Goal setting a key to every successful and great leader. However, many CEOs’ and leaders’ sabotage their own success by setting ineffective or unclear goals. Great goals accelerate the leader to accomplish more in a quicker time then expected or anticipated. Great goals inspire, motivate, and focus energy to achieve significance through accomplishment.
The distinguished Dr. Benjamin Mayes once wrote, “The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” I would further Dr. Mayes comment and state that a tragedy of life is also setting the wrong goals and reaching in ineffective directions.
Questions to Ask to Ensure That You Are Setting the Right Goals:
I have found that there are five critical questions that I must ask each time I write my goals list to ensure that I am writing the right goals. These questions are designed to push the goal writer to think more deeply and focus more intently to enable the right goals to be written and pursued.
1. Am I the Only Person that can Accomplish this Goal?
Great goals are not only specific, they are individualized. If anyone can accomplish the goal or task on your list, then the goal is not a great goal. Individualized Goals(TM) are powerful and are designed for a greater impact. When a leader takes the time to think through and write only goals and objectives that they can accomplish they are well on their way to effective and powerful goals.
Coaching Question: What do you think the result would be if you only wrote and worked on goals that only you could accomplish?
2. Will completing this goal move me closer to achieving a bigger objective?
Goals and to dos’ should push towards the larger goal. A stand alone goal is not a great goal. Goals should push to completing a larger, more significant accomplishment. Stand alone goals are tasks to be completed, not goals to be accomplished. Every leader should have at least three big goals that they are trying to accomplish in any given year. Their smaller goals or monthly goals should push toward the larger objectives. The most critical mistake that most people make when they write goals is that they never think through if the goal that they are writing will help them complete a bigger or larger goal.
Coaching Question: What 3 big goals do you want to accomplish in the next 12 months?
3. Does this goal inspire me to action and get me excited to do the hard work of completing this task?
Great goals are motivating goals. Great goals inspire to action. The goal should be big enough to motivate to action and small enough to feel a level of success when it is completed. If the goal does not inspire you when you are writing it, it will not inspire you to complete it.
Coaching Question: Can you think of a goal that you have written recently that has inspired you?
4. Do I have the specific time in my calendar to complete this goal?
Great goals usually need more than one block of time to complete. Time and space to complete a great goal should be added to the calendar in order to ensure that it is completed. You might a great goal but not have the time to complete it or even start it. As you write you goal list make sure that you are reasonable about the time that it will take to complete it. Great goals that are not started are equal to poor goals that are not started. Examine your calendar closely to ensure that you have a great goal and the right timing to complete it. Great goals plus right timing equals amazing accomplishments.
Coaching Question: Do you have time in your calendar to accomplish great goals?
5. If I don’t complete this goal by the desired date, would I keep this goal on future lists?
One sure fire test of a great goal is the need to accomplish it. If a goal that is written does not get accomplished and could be left off of future goals lists then the goal was not a great goal. Great goals have to be completed.
Coaching Question: How many tasks or goals do you currently have that you should no longer have on your goals list?
Great goals are not easy to write or complete. However, great leaders’ focus on great goals which leads to greatness. Great goals lead to higher productivity, enhanced focus, and accelerated performance. Use these simple questions to analyze the greatness of your goals.