Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

How Do You Set and Monitor Goals?

As manager I must manage to the “vision.” This means that a manager manages in the void between “now” and “vision.” As discussed in chapter 7, I must set my vision and then back up to today (my now). This will give me the progression of steps needed to fulfill my vision.

My purpose as manager is the success of both the business and my staff.

Purpose + Vision + Goals + Initiative = Success

Purpose: the inherent value of being; motivation; the intrinsic meaning of one’s existence.

Vision: the ability to perceive possibilities.

Goal: a desired state of affairs of a person or of a system.

Initiative: introductory series of steps taken to cause a desired result.

Once an individual understands Purpose and acquires Vision, I must instruct him or her on the importance of setting and monitoring appropriate goals. If done correctly, initiative accomplishes the goals which fulfill the vision. This process ignites passion (the most powerful force in the universe).

Most people set goals and then “beat themselves up” or feel like a loser when they don’t attain them. The truth is that they didn’t really set a goal, they set a dream, and as we learned earlier, dreams just don’t happen on their own.

For goals to be viable, they need to possess certain attributes. A Goal must be:

.                                        –  Attainable

.                                        –  Measurable

.                                        –  Realistic

.                                        –  Perceptible

.                                        –  Precise

.                                        –  Desirable

When I have set my vision, I then must back up to my “now.” I break down the journey to reach my vision into multiple steps. Each “vision step” is a step solely unto itself, but must build upon the previous step. Each of these “vision steps” becomes a goal.

In order for this process to work, each link must be nurtured with care. Like the other links, goals by themselves are ineffective. A goal needs to be understood, properly set, appropriate, and implemented.

Rules for setting effective goals:

1)  A goal must be written down. The process of writing it down makes it real – I can perceive my goal. By writing it down, I can more objectively judge its desirability; is it precise, realistic, measurable, and attainable? Without writing it down, I all too easily allow myself to discount problems and inaccuracies with my goal. My wishing overrides my ability to be honest with myself and I end up with only another dream. Writing down my goals actually sets the process in motion.

2)  Write down goals as positive affirmations. Remember in chapter 9 we discussed how negative self-talk keeps our shame spirals in motion? A goal must be desirable, something I want, and not just something that sounds good. If all I am doing is running from something, and not toward something, I will always be running. All I will see is the negative aspects of everything and not the positive.

“I am going to get out of this lousy one horse town” isn’t a positive, forward-looking, problem-solving goal. All this goal does is perpetuate my misery. It increases my bitterness and resentment, and sense of failure everywhere I turn. It gives me nothing to strive for – to work toward.

“I am going to move to New York by June” gives me both direction and inspiration. This goal instills hope and compels me to take initiative.

3)  In writing a goal down be careful to be clear and precise.

.                                –  Write each facet of what applies to achieve the goal.

.                                –  What is it exactly I want to achieve?

.                                –  Why do I want to achieve this goal?

.                                –  What good will come from achieving this goal?

.                                –  When do I want this goal achieved?

.                                –  What Boulder and Pebbles will I have to deal with in achieving this goal?

.                                –  Who else is affected, or will be affected, by me achieving this goal?

.                                –  What action will I need to take to achieve this goal?

The more information I write down, the more real and perceptible it is. The more I can understand it, the more able I am to visualize and believe it really happening. The more perceptible I make my goal, the more positive my self-talk will become.

4)  Once I’ve written down my goals, I now must evaluate if it is attainable, measurable, and realistic.

Ex #1: “I want to be President of the United States next week” is definitely measurable, but not attainable or realistic.

Ex #2: “I want to be the best writer in the world” is attainable but not measurable.

Attainable means that I can figure out ways to accomplish my goal. Example #1 above is measurable and has a time frame but my time frame is not realistic, making my goal not attainable.

Measurable means I can establish exact and concrete methodology to evaluate adherence to, and progress of, my goal.

Realistic means I have both the willingness and the capability necessary to work toward my goal. If I truly believe I can achieve my goal, it is probably realistic. Labors of love can move mountains.

5)  With my goal laid out on paper, I now need to evaluate if it contradicts any of my other goals. I don’t want to be working against myself, setting up roadblocks that get in my own way.

6)  At this step, I need to assess whether or not my goal is high enough. I don’t want to shortchange myself. It may be attainable. It may be measurable. It may even be realistic, desirable, perceptible, and precise, but is it “settling for something lesser?” Is it limiting? Am I capable of achieving more? Do I want more? Am I getting in my own way?

Often, we fear reaching. “What if I fail?” This, of course, is negative self-talk at its best. What this does is allow me to con myself into settling for a goal I know will be easy to achieve. I don’t have to work hard. I don’t have to stress. I don’t have to fear. What I do achieve is: success at mediocrity.

But if I do reach and I fail; what then? What do I do? I get back up, learn from what worked and what didn’t work, and I persevere – I carry on. That’s what I do!!! And as long as I am willing to do that I am already a success.

The more focused I am on my goals, the more successful I will be. If I review my goals daily, visualize myself achieving them, and ask myself if what I am doing now is on track with my goals, I develop positive self-talk and healthy self-esteem (which as we learned in chapter 9 becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy).

– excerpt from “Managing from the Heart – A Way of Life”


August 17, 2011 - Posted by | Counseling Techniques, Employee Coaching, Leadership Skills, Manager Development Tools, Mentoring, Personal Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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