How often have you heard, or read something, about how important goal-setting is, and why you need to develop meaningful, personal goals? While this is true in our everyday lives, it is even more essential, if one desires to become a real, effective leader. However, it is not enough to merely do so as some sort of exercise, but rather, to create relevant, significant goals, which will make a difference, not only for you, but for those you serve, as well! Unfortunately, as with many exercises, what often occurs, is merely some sort of empty rhetoric, where someone articulates what he believes he's supposed to say, in order to fit in, and/or be accepted. For any goal to be meaningful, it must be personal, and personally important, etc. So, what, precisely, will you REACH for, in using this process?
1. Relevant; reasonable; reasoning: How do you decide what is relevant? Is it decision you make hastily? Or, do you do so, because others have told you so? Or, will you look closely at your organization, evaluate its history and heritage, its successes and failures, what's worked and what has not, and what your stakeholders (actual and/or potential) care about, are concerned with, and consider priorities, as well as their reasons? What is your personal process for doing so, and using whatever reasoning you will rely on? Are your ideas reasonable and realistic, or merely symbolic and idealistic? How will you succeed, not only to your personal satisfaction, but in terms others will consider a success, as well?
2. Empathetic; enriching; example: Will you just tell others what you expect of them, and what they should do, or will you lead-by-example? Will you listen effectively, and in an empathetic manner? How will you enrich your constituents, as well as your group?
3. Attitude; aptitude; attention; articulate: How will you hope to inspire and involve others, unless you articulate your reasoning and plans, in a motivating, meaningful way? Are you willing to really pay attention, or will you become distracted by minutia (or the petty stuff)? Can you maintain a true, positive, can-do, attitude, or will you revert to negativism, as soon as you are faced with a perceived problem (will you see problems, obstacles, challenges, or solutions?)? How well will you learn and train, so you possess a superior aptitude, judgment and wisdom?
4. Create; cooperate; care: One can't make-believe they care for very long! You either really do, or you're a faker and a liar! Be a cooperative leader, and create ways to become better, and more relevant, etc.
5. Head/heart/heal: Either depending too much on either logic or emotion, can be disastrous! It requires a head/ heart balance, and focus on what's needed, while creating realistic approaches, plans and programs. Your priority and major goals must focus on healing, rather than polarizing and stoking the flames.
Whatever you choose as your personal goals, you need to do more, and better, than merely going through the motion, or giving a motivating speech. You need to REACH for the stars, and bring others along for the ride!