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Setting Goals as a New Leader

The biggest challenge I hear from new leaders is setting goals achieving them given all else that needs to be done in the role.
Here is one tip that I have used throughout the years – when I started my first job, got my first leadership position, transitioned to having my own business and today as I continue to expand my business – write down your goals and set aside time to achieve them.

Here is what I tell my clients about goal setting:

Take your really big goals and break them down into smaller, more easily achievable mini-goals that add up to achieve your big goal. If a goal is too large and too difficult to achieve, or takes too long to achieve, it can be discouraging. And don’t worry about going off track! It happens to everyone! Just get back on track.

Prioritize your goals. What goals are the most important to achieve first. Develop a set of criteria against which to prioritize your list of goals. Do you need to restructure the department, develop new products or services, or possibly create strategic partnerships? Are tasked with achieving certain revenue goals, meeting strategic goals, increasing customer satisfaction or are other business metrics essential for you to achieve? Not every goal can be the same high level priority – develop criteria to prioritize your goals so you can better develop a timeline for reaching those goals and focus on essential goals before all others.

Set “to do’s” or use an action log to achieve those goals – what will you do in any given day, week, month and over a year time period?  What support do you need? Undoubtedly employees need to help you in achieving these work-related goals. If so – be sure they understand the long-term strategy and the vision and have what they need from you to assist in achieving goals.

If you can’t set your own goals and work toward achieving them, you certainly can’t help your employees set their own goals. Share your challenges and successes in achieving goals during mentoring sessions with your employees so they can see that it is not always easy but if you persist, you can accomplish what you want to.

I often set aside time each day to accomplish certain tasks aligned to my particular goals. This goes for personal goals too. In addition to business-related goals you certainly should have personal goals you want to achieve – a book you want to write, a big trip overseas, etc. Prioritize personal goals just as you would professional/business and set aside time to work toward achieving that goal.

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