Because Setting SMART Leadership Goals Increases Your Odds For Success
One of my favorite bosses used to say, “lead, follow, or get out of the way”. Thus, today I would like to share the best examples of leadership goals for your success now, tomorrow, and into the future.
Furthermore, with nearly 30 years of experience leading cross-functional teams. Also, managing functional teams focused on finance, accounting, technology, and human resources. I have a lot of thoughts on the topic.
So, let’s get moving. Then you can start setting the goals of a leader…
Leadership Goals Examples You Should Set Right Now!
To kick it off, here are our top 20 personal development goals for leaders:
- Think strategically
- Build better relationships
- Accept responsibility
- Develop confidence and presence
- Be efficient with your time
- Practice active listening skills
- Become more adaptable
- Promote change
- Reflect and learn from failure
- Be open to contructive critisism
- Increase your emotional intelligence
- Set a good example
- Know your limits and work around them
- Build a strong team
- Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses
- Put the team in the right structure
- Set expectations and goals
- Be a coach and mentor
- Provide positive feedback
- Address your poor performers
Next, I would like to discuss each of these points one at a time.
Then before I wrap up, review how to set SMART goals for leadership. And the best ways to achieve the leadership objectives you set for yourself.
Let’s move forward…
Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Yes, leaders have a firm grasp of the details. More importantly, they see the big picture.
Thus, having a vision of what their team and the organization will look like in the future. By thinking about long-term objectives.
So, this is what I like to say…
“If you can envision it, you can achieve it”.
That goes for both thinking strategically about your organization. And achieving your personal leadership goals and objectives.
Build Better Relationships
Leaders must be good business partners. Thus, they are adept at cultivating relationships in all directions.
This means that leaders build positive relationships with:
- Outside stakeholders
So, whatever the time frame for your goals. Don’t forget about building strong relationships.
Smart goal ideas for leadership mean taking responsibility. And being accountable.
Leaders are responsible, not just for themselves. But for their team and the organization.
Most importantly, a leader never publicly assesses blame for a problem or failure. If necessary, that is handled in private.
Because any blame to be placed should start and end at a leadership level.
Okay. We are just getting warmed up.
So, let’s move to the next item on our list of leadership goals examples…
Develop Confidence And Presence
Leadership objectives should include acting with confidence without arrogance.
This includes having a presence to be effective in the front of a room. Or, at the head of the table at important meetings
Thus, exhibiting poise even in the toughest situations.
Be Efficient With Your Time
Time is the great equalizer. Because everyone has the same amount of it at their disposal.
No matter how rich or powerful others are. They have no more time in the day than you.
So, leaders never waste a minute. They are efficient with their time. And respectful about not wasting the time of others.
Practice Active Listening Skills
Any good group of goals for a leader must include effective listening.
While most people are thinking about what they are going to say when someone else is talking. Leaders listen closely.
They take notes when it is appropriate. Because note-taking requires us to synthesize what we hear.
I like to think of it this way…
You do not learn anything when you are talking. Learning takes place when you listen actively. And leaders learn by listening all of the time.
Become More Adaptable
Our world is changing at an amazing and rapid pace. So, objectives of leadership mean embracing change.
More importantly, being open-minded to see the opportunity that can come from it. Doing so will take your career to the next level.
Bringing us to the next item on our list of leadership development goals examples…
Be a champion for change.
Don’t allow your team, organization, or small business to stand still. Good leaders know that is the first step to falling behind.
However, I’m not talking about change for change’s sake. No, I’m suggesting well thought-out change. That moves a team toward its goals and success in the future.
Reflect And Learn From Failure
Because leaders push beyond the status quo. Yes, occasional failures will always be a result.
However, effective leaders embrace failure. They learn from it. And become a better leader because of it.
Here is another one of many good examples of leadership objectives…
Be Open To Contructive Critisism
Handle praise graciously when it comes. Because it will.
More importantly, be sure to seek out constructive feedback on your faults. Using it as a tool for learning, motivation, and growth.
On the other hand, avoid individuals who seek to tear you down.
Believe me, they are out there. Usually operating on a shaky foundation supported only by their insecurities about their lack of leadership skills.
I made a mistake staying several years too long at a company I once worked at. Where one of the owners always sought to tear me down.
Believe me, his behavior left professional scars that have lasted a long time.
In my defense, the economy was in bad shape at the time. It was still recovering from the financial and real estate crisis.
Unemployment was also high. So, leaving that company wasn’t a great option. Otherwise, I would have.
Plus I had some financial incentives that tied me to the job. A good problem to have.
So, I stuck it out. But I paid an emotional price for it.
Speaking of emotions, our leadership objectives examples include…
Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
Look for ways to better manage your emotions, reduce stress, express empathy, and communicate effectively.
Taken together, these traits serve to improve your emotional intelligence. A high degree of which good leaders always have.
Set A Good Example
Next, if you are a small business owner. Or, an employee for a large one.
Lead by example and display self-discipline.
Never ask anyone to do anything that you would not do if you were in their role.
But do me a favor. Don’t think you are leading by being the first to arrive and the last to leave. Yes, in some situations, that may be required.
However, it should not be part of your leadership skills. Since it sends the wrong message.
Because we are talking about getting results. Not just putting in extra time.
So, don’t confuse the two. And you will rise above the many that do.
Know Your Limits And Work Around Them
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Good leaders included.
So, play to your strengths. And look for ways to augment your weaknesses. Use staffing, technology, and peer support to make your weak points stronger and less vulnerable.
Here’s an example from my past…
In my profession, my strengths were problem identification. Then conceptualizing and developing the solutions for the problems.
However, I was not so good at executing. So, I was at my best when I was surrounded by people with strong execution skills.
People that were skilled at taking the processes I created. And executing them efficiently.
Okay. So far, all of the leadership goals and objectives examples we have discussed have focused on a leader’s self-development.
Next, we move on to team development.
Furthermore, accomplishing any of the goals we are discussing today is a great way to build your resume. So, be sure to present your credentials in the best light.
For this, I use MyPerfectResume.
Now, let’s move to team-building goals…
Build A Strong Team
Effective team building is at the heart of effective management and sound leadership.
So, look to surround yourself with the best people possible. It is a big part of setting and achieving the goals of a leader.
I’ve witnessed so many people in leadership positions do the opposite. By hiring people they can control. And won’t threaten their authority.
Believe me, that’s a big, big mistake. That’s not how a manager improves over time.
So, don’t let it happen to you!
Know Your Team’s Strengths And Weaknesses
Just like you, every member of your team has strengths and weaknesses. Things they do well. And things they don’t.
So, you need to know each of your team members. Just as well as you know yourself.
Then put each person in a position to succeed. By looking for ways to augment their weaknesses.
Put The Team In The Right Structure
But don’t put talented people in the wrong organizational structure. Because it won’t work.
As a leader, structure your team and their responsibilities so one complements the other.
Set Expectations And Goals
With the right people in the right structure, you are only partly done. Because each team member needs to operate to the standard required.
So, help your employees set goals. And help them see that those goals are accomplished.
Do so for the same reason, you are here today. In search of the best examples of leadership goals
Be A Coach And Mentor
Coach, mentor, and train.
Help those you have surrounded yourself with be the best they can be. Thus, assisting with their achievement of professional development goals.
I used to always tell myself by investing one hour in mentoring my staff. It would return two hours of increased productivity.
Thus, saving me time in the future. And generate bigger and better results for the organization.
Provide Positive Feedback
Then, when things go well. And your team is performing to a high standard. Be lavish in your appreciation. Also, be sincere and generous with your praise.
After a particularly hard year, I took my staff of about a dozen people at the time out to dinner. Near the end of the dinner, I thanked them all for their contributions stating they were the best team I had ever assembled.
While I spoke, I started to break down emotionally. Which led to an overwhelming level of future contributions from each and everyone moving forward.
It wasn’t intentional on my part. But after the fact, I saw it improve employee morale and commitment. Because I sincerely praised them for all they had done. Both individually and collectively.
Next, I will end with what might be one of the toughest personal development goals for leaders…
Address Your Poor Performers
Sometimes you make mistake and add the wrong person to your team.
It’s inevitable. Every leader goes through it.
Where no amount of coaching and mentoring is enough. To bring a certain team member to an acceptable level of performance.
Thus, good leaders know when to cut their losses and move on. You have to do so. Otherwise, it brings down the morale of the rest of the team.
Here’s what I always found…
20% of my employees cost me 80% of my time.
So, don’t let the bottom 20% ruin your attempts to become a leader.
Okay. A discussion about SMART leadership goals examples comes next.
Because at the beginning of this post, I promised a couple more short topics to help you on your way to becoming an effective leader…
Leadership Goal-Setting Examples And Achievement
Today, I have suggested to you 20 examples of leadership objectives. They have intentionally been conceptual. Focused on developing your soft skills.
So, the first task is to turn these concepts into leadership goals. First, by choosing one or more that are specific to your situation.
And second, setting leadership goals by using a proven goal-setting system. There are two systems that I like…
Setting Leadership SMART Goals Examples
First, SMART goals work well in a business setting. To make a SMART leadership goal, take one of the objectives for leadership just discussed.
Then craft your goals with the 5 following attributes:
In my opinion, SMART goals for work are an excellent option. Especially for more tactical objectives.
However, there is another goal-setting system you might like too. It is called setting HARD goals.
You can read about the advantages and disadvantages of SMART vs HARD goals. However, here’s an overview of the latter…
Setting HARD Leadership Goals Examples
HARD goals work well for those objectives you are passionate about. The four main attributes of HARD goals are:
Regardless of which method you prefer. Take the leadership objectives from today’s discussion. And use one of these 2 goal-setting systems to put your goals to writing.
You may also choose to set up a goal tree. For laying out more complex goals that involve many different steps.
Then get busy….
Achieving Your Leadership Goals Examples
Short-term, long-term, or even medium-term goals require discipline to get them done.
So, I recommend using this next process to get rolling on the path to leadership goal achievement:
- Create the right mindset
- Make a plan
- Take action
- Create an environment for success
- Monitor your progress
And you can find each of these 5 steps more fully explained in this article about the best ways to achieve goals.
Okay. That’s it for today.
Allow me to finish up with a couple of parting thoughts.
Leadership Goals Examples: Wrap Up
To recap this discussion about setting goals as a leader…
We have discussed:
- 20 leadership development goals examples
- 2 goal-setting methodologies
- A 5-step process for achieving your leadership goals
So, allow me to summarize in one sentence what effective leadership means to me…
A leader is someone able to walk away from their team or organization and have their absence go unnoticed.
To do so, it takes great progress in your self-development. Plus success in building an outstanding team. But, it can be done!
Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out all of our articles about…
…then get busy achieving your personal best.
Author Bio, Disclosure, & Disclaimer: Please join me (Tom) as I try to achieve my goals, find my next place to live, and make the most of my money. However, I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial counselor, real estate agent, or tax professional. Instead, I’m a 50-something-year-old, early retired CPA, finance professional, and business school teacher with 40+ years of DIY dividend investing experience. I’m here only to share my thoughts about essential topics for success. As a result, nothing published on this site should be considered individual investment, financial, tax, or real estate advice. This site’s only purpose is general information & entertainment. Thus, neither I nor Dividends Diversify can be held liable for losses suffered by any party because of the information published on this website. Finally, all written content is the property of Dividends Diversify LLC. Unauthorized publication elsewhere is strictly prohibited.