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|Friday, January 06, 2012|
BY TOM COX
One of the CEO’s deliverables is creating a culture. One way to strongly influence that culture is by the example the CEO creates when she sets goals — for herself or others. Here’s how to set goals even better than you’ve been doing it — and how to follow up on those goals to make them even more effective.
An unwritten goal is just a wish or intention. Improve this by writing down your goals.
As Peter Drucker once put it, no decision (or goal) becomes effective until someone has a work assignment. If your goal is to lose weight or open a new branch office, in each case there are specific tasks you need to schedule — so create action items each week to serve the goal.
As we learned in The Progress Principle, the most motivating things most people experience in a normal work day are:
I find that creating a progressive goal list like this starts off exciting at the “Lifetime” level and starts to feel uncomfortable at the “1-Year” and “Next Month” levels — because that is where I start to think “hey, this is going to be work — and I might fail.” This is where you should create some form of personal accountability, such as sharing goals and progress with a peer or friend, or retaining a good coach.
Sometimes you’ll need to ask, “Is this still a goal you care about?” If the goal no longer works, drop it and move on. Only pursue goals that take you someplace you still want to go.
When you personally are achieving goals, and modeling the behavior of accountability, your direct reports will start to emulate you, and will encourage their directs to do the same. (Such mirroring of the boss is often unconscious — it is still powerful.)
Tom Cox is a Beaverton consultant, author and speaker. He coaches CEOs on how to boost performance by building workplace trust.
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