According to an American Psychological Association study, high performers are more aware of the specific steps and actions that go into a project. When leaders are clear with their teams on goals, expectations, and success, it adds a better sense of direction and clarity to their work.

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Reflect on how to set attainable, specific goals

Learning how to set attainable, specific goals is fundamental in developing and honing your leadership skills. Start by simply taking a moment to reflect.

How do you know if you’ve achieved your goal for a project?

Exercises to help you set attainable, specific goals

Now, it's time to put your reflection into action. Finding opportunities to implement your leadership skills can allow you to set attainable, specific goals.  

  • Clearly communicate to your team the who, what, when, where, and why of your project. Ask your team: “What do we need to accomplish? Who will need to be involved?”
  • Avoid vague buzzwords or jargon when explaining your goals. Avoid: “We want to delight and surprise our customers.” Consider: “We want to increase revenue by 20% by marketing the premium subscription to our users.”
  • Define what done means for a project. A precise measurement will keep your team on track. Example: “The goal is a 20% increase in positive customer satisfaction surveys.”

Additional resources to help you set attainable, specific goals

Why “Big Picture Only” Bosses Are The Worst
“Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing,” Warren Bennis famously said. But the best bosses do more than think big. They have a deep understanding of their industries, organizations, and teams, as well as other seemingly mundane things.
Council Post: How To Ensure Your Employees Are On The Same Page As You
Never assume that your employees are always on the same wavelength as you.
Give Your Employees Specific Goals and the Freedom to Figure Out How to Reach Them
It’s an idea that needs to be a part of the future of work.

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Cover Illustration by ‌Kasia Bojanowska