I was walking back to my hotel room today to check out from a weeklong conference that I have been attending. And I overheard two people walking directly in front of me. One said to the other, “You know, the key to great leadership is goal setting.”
I wanted to stop them in their tracks and open a conversation with them. But, I am tired. And I am sure they are tired from this conference. I wanted to tell them that leadership is so much more.
So much more?
Yes! If it was as simple as just setting goals, then we could just boil the process down to a mathematical formula. Assign a numerical value to each of an organization’s objectives and put them in order. That will give you your organization’s goals in a ranked priority. Simple. But, leadership is not about “goal setting” as much as it is about “goal planning”, then “goal execution”, and finally “goal achievement.”
So, what is a leader to do?
Leadership has a lot of responsibilities regarding goal setting. Consider these:
- A leader must be about setting the priorities of an organization. I am a believer that vision can occur outside of the official circle of leaders. But, leaders are responsible for establishing a vision and a set of corresponding priorities that support that vision.
- A leader must be able to communicate the vision and the priorities to the rest of the organization. The leader may not be the spokesperson for the vision, but they must be a part of the communication process.
- A leader must be able to establish a process to properly plan and execute the goals once they are identified. Like communication, where not all leaders are great communicators, not all leaders are great planners. But they must identify and empower those who can come in and plan and execute.
Ultimately, the leader must lead the organization by doing more than just establishing the goals. That is the easy part. A leader must lead in the strategic and tactical aspects of planning and executing the goals that the organization espouses.
Am I being too critical today?Am I just a little tired after a long week of meetings, trade shows and 1:1 meetings? Perhaps. But I still think that there is more to leadership than goal setting.