In talking with a client earlier today about goals, it reminded me of the often-overlooked importance of goals.

  1. Start with strategy – unfortunately, you can have the best goals in the world but if they don’t align with where the company is headed, they are a waste of time.
  2. Achievable – Are your goals achievable? If you have no chance to “get there”, what motivation is there to try?
  3. Don’t sandbag – More de-motivating than an unachievable goal is a goal that’s too easily achievable. Why bother?
  4. Measurable – How do you track progress? It doesn’t have to be tracked with a number; however, you need to be able to clearly identify if progress has occurred. How will you do that?
  5. Joint conversation – There is no point to dictated goals (what ownership is there?) or an uninterested boss. Have a conversation. I guarantee something will come up that improves upon where you started.
  6. Integrate with the culture – Who remembers a goal assigned a year ago? I can barely remember what I wrote down last week! Goals are useless unless integrated with the daily culture.