Managing Through Goal Setting

Management by Goal Setting

Unless you know what you want to achieve, there’s no way to measure how close you are to achieving that objective. Goals give you a standard against which to measure your progress.

The goals you set for accomplishing the company’s/department’s mission must be in line with the vision and what your company wants you to do. If what you plan to achieve for your job, department, or team isn’t coordinated with the goals of your organization, you’ll waste your time and energy.

Goals are the foundation of motivational programs. By reaching toward your goals, you become motivated, and by knowing the goals of your team members and helping them reach those goals, you help to motivate them. The process of setting goals takes time, energy, and effort.

Goals aren’t something you scribble on a napkin during a coffee break-you must plan what you truly want to accomplish, establish timetables, determine who will do each action step, brainstorm all the possible obstacles, create a solution for the obstacles, review all of the rewards and consequences of achieving or not achieving the goal, and implement the goal.

Criteria for setting goals.

To ensure that goals can be accomplished, follow these guidelines for setting your goals. Your goals must be


S – Specific

M- Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Realistically High

T – Target Date or Time Bound

Example: Your goal is to save money. This is a hazy goal. You could put one dollar in a jar and that hazy goal would have been accomplished. It does not conform to the above criteria.

Instead your goal could be – Save $100 per month for the next 12 months starting (today’s date) to be complete by(target date). This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistically high, and has a target date.

Happy Goal Setting!

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Adapted from Executive Leadership, RAC, SA, all rights reserved.

Time Out For Thinking

If you find you’re too busy to do the strategic planning your company needs, you might want to listen to Neal Patterson, chairman and CEO of Kansas City, MO – based Cerner Corp. It was when Cerner was doubling revenues about every 45 weeks that Patterson said, “Whoa, I need to preserve some time to think.” He now schedules a weekly two-hour session to “talk to himself.” He prefers to do it early in the morning – “when my mind is uncluttered” – and away from the office, so he won’t be interrupted. “This isn’t fill. I work between appointments,” Patterson says, “yet that’s how too many executives treat it. That can get a company in trouble.”

Clear the Clutter – Open Your Mind!

Is your desk a disaster area? Desk clutter creates stress, confusion, and cuts down on your productivity. It is estimated that people waste and average of 30 minutes per day searching for papers – that translates into 10 hours per month or a whole 3 weeks per year of unproductive time!

  1. Take everything off your desk and out of your drawers. This is very satisfying as you have a quick win by being able to see your desk in two minutes!
  2. Give your desk a good clean. Make sure you remove all the dirt that has been lurking in those darkened corners.
  3. Get a large, strong bag and start dumping! Put all your papers in one big pile, and start to “divide and conquer.” Remove large items such as catalogues and manuals. Are they out of date? Do you really need them? If the answer is YES, they should go in a filing cabinet. Over 80% of your paper pile can probably be thrown out. The only papers you should keep on your desk are the ones that you are actively working on, so make a file for each topic and keep all the papers together. Anything else should be thrown out or filed for future reference / audit purposes.
  4. Start putting the equipment back on your desk. PC, Printer, telephone, fresh pad of paper and a holder with your pens, pencils, stapler, paperclips etc. Keep only what you use every day – the rest can be put in a drawer or filing cabinet within easy reach. Get rid of everything that doesn’t work, is broken or that you never use. How many pens and pencils do you have on your desk? How many can you use at any one time? If you aren’t sure whether or not something belongs on your desk, ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Do I like this item?
    2. Is this item useful?
    3. Does it belong on my desk?
    4. If the answer is NO, then remove it from your desk.
  5. How many calendars & address books do you have? If possible, you should have just ONE place where you keep your contacts and appointments. It could be on your PC (Outlook, ACT, Goldmine, etc.), personal organizer or a paper-based system. Just use whatever works for you.
  6. Personal items. How many photos, toys, and awards do you have on your desk? Keep them to a minimum as they can be distractions – one or two at most.
  7. The surface of your desk is NOT a storage area. Keep it clear apart from the few things that you use daily.
  8. Always have a waste paper basket by your desk. When printed matter arrives on your desk, ask yourself the following questions: Do I need / want this? Is it too late to action this? Could someone else use this information? Would it change my life if I threw it away? 80% of papers that you file will never be looked at again. Why not throw things away instead of filing them?
  9. A simple filing system:
    1. ACTION – ongoing work should be categorized into topics, with one file per topic to keep papers together.
    2. TODAY – things to work on today
    3. TO FILE – this can be kept under your desk and out of the way. Set aside time to file each week, and only file papers that you really need to keep. Bin the rest.
    4. TO READ – magazines, articles, etc., that you want to read. Set aside time each week to read. If the pile just keeps on getting bigger, set a time limit for keeping these items, and then bin them. If it is important information, you will find the time to read it. (Stop re-cluttering areas that you have already cleared, and you will soon limit the spaces where clutter gathers.)
    5. BIN – before throwing junk mail away, get yourself removed from the mailing list if you no longer need the information.
  10. By now, your desk should be looking pretty empty – good work! That was the easy bit. At the end of every day, give yourself 10 – 15 minutes to tidy your desk. When you come to your clean desk each morning, you will no longer waste time looking for things or rearranging the mess.
Congratulations on clearing your desk!
Don’t forget to give yourself a reward.


Submitted by Chrissie Slade, who can be reached at, or visited on the web at Copyright 1997, 98, 99, by Coach U, all rights reserved.

Leadership – The Challenge

People everywhere continue to look for the secret to becoming a better leader. Thousands of books and articles have been written on the art of leadership all claiming to have the “answers.” The fact is there is no one answer, no “secret.” However, some guiding principles and skills are fundamental to successful leaders everywhere. These skills, principles, and traits can be developed. Rate yourself in each area below, identify areas of weaknesses, and then create some goals and action steps to help you develop the successful leadership traits.

Leaders are grounded. They know who they are and where they are going. They set the direction and pace for the organization/department and lead by example. An effective leader helps to create an organization where everyone feels free to be open, innovative, and alive to possibilities.

Leaders provide the vision, values, and strategies to transform their organizations to higher levels of sustained success. Leaders take the company to where it has not been. Leaders are visionaries, coaches, mentors, teachers, students, and more. They are constantly seeking, learning, improving, and stretching their capabilities. They set the example, establish the environment, and implement the processes for everyone in the organization to adhere to the same standards.

Successful leaders have personal and organizational values, which govern their behavior. They lead by values. Balancing the needs of the individuals with the needs of the company by aligning the vision, values, and resources of all concerned. Organizational values are an integral part of your Strategic Plan and the cornerstone for the actions and decisions of everyone in the organization. Those values are driven throughout the organization by your behavior and your example. As a leader, if you engage in behavior which conflicts with your values, you will sacrifice your credibility. The end does not justify the means.

Empowering Employees Empowers Change

The Top 10 Ways To
Empower Your


The word empower is often over-used. Many employers talk about empowering their employees but often employees feel disempowered. Here’s a list of the top 10 things you can do that will really empower your employees, according to employees, not employers!

1.   Allow employees to actively participate in team and company goals. Look for every opportunity to include employees at every level of the organization, in being active participants. Employees often report getting one-way directives instead.

2.   Allow employees to suggest better ways of getting their jobs done. Ask for employee suggestions for other ways of getting the task or project accomplished. Listen and be willing to really hear the employees’ comments. Employees often report that they have no input and are told exactly how to perform their jobs, leaving no creativity.

3.   Provide positive reinforcement. Always listen and acknowledge your employees. Employees often report that their decisions and actions are second-guessed and that most, if not all, feedback given is negative.

4.   Clearly delegate responsibility and give the employees authority along with the responsibility. Do you give inconsistent messages? Do you ask the employee to handle a problem or project and then give them negative feedback or give them an assignment and then say, “never-mind?” Employees often report that they are given tasks and then told they did it wrong.

5.   Be clear in your communication. When you express goals or explain projects, be sure the employees really understand what you are asking for. Employees often report that the goals are unclear and that they are not sure what they are being asked to do.

6.   Show you have trust in your employees. Allow them to make mistakes as a form of learning. Show that it is really OK to make mistakes. Let them know you really support their decisions. Employees often report that someone is always looking over their shoulder to make sure they do things right.

7.   Listen. Listen. Listen. Do you do most of the talking? Employees often report that conversations are one way, comprised mostly of their ideas being criticized. They don’t feel they are heard.

8.   Be interested in the employees’ career development. Meet with employees and discover their goals and their wants. Employees often report that their goals are not viewed as important in the organization.

9.   Let the employees help you achieve success. Are you doing it all yourself? Employees often report that their managers do all the tasks and that they have no way to make contributions outside their job descriptions. Look for opportunities to delegate and enhance the employees’ career development at the same time.

10. Be a coach. The best way to empower employees is not to manage them. Coach them to success. This is a process of developing their skills and providing them specific feedback to meet high standards. Employees often report feeling like children rather than being on the same team with their bosses. Be their coach and lead the team to success!

Submitted by Terri Levine, Professional and Personal Coach, who can be reached at, or visited on the web at Copyright 1997, 98, 99, by Coach U, all rights reserved.

You Can Control Stress

Here are some shifts you can make to reduce stress:

Get physical.  Make exercise a part of your day—even taking the stairs instead of the elevator counts. Besides a million other positives, exercise enhances your ability to cope. Physical exertion provides you with the confidence and strength to keep slicing through adversity.

SleepSeven to eight hours of sleep is a must to help refresh your mind. Throughout the night, your brain processes the day’s information and prepares itself for gathering and receiving tomorrow’s data. Without proper rest, you begin stacking new thoughts on top of old ones and the resulting overload takes the form of stress.

Be realistic. You can avoid stress by dropping any unrealistic expectations you might have, such as needing unanimous approval for everything you do, thinking people should always respond the way you anticipate them to, and expecting to win every time.


Adapted from your Workday, by B. Hemphill and P. Quinn Gibbard (Reader’s Digest)