effective leadership? This is a strategy that the most effective leaders employ – indeed, that’s how they got there. So how do they do it?
In order to set personal goals that more fully develop your leadership, include goals for:
What you want to know this year.
- What do you need to learn to be a better leader this year?
- What functions or parts of the business do you need to understand better?
- What skills do you need to develop?
- For example, it might be how to develop greater influence in your organization, how to manage up, or how to build trusting relationships with customers. What skills are necessary for the next step in your career? If you aren’t sure, who might you ask?
How you want to be this year.
- How do you want colleagues to experience you?
- What type of relationships do you want to create, and with whom?
- What type of manager and leader do you want to be this year?
- How do you want to be perceived?
- For example, demonstrating greater warmth and convey more authenticity to his team
What you want to do this year.
- When it comes to setting personal goals, most of us tend to be over-focused on achievements: what we and our team should accomplish this year.
- For type A personalities, we get a high out of accomplishment – and, indeed, we’re rewarded for it. But these accomplishments may or may not develop your leadership.
- Think of specific opportunities you will have (or can create) this year to apply what you learn, practice new behaviors, expose yourself to new experiences that will stretch you, and reflect on what happened.
- What initiatives might you lead this year?
- What projects might you use to experiment with new approaches?
- Identify them in advance, and specify what you’ll be doing differently.
Great leaders use goal setting as an opportunity to get excited about the possibilities in the year ahead, what leadership opportunities might present themselves, and how they want to engage these opportunities. Thinking comprehensively about what you’ll need to know, how you’ll need to be, and what you’ll need to do to be ready, is an ideal way to prepare.
Leadership Growth Plan
The Leadership Growth Plan (LGP) is an ongoing action plan for helping you develop as a leader. In the plan, you lay out your personal and professional leadership growth goals (including time frames) and steps to achieve these goals. Throughout your life/career, you should continually update and refine your LGP.
- Personal vision or mission
- Specific Goals
- Action Plan
1. Personal vision or mission
Before you can lead others, you must be able to lead yourself. Spend some time reflecting on the question “Who am I?” and determining the things that are central to your being. Consider things such as – your gifts, your character and temperament, your world view and your personal goals.
Write down your personal mission statement to capture succinctly what is central to your being. Here are few suggestions how to do it:
- A personal mission statement focuses on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.
- A personal mission statement becomes the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives
- Once you have that sense of mission, you will have the vision and the values which direct your life.
- You can make effective use of your time, your talents and your energies by measuring their impact on your long- and short-term goals. You have the power of a written constitution…against which every decision concerning the most effective use of your time, your talents and your energies can be effectively measured
- Your mission statement can reflect your uniqueness in terms of its content and form.
After you have written a draft of your personal mission statement, evaluate it by asking yourself:
- Do I feel this mission statement represents the best that is within me?
- During my best moments, do I feel good about what this mission statement represents?
- Are direction, purpose, challenge, and motivation signaled in this mission statement?
- Am I aware of the strategies and skills that will help me accomplish what I have written?
- What do I need to do now to be where I want to be tomorrow?
- Does this mission statement inspire me?
Based on the answers, revise the statement as needed.
2. Specific goals
With your vision or mission in mind, lay out your personal and professional leadership growth goals. Identify such things as:
- qualities or competencies you plan to develop or improve
- leadership roles you plan to assume
- contributions you plan to make
- achievements you plan to attain
State these as specific goals: “I plan to do X.”
Establish a specific time frame: “I plan to do X by Y.” (or) “Within X years, I plan to do Y.”
- Action plan
To create an action plan, follow these steps:
- determine the action steps you need to take in order to move from your current reality to the achievement of each goal
- consider your resources and skills
- identify individuals, opportunities, and strategies to help you reach your goals Š
- after considering your options, specifically identify a proposed action(s) to achieve each goal
- Remember that the development of a personal vision, specific goals, and action plan is an ongoing process.
- Review and evaluate your mission statement periodically to be sure it is in harmony with your personal vision and your continuing development.
- Evaluate your progress towards your goals and assess the effectiveness of your action plan.
- You may then need to adjust your goals and/or your action plan.
- The “growth” process should be a continuous cycle.