Goal Setting Strategies for Managers

Why do so many important Goals fail to materialize resulting in lost opportunity and disappointments?  The topic of “Goal Setting”, both in a business and personal context, has been written about extensively.  Yet…nothing much has changed in the lexicon of setting, pursuing and accomplishing meaningful Goals.

Our focus here will be on business Goals but the ideas are just as relevant to your personal goals.  Let’s clarify what the concept of “Goals” means in the context of this article.  A “goal” is Not a wish or hope. “I hope our business Unit has a 10% increase in production this year” is Not a real Goal.  A “Goal” is Not really an objective in this context. A business objective is more short term and in alignment with the day-to-day work of the business unit.  “Our objective is to produce 600 widgets by the end of next week” is not a goal but a specific objective.

Defining the Goal

We will define a Goal as an important end result that represents real growth or change.  A Goal is transformational. “Our Goal is to transform our business Unit from a single market to multiple markets and double our size in one year.”  That’s a Goal!  This type of Goal is a change agent for the actions and plans of the business Unit.  A transformational change Goal is hard.  It represents significant change and becomes the motivator for everyone to pitch in on the journey.

So why is it that so many Goals are not met, that important Plans and Dreams are not realized?  Every ounce of hard earned experience over 40+ years tells me that a basic reason is LACK OF “GOAL FOCUS.” If you have found that falling short of important Goals results in disappointment, look first at your Focus.

4 Key Steps to Goal Focus

Here are Four Key Steps in creating and maintaining this all important Focus:

  1. Your Goals must first be well defined. To achieve laser focus for you and your team the goal itself must be exceedingly well defined. Ask yourself this question: “What important change do I want to make, how are we going to accomplish this transformation and when?” Make the goal crystal clear. Make it very specific. Establish the desired completion date and any milestones along the way.  Be very specific.
  2. Visualize and Embrace the positive results of reaching the Goal. If this goal is truly important, you as the leader and all the members of your business unit must understand the positive outcomes of reaching the goal.  A very key component of Goal Focus is to clearly Outline, Discuss and Internalize the positive results that will come from Goal achievement.  Write them down.  Re-visit them often.  Visualize the Positives.
  3. Nothing less than 100% Buy-in. If you or your business Unit are failing to achieve important goals, coming up short, check your commitment levels.  Something or someone is missing the fire. If the Goal is truly important, then every person involved must buy-in to achieving the Goal.  Part of Goal Focus is building and keeping a commitment to it.
  4. The final component – create laser Focus. After completing items 1 – 3, you are ready for the final and critical key component that will change your results forever…Focus-Focus-Focus. I am convinced that letting your Goal get “out-of-site & out-of-mind” consistently results in falling short. I can’t stress this enough. You absolutely have to make an important Goal front-of-mind for yourself and everyone on the team. You have to Think, Breath and Live the Goal.  Your daily-actions have to reflect the behaviors and actions that really reflect your Goal Focus.  This is truly Goal commitment. Keep your target visible.  Track progress relentlessly.  Recognize achieving key Milestones along the  journey.  Talk about the Goal in meetings, in your communications, in Newsletters and and in every Employee Review.

This process works.  Define the Goal. Embrace the Positive results. Commit 100%.  Focus on the Goal constantly. The end result of these behaviors will be to achieve your Goals and eliminate failure. Nothing worthwhile can be achieved without unrelenting FOCUS.  Because business and personal goals are longer term, they tend to move to  back-of-mind as the daily grind forces it’s way into your thoughts and attention. Don’t Let It! Start the day with your most important thoughts and actions supporting the Goal.

Daily Review of Objectives & Progress

Start everyday with a quick review of the Goal. Do something everyday to advance toward achieving the Goal. End the day with a Goal Review.  You may think at first that this is a bit of over-kill.  It is Not. If you have set a truly important, valuable and transformational goal, you must believe it is very important.  If it is very important, it must be the FOCUS of your most important thoughts and actions.

Most people fail to reach important Goals and end up falling short and being disappointed.  FOCUS = PASSION FOR THE GOAL. Learn to out-focus your interruptions and the routine.  Follow the Focus and learn to achieve great things.

Set Smart Goals


Featured Image / Pixabay / CC BY CCO Public Domain


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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