HOW TO: Set Relevant Goals

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on goals and how they compare to the annual New Year’s Resolution process.  Now I realize that I missed part of the progression…the part about what those goals should consist of.

TLNT published an article titled, Want to be a Better Leader? Schedule Some Time for Yourself to Think.  It’s a terrific read and I couldn’t agree with it more.  As leaders, we have to spend time thinking.

What should we be thinking about?  Well, while Snooki’s latest exploits and the details of the Royal Wedding might be relaxing and/or entertaining, leaders spend time thinking about the future.  They spend time thinking about the business problems of today, the challenges of tomorrow and the possibilities of the future.

Which leads me to another tradition – predictions.  IMHO, predictions are nothing more than those events or activities we believe are going to happen at some point in the future.  And because we believe they might happen, we put goals or actions in place to deal with them.

I believe everyone on some level has their own predictions.  Maybe they don’t want to tell anyone…but they have them.  I can’t imagine anyone who fancies themselves a business partner not having predictions.  Here’s an example:

The company is holding a senior leadership meeting.  They are reviewing the company’s financial performance.  The president looks at the team and asks what projected revenue will be for the next quarter.  I don’t see the Chief Financial Officer saying, “Um, sorry boss.  I don’t make predictions about the future.”

Budgets are an example of predictions.  Financial performance numbers generated based upon a set of assumptions about the marketplace, consumer spending, etc.  And because the assumptions sometimes change, budgets are reforecast all the time.

Setting relevant goals is important.  The actual goal itself is created from your predictions about what you believe will happen in the future – regarding employment, business, customer service, revenue, consumer spending, etc.  Those aren’t assumptions that happen without a whole bunch of thinking.

So find a nice comfy chair, maybe a roaring fire, and a warm beverage…and let your goal setting begin!

Image courtesy of Stig Nygaard