Posted 16 January 2012 by Chris Farmer
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How to have better leadership skills
The importance of goal focus
Goal focus is the most important aspect of leadership and management.
If you accept that the term "LEADER"can be defined as:
"The person in a team whose main responsibility is to create, sustain and communicated a clear goal, and then inspire the team to achieve it",
Then the nature of the goal is that which defines the leadership.
Without goal focus, there can be no proper leadership.
If you accept that a "team" can be defined as:
"a group of two or more people who are working together to achieve a shared goal", then" the goal" is that which unifies and defines the team.
Without goal focus, there is no "team".
If "management" is defined as:
"The group of people in the team who are responsible for the development of plans and the allocation of resources that will best achieve a pre-determined goal" then the goal is that which defines the nature of the management and the nature of their plans.
Without goal focus, there can be no efficient management.
If "planning" is defined as:
"The mental act of arranging actions into a correct sequence that will achieve a certain goal" then the goal defines the nature of the plan.
Without goal focus, there can be no detailed planning.
Let us recap
Without strong goal focus, there can be:
- No effective leadership
- No proper team spirit
- No efficient management
- No detailed planning
But many organisations have only hazy goals.
Having no goals is rare.
Most people have goals: but they are bad goals.
Even a drunk has a goal.
Question: What's a drunk's goal?
Answer: To get drunk!
Most people have goals: but they are hazy goals
Most organisations have some kind of goal focus: but often they are hazy.
If you read their mission statements, they say hazy things such as:
"To exceed the expectations of our customers".
"To maximise the potential contained in the workforce".
Having only Hazy goals will create:
- Weak teams
- Lackluster leadership
- Inefficient management
- Incomplete plans
If you are working with only hazy goals: without knowing the aim for which your effort is intended, then that leads to reacting to current situations, rather than to a strategic plan.
This might cause time management problems and a lower effectiveness irrespective of the level of talent and motivation you have at your disposal within the team.
To the degree that the team lacks a clearly defined vision, it will be in danger of fragmenting into smaller sets, each trying to fill the void caused by the lack of direction. Each set will dream up their priorities and pet projects. This could cause you many problems: so take action. Supply a vision statement.
If you are lacking a clear organisational vision, act now: either ask for the vision, goal or strategic plan from your senior team, or create your own vision and a written proposal and present it to them for approval.
When you have decided your vision for your team, or found out from your senior team what the strategic vision should be, communicate that vision to every member of your team.
Everyone must know the direction of travel.
Your most important action is to find out the "big picture" or "the vision" as it represents the direction of travel and the reasons for it.
Your team does not have to like it, nor agree with it: but they must know what it is.
You should ensure that they do.
Take immediate steps to accomplish this.
Let assume that you are goal focused,
This allows you to concentrate and make good progress.
The mental habit of goal focus is the precondition of successful leadership and so you would do well to play to this strength.
You have a sense of goal focus, which should now be put to best use in two ways:
- Become more ambitious in selecting your goal. Think bigger. How could you do twice as much in half the time and effort?
- Consider how you can communicate your goal to others who need to know. You probably do not work alone. Some people need to know your goal. Make sure you inform those people whose cooperative help you will need.
You know that goals should be well organised to fit the SMART profile: Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic, and with a definite Time deadline.
Even though many people know the SMART target model, few use it enough to their benefit, as they should.
So you can now harness the potential of goals by sitting down today and answering this question:
What five specific things do I want to achieve within the next 365 days?
Motivate other people in your team by means of training in goal setting using the SMART model.
Have them tell you what five things they want to achieve in the next year.
Help them to build practical written plans.
For more information about goal setting training visit the Corporate Coach Group website