Advancing from a good to a great leader is not something that happens over night even if you were lucky enough to have been born a natural leader. Sharpening your skills, determining your strengths and weaknesses, and being open to change are all key components of moving from good to great. The SBR Leadership Corner blog will continue to provide you with tips to hone in on your leadership talent and practice shaping what you have to do in order to improve.
I have invited guest writer, David Ricks, to join me in developing a solid platform for you to refer to as you continue to shape and mold your leadership gift and talent into greatness. Stay tuned to periodic tips throughout the year.
Tip #1: Focus on Your Goals
Goal setting is the first step to anything you wish to achieve in life. You need to have a clear vision and outlook of where you plan to go and how you plan to get there (Brandon, 2014). Goals are twofold because a leader will have personal development goals as well as goals for the organization as a whole. Personal goals for growth and development will vary from person to person but taking the time to reflect on what you want your future to look like in one year, five years, ten years, and beyond is crucial to helping you manifest and realize those goals. It is useful to create SMART goals which have been in existence for decades, which is an acronym that stands for smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. SMART goals will ensure you have narrowed your focus to goals that are within your reach and not so overwhelming that you quit before you even get started.
Additionally, this focusing on goals is important from the organizational perspective because it is a leader’s job to maintain and communicate a clear vision of the goal(s) to ensure the team reaches said goal(s) (Raju & Arcand, 2019). The proper communication from leadership will direct management to delegate certain tasks to get maximum team effort from everyone and get the job done. Management can report back to leadership if something is unclear or if the team is not on board with the direction leadership is taking. Sometimes leaders have to re-evaluate goals based on this feedback and employee reactions.
The leader should also bring up the importance of the goal consistently at meetings so the team is aware of the objectives and knows why the goal(s) are essential (including the importance of deadlines). This communication will bring the members of the team together and show them why they should put in their best effort to reach the ultimate goal. If the team can see the vision that leadership has created, there will be added motivation, passion, and desire to reach the goal(s). Ultimately, goal setting gets every team member on a level playing field with known expectations, an opportunity to voice opinions, and the opportunity to make changes where needed to ensure that everyone can effectively reach goals to improve themselves and the organization.
If there are questions, concerns, or otherwise regarding goal setting, feel free to contact SBR Workplace Leadership Services at:
Written By Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks and David Ricks
Brandon, J. (2014), 20 leadership experts share their best leadership tip, https://www.inc.com/john-brandon/20-leadership-experts-share-their-best-leadership-tip.html
Smith, I. (2021). Goals photo. https://unsplash.com/s/photos/goals