As we bring in the New Year, I want to remind you of the two common traits of super-achievers:
- An unyielding commitment to constant learning; and
- Clearly written goals with specific plans to achieve them.
As business leaders, most of us are aware of this statistical fact. However, it’s astonishing to learn that less than 20% of all work professionals set written goals of any kind.
You can help each of member of your team join the ranks of the top performers, by helping them to craft strong 2020 goals, in writing. During a one-on-one meeting, a period where you know the two of you will not be interrupted, give the person you’re working with eight sheets of paper. Each sheet should have a different headline (as listed below), but otherwise, the rest of the paper should be blank.
Next, ask the person to create a list of brief bullet items that reflect what he or she wants to accomplish in each area in the first 90 days of 2020. Encourage the person to spend some time with you on this “brainstorming” phase; have some fun and help them to identify everything that’s truly important to him or her in each area. The more open discussion the person is willing to have with you about each bullet item, the better. Once this brainstorming step is complete, ask the person to revise the eight lists of goals so that all the goals in each category are listed in order of importance.
If the person is just getting started with written goals, you may want to suggest that he or she focus on one modest “stretch” goal in each of the eight areas. Encourage the person to pick something that will force him or her to stretch beyond their current comfort zone.
One written goal in particular should stand out from all the rest as the person’s primary personal and professional goal. This should be the goal that means the most to the person on a gut level. Identify it! Make sure the person owns this goal and is stating it in his or her own words. (For instance: “I want to have $________ in the bank by March 31, so I can make a down payment on a house.”)
Once you identify that goal, you’re ready to ask the person these six critical questions:
- How committed are you to achieving this goal – and why?
- What will achieving this goal do for you as a person?
- What behaviors will you have to change to accomplish this goal?
- Who would be an appropriate accountability partner for you on this goal?
- What is the next step you should take to achieve this goal?
- How will you celebrate when you achieve this goal?
Commit to working with the person by helping him or her create brief written answers to each question. Help the person set up a plan for the attainment of this one major goal. Schedule appropriate check-in meetings. Say exactly what you’ll do to support the person’s efforts — and then do what you promised.
Of course, before helping your valued team members to establish 2020 goals, it’s critical you personally set the tone and you too complete the exercise above.
With well thought-out written goals, a plan of action, and accountable execution...2020 will be an amazing year!
Want to learn more? Fill out the form below and download our complimentary SMART Goals Worksheet to set yourself up for success!
Happy hunting and good selling!