Did you Track Your Leadership Goals this year?
Early in January 2014, I wrote a blog about setting SMART goals for your business or organization. We often start out with good intentions, but can easily get side tracked and just slip back into old habits. Think about all those New Year’s resolutions. People vow to get fit. They join a gym and go 3 or 4 times a week for the first month. The parking lot at the fitness centers are packed, as is every available piece of cardio equipment. But by February, the crowds are thinning out. With a few exceptions, most of the people who are at the gym now are those that were working out before the New Year (the “regulars”). Very few New Year’s resolutions stick.
The same thing happens with business goals. We set new goals with enthusiasm and commitment. But then we get caught up in the day to day. We say to ourselves “next week, when things slow down, I am finally going to get to develop those new procedures”. But then next week, things are just as busy. And the next thing you know, that great plan you developed in January is collecting dust on the shelf.
Are those Leadership Goals still important to you?
If not, maybe it’s time to revisit your strategic plan. My previous article on 5 Criteria for Effective Strategic Plans will give you some guidance on that.
However, if you still feel the goals you set are important, than lets dust off that plan and get started! Rather than feeling discouraged for not following through, take some time to reflect on what has been accomplish, and where things might have gotten off track with your business goals.
Many organizations develop their strategic plan and higher level goals, but then fall down in linking strategy to execution. That is – you need to implement performance planning and management to be able to effectively measure and assess your progress.
Another problem may be that we haven’t set effective or meaningful performance measures. So how do we know if we are making progress in implementing our strategy? How do we know if we are focusing on the right things? It often gets more difficult to assess as our organizations grow and become more complex.
But regardless of where you are now, you can do some things to ensure you reach your goals and generate the results you desire.
Here are 4 tips to get back on track:
Start with appreciative inquiry
What has gone well? We so often focus on what we haven’t achieved and lose sight of the good things that we have done. So when you first review the progress of the tasks and timelines you set back in January, highlight those that you have either completed or made substantial progress with. And celebrate what you have accomplished.
Assess the problem areas
Look at those areas where things are behind or have completely fallen off the radar. Consider what may be impeding progress.
- Have conditions around that task or project changed?
- Has your organization changed priorities?
- Are you lacking the resources necessary to complete the task? (finances, equipment, human resources, knowledge, etc)
- Were the goals realistic? Or did we underestimate the resources and time?
Revise your leadership goals to get back on track
Where appropriate, revise the goals to be more realistic (but still challenging!) and in line with any changes of direction and priorities that may have occurred. Or identify where you can get additional resources to put on projects and tasks.
Commit to track leadership goals with review periods
Put meetings in your calendar, and keep those appointments! If you have gotten quite off track over the past few months, you may want to review weekly or bi-weekly for the next few months until you have built up momentum and created new, more positive habits around tracking and monitoring performance.
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