GOAL SETTING: Use the SMARTER Tool

Within a clear plan for acceleration and growth in Leadership Development, is Goal Setting. You set goals to guide the journey.  You set goals to drive the dream. You set goals to motivate every part of your being. You set goals to stay awake. You set goals to remain on track. You set goals to score goals. In fact, goals are the most prevailing elements to change attitudes and focus behaviors for great achievements in Leadership. Analyzing the growth plan with the S-Curve, admittedly, we all go through phases: learning, earning, burning and returning. In all of these stages, we have the utmost responsibility to set goals. The life rainbow simplifies it better. The 3 major phases that lead the path are the fact that we have to aspire, we have to drive until we arrive. On the goal setting journey, motivators are few. This is because Goal Setting is a personal thing. Set clear life performance targets to include work and career and subsequently motivate yourself using a mix of motivation techniques.

“…you may miss timelines but don’t miss deadlines.”

When you are happy at work and in your career, you’ll be happy in life. Interesting, right? Goal setting seeks to direct attention, mobilize power and focus energies on the right path (Hughes et al 2015). Learn to avoid complacency when you set goals. Goal setting shapes the journey, takes away all forms of ambiguity and subsequently brings the future closer. Leadership authorities and many executive coaches will always propose the SMART tool to help you set goals. It may have been overused and perhaps overhyped but it is still very simple, effective and it gets the job done. For example, if you intend to move from an officer role to the C-suite realm within 10 years as part of your career planning, the SMART tool will guide you to keep the goal Specific, Significant, Sensible and Simple.  It will also demand that the goal is Measurable, Meaningful and Manageable.

As a matter of fact, the goal must be Achievable, Accountable, Attainable and Acceptable. Above all, the goal must be Time-bound, Tangible, Timely and Truthful. Interestingly, it is revealing to say that the SMART Tool has been stretched to SMARTER Tool to say that goals must be Examined and Evaluated and subsequently goals need to be Reviewed and Readjusted.

The crucial element within any serious goal setting exercise is timelines. You may miss timelines but don’t miss deadlines. Set clear milestones. Every milestone within your timelines is important. Celebrate milestones when you achieve them. Step one is as important as step ten. Step two is also as important as step nine. The point is, don’t miss step three thinking of fixing it on step four. This doesn’t also mean that everything has to go according to plan. You may be confronted with challenges and because nothing is stable overtime, the SMARTER tool fixes the VUCA effect on SMART. The SMARTER tool allows you to Examine your goals and Evaluate the flow of events and at the same time it helps Review and Readjust goals when and where necessary. For example, the wavering moments in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic led many institutions and individuals to Evaluate and Readjust their SMART goals.

Goal setting should elucidate all the challenges so you can have a good plan on the journey. The SMART tool will help you drive your target. The SMARTER tool will help you sustain your drive.

This is Leadership!

Richard K. Ahenkorah

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