Goals of leaders

By Sean Stevenson – Latest Revision April 10th, 2021

Goals Of Leaders Today and Tomorrow

The goals of leaders tend to impact key business metrics.  Whether a leader is attempting to increase sales numbers, cut down on waste, or increase productive efficiency levels, there is always an objective in mind.

However, for the goals of leaders to be achieved effectively, there are many factors to carefully consider.

Developing a framework for achieving the goals of an organization’s leadership is key to progress.  They must be made visible to all involved parties and must be adaptable to unforeseen changes that may occur in the future.

Anyone who tells you that the goals of leaders are silly or easy to fully define, has never been in a position of real responsibility.  Managing the outcomes of an entire organization’s productive process is no small feat.  It takes countless hours of dedication, commitment, and raw willpower, before any real achievement of merit can be reached.

In short, there is no “quick path” or “easy solution” to achieve lasting success.  However, there are ways in which the goals of leadership can be acted upon intelligently.  Planning your approach to achieving your goal -alone- can go a long way to developing a sensible framework as you begin to move forward.  This can greatly increase the odds of your success and prevent many hours of fruitless frustration.

Developing Your Own Leadership Goals

A great way to begin developing your own ideas and leadership goals, is to first consider the framework that makes the most sense for what you are trying to achieve:

All of these options are viable ways of developing a framework that will assist in your ultimate success.  It takes a great deal of forethought and planning to achieve desired outcomes.  The goals of leadership and business are no different.

You may have to experiment with numerous approaches and frameworks before you can find your own comfort zone.  This should be an expectation rather than an exception.  You will likely have many trials and errors ahead of you.  However, every challenge that you face and overcome will only serve to strengthen your abilities as a business leader.

Goals of leaders

"The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet."

-Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

Setting Personal Leadership Goals

A key step in furthering your skill and potential as a leader, is by developing your “soft skills.” 

Soft skills range from basic communication to coaching and motivating others.  They are an indispensable commodity for any leader.

To truly be able to manage others -and yourself- you must always practice your soft skills while in the field.  When dealing with different individuals, teams, and situations, try to develop the following capabilities in your personal arsenal:

1. Work on becoming proficient at all formats of communication

This includes written, verbal, and even nonverbal communication.

Developing these abilities will allow you to respond to any situation.  Being able to read, write, and communicate interpersonally, are absolutely essential in almost any business environment.

Even if you can “get by” without developing these skills effectively, you really shouldn’t waste the opportunity to become proficient at them.  They will inevitably pay huge dividends in the future!

2. Develop your capacity to coach others

“Coaching” for leaders is a matter of providing guidance and -when necessary- assistance to others. Your motivation should be to empower and develop your team, eventually to the point where they no longer require any assistance from you whatsoever.

3. Motivating and inspiring -both small and large- groups of people

In leadership this one goes almost without saying. We have all seen great leaders rearing themselves up before a large crowd as they give a momentous speech.  For many of us, these images are instilled in our minds at an early age.  However, for our own purposes, motivating the few and the many is one of the highest callings a leader can have.  Practice motivating everyone around you with positivity, and you will be well on your way to achieving a powerful leadership capability.

4. Making critical and decisive decisions

Assessing the potential actions and outcomes of a given scenario are imperative for effective leadership. Whenever you are presented with a difficult situation, always exercise both your experience and your knowledge in tandem.  Using the best and most factual information at hand will always lead to the most desirable outcome.  If you make a mistake, then learn from it, and be sure to apply that newfound wisdom in the future.

5. Learning and Making Use of Critical thinking

Often, our own thinking will make its way into our conduct and actions. This makes critical thinking an imperative commodity for any serious leader.  Try to develop your own thought processes and never deviate from the hard truths that are in front of you.  By facing reality in a meticulous manner, you’ll be safeguarding your efforts.  You will likely also find that a viable path forward presents itself to you, as if from nothing!  This is because you are taking a careful, hard look.  Thus, you are seeing things as they are, and leveraging your abilities intelligently.

6. Always remain a team player

No matter how high you rise, or how much you achieve in life, you must always remain firmly entrenched in the concept of teamwork. Teams are what allow you to thrive.  Inevitably, no one can do everything on their own.  Even if you control much of your business as a sole proprietor, you must still at times seek the services of outside entities.  Maintaining a positive perspective in this manner, will go a long way to giving you an edge with people you need to work with.  Things will inevitably get done faster, and you’ll develop powerful professional relationships as you progress.

Goals of leaders

"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand."

-Colin Powell

Define The End Leadership Goal Or Result

Perhaps most ironically, the goals of leaders are not always made abundantly clear.  This is because the “end game” or goal, has not been fully developed.

Many leaders are inherently uncertain about what they most want to achieve.  This can leave many details in limbo.

Rather than leave anything to “guesswork,” take the time and initiative to define your end goal or desired result.  What is that most drives you towards this vision of success that you have?  Can you lay out what that newfound achievement would look like in your world?

These are important questions that must be answered.  Not only to quantify your ideas, but to give you the inherent motivation to pursue them.

A vague idea will always be a “foggy” vision for the future.  By its very nature, this abstract is hazardous for any leader.

Never waste your time on something that is unclear.  Instead, choose to readily define every metric, format, or idea, that you yourself develop.  Leave nothing to chance and make nothing remote.  Your goals must always align with a clear vision of the future.

In this way, you can adapt and build more readily.  You will find your mind will be more engaged with the freshness of what you have laid out in detail also.

Expound, Expound, Expound!

Ask yourself continuously about your own goals of leadership.  Challenge your thinking by using the following categories of thought leadership:

1. What Metrics Can I Use To Define My Own Success Rate?

If you are seeking to create a new marketing plan to boost sales, or if you’re simply looking to supercharge your employees’ morale, what do you need to secure that goal?  Are there incentives you can put in place, or perhaps your own process needs to be revamped? 

Whatever the case, creating measurable and attainable metrics can help you better understand your own performance levels.  Enacting changes to heighten your results becomes much easier at that point.

2. What Goals Will Help You Achieve Your Desired Results?

It’s not enough to simply have goals as a leader.  You have to better understand what it is you must be actively doing to achieve the desired results you wish to secure.

If something is working or is proving ineffective, then try dissecting your own process.  Gauge what portions work, and what simply fails.  Then, rearrange or recreate it to suit a better model of productivity.  The great thing herein is that you can always repeat this process until you achieve the desired result.

3. What Should You NOT Be Doing?

Perhaps just as important as committing to certain actions, is learning what you should NOT be doing at all. 

Some of our actions can make a huge different in business, it’s true.  The goals of leaders often reflect lofty ideas and create a unique hopefulness that everyone can share in.

Yet it is also most important to realize that certain actions each of us undertake, are in fact, useless by design.  We all do this, so there is nothing to be ashamed of.  It’s becoming aware of the useless actions that we repeat, which really matters the most. 

In becoming more “aware” of our daily actions, we can then reshape our habits.  A great way to achieve this, is by recording the time we spend on various activities throughout the day. 

Be sure to include everything, from what you did on your smartphone, to how long you took to eat your lunch (and what you ate), and even include any extra breaks you took.  In short order, you’ll have an itinerary of what you’re really doing that will allow you to see what is distracting you and what you need to focus more on.

Use this knowledge to eliminate the pointless things you’re doing as much as possible.  Realign your productive habits with what will make the biggest difference in your business activities.

Learn About The Goals of Other Leaders

Even as you venture to improve yourself, it never hurts to keep learning about the efforts of others.  Whether successful or not, these are the case studies that you can draw important observations from.

In fact, one of the best assets we have as leaders, is to learn from leadership itself.  This sounds arbitrary (I know!) but it’s absolutely true.

By choosing to constantly learn and be inspired by the actions of others, you will be garnering newfound knowledge that can help you progress in your own affairs.

Some of the smartest ideas I’ve ever heard of, were drastically simple.  If I was not constantly seeking out new thought processes or methodologies from other sources, I would never have discovered them.

In learning from the world around us, we begin to recognize that we don’t have all the answers.  Don’t panic, this is entirely natural.  Ironically enough, it will actually help you grow far more quickly than you could on your own.

In short, don’t shy away from learning.  Take it wherever you can find it.  Embrace learning and change in this way, so that you can benefit from the best ideas as quickly as possible.

Additional Reading

An excellent read is featured here on leadershipdevelopment.ca

Issue # 9 Strategic Thinking

This article delves into the nature of strategic leadership thinking, along with how you can benefit from its nuance!!!  

I highly advise reading Mr. Dale Botting’s blog and newsletter!  They are both illuminating, well-written, and thoroughly enjoyable!

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