As we enter quarter two, you may be feeling a bit guilty if you haven’t already defined your goals, set stretch targets and SMARTened up your actions for the months ahead! If you haven’t got this far, or if your lukewarm goals have already been filed away in your ‘ignore until the next appraisal’ folder, don’t worry, there’s still time to reboot the system and set some positive intentions for the year ahead.
Setting inspirational goals
If you really want to fulfill your potential, think about which goals will inspire you to reach your full potential as a leader. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Time-bound) – the more focused you are about exactly what you want, the more likely you’ll get it. A great example of this is when I set out to write my book. I began by saying I wanted to publish it ‘next year’: this wasn’t good enough and if I’d kept it that vague, I would still be writing it now! It wasn’t until I’d specified the actual date (18th August 2014, the day before my family holiday if you’re interested!) that I took massive action to make it happen.
To take your motivation to the next level, make your goals BIG: Brave, Inspiring and Ground-breaking and share them with your friends, family and colleagues. With my book, I told the world that I was writing it, so that every time I met them, they asked me for an update. To motivate myself on those days when I really didn’t feel like writing, I would image opening up the cardboard box and lifted out my first book. I imagined the feel of the book cover in my hands, the smell of the freshly printed paper and the sense of joy I would feel – this was a hugely powerful magnet that pulled me towards success.
As you think about your development as a leader with gravitas, consider how you want to ‘be’ and how that will come across. Set yourself a timescale: will it be next year, or in time for the next promotion round? And then break it down:
- What will people see in your behaviour, in your physical appearance, in the way you carry yourself that conveys leadership and gravitas?
- What will they be hearing? What will you be speaking about, where will your voice be heard? Will you be on a large stage? Leading people virtually via conference and video calls? How will people respond to your words?
- How will people be responding to you and how will they feel in your presence?
Now think about what tangible evidence you will create to increase your impact and influence at work:
- What will be your title and role be and what results will you have delivered one, five, ten years from now?
- What will your teams/colleagues/clients be saying about you as a leader?
- What awards, accolades and accomplishments will you be able to say were down to you and your team?
- What purpose will you have fulfilled as a result of reaching your goals?
- How will you celebrate success?
What goal-setting techniques do you use and how do they help you towards success?