Not everyone wants to be a leader, and rightly so. This role requires you to manage a team and have the ability to deal with pressure and responsibilities. As Simon Sinek, an author and an inspirational speaker, puts it, “Leadership is not a license to do less; it is a responsibility to do more.”
So, a leader wants to constantly motivate the team to achieve the organization's short-term and long-term goals. After all, setting achievable goals and planning on how to attain them is essential for the success of a business.
Setting leadership goals for yourself helps you improve your skills and clearly understand what to focus on. Here is a list of leadership goals that today’s leaders should strive to attain to help their teams.
Let us now look at each goal in more detail:
As a leader, one of the most critical tasks is to motivate people to utilize their skills and abilities effectively. You should be a role model and set an example for your team to inspire them to achieve their goals.
You must also have regular check-ins with your teammates to be aware of their problems and focus on resolving them. The key to being a successful leader is ensuring that the team is trained and encouraged to be at par with the company’s expectations.
Having reward programs helps the employees to stay motivated and to perform well. A study indicates that employees who are given frequent rewards have a greater interest in work and are more joyful. Be it small tokens of appreciation such as a certificate or a card, or bigger gestures such as organizing a team lunch, vacation, or giving a gift card go a long way in keeping your employees happy and motivated.
“75 percent of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including the inability to handle interpersonal problems; unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust.” -Center for Creative Leadership
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to control, perceive, and analyze emotions. As a leader, you have a great potential to influence your team. So, having a high EI helps you understand what your co-workers are feeling and gives you the ability to respond to a situation. Basically, EI is about empathy, self-awareness, and social skills.
Moreover, when managing the company, leaders should monitor themselves and teach people the importance of good behavior by rewarding it and the repercussion of lousy behavior by having a penalty.
Healthy relationships at the workplace begin by inculcating a culture of listening. One way to do it is to encourage people to share their viewpoints and ideas and make them feel heard.
Managers should encourage people to debate thoughts and challenge ideas. Moreover, listen to understand their views and not just to respond.
Also, schedule proper time with the team to foster meaningful relationships. Coffee breaks, team lunches, and get-togethers are a great way to have informal conversations that help people know each other better.
According to Harvard Business Review, a survey revealed that 58% of people trust strangers, but only 42% trust their managers. So, as a leader, your team should be able to have more trust in you as they share their challenges and vulnerabilities. Remember that developing good relationships is a process that takes time and effort.
For a team, there is nothing more empowering than having a mentor who supports them. As a leader, it is your responsibility to mentor your team and help them in career advancement.
According to Gartner, people who report to managers who are good at coaching are 40% more engaged. Be a good coach and encourage your team to learn from mistakes and challenge themselves. Create an environment where it is acceptable to fail, as failure is the stepping stone to success. Mentors should be encouraged to self-reflect.
Although the purpose of leadership mentoring is that it is beneficial for employees, the mentors also gain in this process. After all, what can be more rewarding than giving back to the organization by guiding people to succeed in their careers?
Providing constructive feedback helps people grow as they learn how to boost productivity and improve performance. Constructive feedback is always based on evidence and does not come from judgment. Besides, the goal of offering feedback is to help a person genuinely.
“The key to learning is feedback. It is nearly impossible to learn anything without it.” - Steven Levitt, Author of Freakonomics
Also, you should know the art of giving feedback because even if it is negative and delivered correctly, it helps employees significantly improve their performance. Although, as a leader, you may not be comfortable giving feedback, your employees need to get it.
As a leader, you should be able to shift your mindset and be open to experimentation in the ever-changing world of business. An unwillingness to adapt to change can result in stagnation, so you should be able to employ diverse thinking strategies. Moreover, you should constantly look out for learning opportunities. For instance, to stay on top of the game, you should know what your competitors are doing.
Watch TED talks, read books, and listen to podcasts so that you develop creative ideas on how to make your organization grow.
SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals help you achieve the desired results by providing more clarity. These were first listed in 1981 by George T. Doran as he believed that many businesses have too scattered goals to have a meaningful impact. So, he devised a technique to transform ambiguous goals into specific and measurable objectives. These goals help you focus your efforts in the right direction.
Here are two examples of how to come up with SMART leadership goals:
Specific: I want to motivate my team to increase their productivity by 20%.
Measurable: Increase productivity by serving 20% more customers and 20% more tasks performed by every employee.
Attainable: I will ensure that the team has the necessary tools to achieve the productivity target.
Relevant: Serving more customers and performing more tasks will increase the team's productivity and help the organization achieve its short-term goals. It will also be instrumental in ensuring that the team members focus more on their work.
Time-bound: I want to ensure that the team’s productivity is increased by the end of this quarter.
Specific: I want to improve customer satisfaction levels by 20%.
Measurable: I want to increase customer satisfaction by 20%, as depicted by customer support surveys.
Attainable: I will ensure that the team encourages every customer to complete the survey form.
Relevant: Improving customer satisfaction translates into more sales for the organization.
Time-bound: I want to ensure that customer satisfaction levels are increased in the coming quarter.
Leadership goals are crucial as they help you decide your priorities. The key is to set actionable developmental goals that help you improve your leadership skills and also keep the team happy.
Managers should inculcate the habit of reading or listening to podcasts as it is an excellent way to gain new insights. Develop a practice of daily meditation as it helps in building self-awareness and managing stress.
Ans. Professional goals can be milestones you wish to achieve in your career. For instance, a raise in salary, an increase in your core skillset, obtaining a position that is more suitable for your skills, becoming an expert in your field, or pursuing a different career path are a few examples of professional growth.
Leadership goals should be SMART.
Specific: Clear and unambiguous
Measurable: Having a metric to measure the goal
Relevant: Should answer why you have set this goal
Time-bound: Having a specific time frame