“Leadership requires a hierarchy of goals. The goals must be growth oriented, attainable, and must fit together”

It is that time of year again – a time of reflection and planning.  For organizations that have had a tough year, the focus for the upcoming year is on how to turn that around.  For others, the focus is on how to continue leveraging what they have done well, and on anything else they can do to positively affect their organization.

The most powerful way to draft goals is to get everyone involved.   Each team member should be asked to participate.  Their collective creativity, intellect, and passion is the most powerful asset an organization has, and the only way to harness it is to ask everyone to think.   As it relates to Leadership, we need everyone’s engagement in executing the goals, which requires belief and commitment.  Both are much easier to obtain if everyone is involved in drafting the plan/goals.

Many organizations use a top down approach to instituting goals, while some use a bottom up approach.   Using a combination of both may make the most sense.   The Leaders in the organization should have their own ideas of what success will look like and what goals are required for the new year, while those they lead are asked to come up with the same for their roles and responsibilities.  At some point the two need to be integrated, and the result will be better than if just one approach was used.  Not only will there be a higher quality plan as a result, but the goals will be more attainable due to a natural sense of ownership, and it never fails that feedback from each team member results in a more robust and meaningful set of goals for the team.

As we are working on our goals for the upcoming year, let’s make sure to involve the team, and when asking them to draft goals, be sure to give them the guidance needed;  Goals must be quantifiable, attainable, and must include time parameters.

“Leading is about influencing and motivating others in an effort to achieve exponential results. It is much tougher than managing”

Organizations are sustainable and prone to high growth when Leadership is a constant focus, and when their Managers are also Great Leaders!  Managers focus on engineering a process, and then efficiently managing the operations.  They must be organized, ethical, respected by others, and dependable.  They can be a good Manager without being a good leader, however, they can be great at both if they learn how to harness the power of leadership.

First, there must be an understanding and belief in Leadership.  Leadership requires….extra mental stamina; great attitude every day, even when things are not going your way; an understanding and care for what motivates each individual on the team, and then the extra effort and focus on doing just that; an understanding in regards to how much more fun and productive we are when we are led rather than managed; seeing things from others point of view before acting/reacting; and all the extra work that goes into getting others to “want” to do something.

Once there is understanding and belief, the individual has to make the decision to be a Leader.  It is similar to someone making a major lifestyle change.   It requires work, discipline, and a full understanding of why they are pursuing Leadership.  Smokers quit smoking, and overweight people lose weight, to avoid major health consequences.    Similarly, we must have our own reasons that constantly motivate us to continue the pursuit of Leadership.

“The quality of an organization is directly related to the quality of the people within and how they fit into their individual roles”

Regardless of it being a business organization, a community service organization, or even your personal life, good people should be the first priority in building or re-building a team.   The best way to improve is to make sure we have motivated, ethical, and hard-working people around us.    Next is to make sure those good people are in the right roles.   It is just as bad of a mistake to put a good person in the wrong role as it is to hire a person that is not motivated or hard-working.  Neither will be successful.

We often make the mistake of putting good people in the wrong roles, and then we wonder why it did not work out.  This happens because we have such a belief in the person that we think they can do anything.  There are a few out there that can do anything, and enjoy it, but it is not common.   More commonly, people need to enjoy what they do, especially if they are naturally motivated and hard-working.  If they are not built for the role, they will likely still do a decent job (because they care), but will eventually get burnt out and will move on.

The “fit” is just as important as is the quality of the person.   Both are required for long-term success, growth, and the happiness of the person and the organization.