When dealing with any aspect of business, setting objectives can be incredibly important. When setting objectives, whether it’s to do with leadership or any other aspect of business, I think it’s important to follow a certain structure and criteria. Whether you have a business the size of Money Supermarket or McDonalds, I’m sure they all have their own set of objectives that prove vital to their ambitions.
When it’s time for me to set objectives, I’ve found that setting small aims that then lead to an overall objective can help to keep you motivated and on the right path when it’s easy to become distracted. When setting your leadership objectives, remember to keep them SMART.
SMART Leadership Objectives
When you are setting leadership objectives for yourself, follow this criteria and keep them SMART. SMART is short-form for what your leadership objectives should be, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-constraint. I have seen other variations of what SMART should stand for but they all follow the same basic principles. So you might now be thinking, how do I set up SMART objectives now that I know what SMART stands for? Here’s the acronym in a bit more detail:-
• Specific – A specific objective specifies exactly what it wants to achieve. If you know exactly what you want to aim towards, then this helps you to keep your eyes on the prize, there’s no point having an objective that could have variable outcomes
• Measurable – An objective should always be measurable, otherwise how would you know when you have achieved what you want to achieve? Keeping your objective measurable helps to keep you motivated as you can measure how close you are to achieving your desired goal
• Achievable – There’s no point setting yourself an objective that isn’t achievable with the resources available to you, so make sure that the objective is attainable based on your personal circumstances
• Realistic – Your objectives should always be realistic, but being realistic can cover a lot of variables, from achieving what you want to achieve in a certain time scale, to not trying to aim for something that is completely beyond what you require
• Time Constraint – Always set yourself a time limit when setting your objectives, you don’t want to let your aims go on forever because you may never see the end point. Set yourself some little aims with short timescales that lead to an overall goal that may be some 6 months in the future.
Examples of Leadership SMART Objectives
Here are some examples of how you can make your Leadership objectives SMART:
• To increase website visitors by 10% over the next 3 months
• To develop your leadership skill set by going on a specific course next year
• To identify your leadership style by conducting a leadership questionnaire before the new year
• To improve website revenue by 20% over the next 12 months
Set yourself some SMART leadership objectives for 2011 and see how you get on.
Or you could take our leadership styles questionnaire to help you identify your dominant leadership styles, when planning your career objectives.