The 4 Questions You Should Always Ask When Setting Goals

Jul 08, 2019
Maybe your company goals look something like this:
  • Save a ridiculous amount of money on an already tight budget. (also known as bleeding a turnip)
  • Significantly grow gross profits
Oh, and accomplish all of this with fewer resources.
The task seems daunting, arduous, and let's be honest, stressful. But the real culprit is vagueness. Given such vague goals is like the career version of naked and afraid.
So, here's how to not only create clarity in your goals but how to organize those goals into meaningful action for your company, your team and yourself.
You need MORE
To better organize your goals always think MORE.
  • M - Measurable - How can I measure any goal? If it can't be measured then it can't be a goal.
  • O - Overarching - This really means, what is your overall theme? Think of yourself in an elevator with the president of your company. If he or she asked you what your goals were for the year you need an overarching goal that summarizes your plans in one to two words for each part.
  • R- Realistic - Ask, am I being realistic? Rome wasn't built in a day and most large goals take multiple years, even decades to complete. Be realistic about your time, resources and abilities within the confines of a year.
  • E - Energizing - Am I excited about this? Working simply to work is not for me. I need to drive my passion and purpose in life. If my goals don't energize me then nothing will be done well.
Make the Split
As a manager of a team you truly need to split your goals into 3 categories: company, leadership and personal.
Let's start with company goals as these are the goals that are given to you as the company's mission for the next year.
  • What is your overarching goal for this category? Ask yourself how your particular department could save the company money and increase gross profits.
  • Reduce - What can your department reduce in order to save the company money? Inventory? Purchases?
  • Increase - What money generating activities can your department increase? Customer service activities? Sales?
  • Does this energize you?
This goal is for your team but needs to be called leadership as the success in this goal lies in your leadership skills.
  • What is your overarching goal for this category? In order to drive a team and reach the goals laid out above what would have to be true?
  • Cross-functional learning - team members need to learn from one another to broaden their skill sets.
  • Camaraderie - which really is trust in one another to do a good job and to take over roles in times of absence.
  • Decision buy-in - This means actively engaging the team in all decisions that affect their workload.
  • Would this energize your team?
What are your personal goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What has to be true for that to be possible? What is your overarching goal for this category? What do you have to do in order to reach your goals?
  • Growth - Classes or certifications needed to have more in-depth knowledge and be considered a respected advisor in your field.
  • Experience -What new experience do I need to gain this year? Where can I find this opportunity within the company?
  • Delegation - What 1-3 tasks can I delegate to my team that will free me up for greater experience while increasing my leadership abilities.
  • Does this energize you?
This may seem like a lot of steps but it's truly not when you look at it on paper. I have created a worksheet for you to simply fill out with the questions organized for you in each category. Click here for the worksheet download.

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