Teams today are often loosely identified as team members on the organization chart, that is if you have one. In today’s environment, isolation, virtual work environment, lack of communication and direction impacts the workforce more than ever before. Does this sound familiar or have you experienced something like this in the past?
If the answer is yes, keep reading and we’ll explore answers to the following questions:
- What is an objective and why should I care?
- What are my objectives and in what context?
- How do I communicate these objectives to team members and other important people in my life?
- How do I hold myself and others accountable to achieving objectives?
What is an objective and why should I care?
For many, the answer to this question may seem obvious. We often think in terms of goals, outcomes, results, etc. Great example – new year’s resolutions. When you think about it, how often do you set out to achieve goals and over time, they fall by the wayside. If that’s you, you’re not alone.
Objectives can be super powerful, not only for you as a leader, but for your employees to understand, buy into, and get on board. So, what is an objective? It’s a clearly defined statement that sets a plan of action in motion with a defined “end in mind”.
That sounds simple, but when was the last time you sat down to create your own business or team objectives? In the coaching work that I’ve done over the years, writing objectives represent a challenge. Let’s take a look at some examples.
|I want to lose weight.||
To become a healthy and vibrant individual, my goal is to incorporate heathy eating and exercise habits that result in losing 20 pounds by the end of 2020.
|I want to grow the business.||
In order to increase revenues by 30% over the next 12 months, we will identify and implement a business plan with specific strategies and tactics.
|I want a different job.||
To tap into my talents and abilities and to increase my wages, I will search and network with colleagues and contacts to represent a company with like-minded goals and values resulting in a new job that I love.
|I want to have a cohesive team of employees reporting to me.||
In order to achieve company goals and targets, the desired state is to lead a group of engaged and motivated individuals with a high level of trust, respect, and will to succeed together as a team vs. individuals.
The most important aspect of setting objectives is to get specific and focus on results. An effective goal spells out success. Start with the context or parameter and use verbs to describe specific actions.
What are my objectives?
In light of this question, it’s important to take some time and think about it. In other words, what do you want to achieve and why? You need to be able to answer these questions in order to successfully achieve objectives and set the tone for your organization and team. As a leader, you lay the groundwork so that others can follow. Another way to think about it is: Start with the end in mind and define a successful outcome. Next, choose a topic or focal point – new team, new job, health and fitness, financial, etc. They can be professional and personal, it doesn’t matter.
With the fourth quarter of 2020 upon us, now is a great time to plan for the 4th quarter (next 90 days) and begin to plan and set goals for 2021. One tip that I’ve found works well is to break a business plan into 90 day increments by the quarter. This enables you to think strategic and short-term at the same time while being able to adapt and pivot when you need to.
How do I communicate these objectives to team members?
- What is the current situation?
- What do I know?
- What do I NOT know?
- What can I control?
- What do I expect of myself?
- What do I expect of team members?
- What will I commit to?
How do I hold myself and others accountable to achieving objectives?
It starts with you. You need to lead by example. Who do you trust that can hold you accountable to your commitments? Who’s on your team that you have high-trust and respect for? Another important point is to set up a feedback loop mechanism to help people keep on track with their objectives. Finally, observe behavior and provide specific examples of what you see.
“Identify the end game before the game begins.”
Take the Objective Writing Challenge.
Send me your objective(s) and let’s talk about what’ important to you and what you want to achieve in the near future; with your team, your business, your life?