Goal Setting For Leaders A (Simple) Process That Works

Goal setting for leaders and pressing a start button in January seems to go hand in hand for many of us.

New Year, new start and all that jazz, although you can of course set goals at any time of the year if you want to shift your performance.

However, post the Winter Solstice of December, classically highlighted as a time of renewal, this time of year for many leaders feels appropriate when it comes to shifting our personal and professional performance.

Maxwell Maltz, the bestselling author of Psycho Cybernetics, highlighted that we are all ‘success seeking creatures’ and are driven to achieve goals that we set; though unfortunately, many leaders can be vague in their goal setting for various reasons.

Fact: We all need goals in our life if we want to achieve anything. If you want to know how your life is going to turn out, you need to know where you’re heading: Goal setting is therefore critical.

In today’s post I want to share a simple goal-setting process that will deliver for you consistently should you choose to use it.


Make a Decision



Let’s work this one through. You are already successful at setting personal goals and achieving them, aren’t you?

You know, those times you made a decision to do something and went out and just did it?

Here are a few examples of personal goals I have achieved.

  • Became a qualified Pharmacist
  • Learnt how to drive
  • Learnt how to run 10k
  • Learnt how to ski
  • Found my life partner, now husband, and delivered, two healthy and wonderful (sometimes!) children
  • Changed career and started my own successful leadership training and coaching company

With possibly the exception of the last goal, these aren’t really out of the ordinary. However, they all had one thing in common. I wanted them, and I achieved them.

The first thing I did was make a decision, no drama, not real doubt, I just got on with it.


Decide What You Want

As I have shared, it’s natural for human beings to set goals and achieve them. The challenge is we can view learning how to run differently to develop a high performing team.

Through my conversations with leaders, the fear of failure pops up as something that drags us back.

The reality is we will sometimes fail, likely more than once. I suspect on her path to becoming a champion skier, even Lindsay Vonn fell over more than once!

However, if you set an intention to achieve a goal, failure is likely to be part of the journey. The challenge is to ensure that you keep going and lean into the process which starts with setting a goal and accepting there will be challenges along the way.



What Is Important Now?

If goal setting feels like Groundhog Day, perhaps it’s time to analyse the goals which are important to you now; rather than last year or even the year before that.

It can be easy to get into a pattern and set the same goals year after year. However, if they ‘drop off’ your radar during the year, are they truly that critical to your success or how can you help your team?

I suspect the answer is no.

Every year I recommend to my clients that they carry out a review of their progress over the last year and what their objectives are moving forward. Remembering that some activities will be part of their organisation’s objectives and goals too.

This makes the process easier for all concerned.

Let’s say improved staff engagement is a key objective, then improving your own communication skills and your level of awareness might be a goal to have on your list.

According to a recent post by Warren Buffett over the festive period on Thrive Global, he highlights improved communication as a guaranteed path to increasing your worth to an organisation by 50%.


Plan Your Goal Achievement in Cycles



Many people reading this post will be used to working in business cycles and quarters.

It works; so ultimately use it for your goal review and planning too.

Dan Sullivan, the well-known coach, leader and author, has taken Stephen Covey’s suggestion of starting with the end in mind one stage further and breaking down the path to your goals into 90-day sections.

It’s amazing what can happen over 90 days; imagine all the positive habits you can form as a start.

Having this process honed will then help you to review how far you are moving forward and where there might be gaps that need plugging or removing altogether.


What Next?

Take action and let this year be the one where your goals are thought through, honed and happen.


Until next time,



Can We Help?  

Zestfor specialises in developing Training programmes and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets – including Pharmaceutical, IT, and Life Sciences.

Our blend of in-classroom, online, and virtual live-stream delivery methods will engage and assure even the most introverted team members from the first meeting – whether face-to-face or virtually. To have a brief chat call us on 0845 548 0833. Alternatively, email our team here.