Beyond Typical S.M.A.R.T Goals
The former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Jim Parker, told me,
“Don’t set artificial goals for yourself.”
Begin with noble ends:
Leadership is about people. Set people goals. Production and profitability are useful and necessary but never enough.
Increasing profits by 6% is important but not noble.
Two questions beyond artificial:
- How do you want to think and feel about yourself when 2013 slips away?
- What contribution will you make to the way others think and feel about themselves?
How do you want to think and feel about yourself?
- Proud. Does your behavior and attitude make you proud of yourself?
- Progressing. How can you enhance your strengths and minimize your weaknesses? What can you do for you?
- Beneficial. How can you help others?
How do you want others to think and feel about themselves?
- Hopeful. What can you do to make the future bright?
- Confident. How will you bolster self-confidence? Confidence fuels action.
- Meaningful. How will you let others know they matter?
- Connected. How will you make others feel they belong?
- Interdependent. How will you help others work with others?
Apply S.M.A.R.T to People:
S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
Apply S.M.A.R.T. to you and the contribution you’re making to others in 2013.
Tell others where you’re going if you’re serious about getting there. Invite in. Share plans. Give permission to ask what you’re doing to reach your goals.
How do you want to feel about you when 2013 slips away?
How do you want to make others feel?
Wow! I really appreciate this post today Dan – I’m working on my goals for 2013, and this was a great reminder for me: people matter so much!
Thanks for the good word Aaron and best wishes in 2013.
Excellent – thanks for sharing
Most welcome. Cheers!
Hi Dan, thanks for this inspiring post. You will surely be familiar with John Strelecky’s Big Five for Life concept and the leadership role model of Thomas Derale. In the Book it is reported how Thomas has developed the habit to write short, handwritten personal notes to those he lead. The notes were titled “From the Desk of Thomas Derale”. His New Year’s note to his “fellow travelers” couldn’t have been much different to what you have shared with us. Great Leadership advice! Thanks!
Hi Uwe, I can see how writing short notes would help leaders achieve many of the suggestions I’ve made above. Thanks for jumping in. Cheers
Liked today’s inspiring post and the thoughts shared. It’s a good habiti of setting personal and professional goals in the beginning of a new year. However, the set goals are self-defeating. These are short-lived and remain on the front page of our diary.
Let’s try some new approach with S.M.A.R.T. technique. It can be month-wise for the first 6 months and it should be people centric. Alternatively, decide on specific things to focus and work towards achieving better results with team productivity.
Eep, MrunalAsher beat me to the incremental approach…nicely done Sir!
Hi Dr. Asher, I must agree with Doc on this. A year long goal is too distant. I have enough trouble handling today or this week. 🙂 … Cheers!
Thank you, Dan, you gave me a good list of touch-points for self reflection and planning moving into the new year. In addition to using SMART goals to help me do more, I also like to use RICH goals to help me be more – Is what I do & how I do it Right, Influential, Challenging and Heart-thumping? Your questions will help me with both my SMART & RICH goals.
Hi Cyburh! Never hear of RICH goals but I like. Thanks for sharing your insights! Very cool.
To riff off of your SMART items, we might also consider R as Realistic and T as Timely and/or Time Limited. The key for these goals is that you could share them with anyone and that ‘anyone’ would be able to see all five SMART components. Hmm, wonder if A could also be Accountable!?
Since the world seems to be made up of lumpers and splitters, I think I will jump into the splitters camp today or at least this morning. Setting a global goal for 2013 feels like a huge, massive lump…as MC Hammer said, let’s ‘break it down’. What are 12 mini-SMARTs you can AND will do and build incrementally? Maybe even the 6th one is a plateau goal to pause, to look around, to celebrate and recognize more than you do…still have to nail down the specifics of course.
As Dan noted, be transparent with your goals…share with others, get feedback if you dare. Share with your significant other(s), a co-worker, a coach, a mentor or your boss. Because misery does love company, you might even have a small cadre of SMART goal setters who meet/connect at lunch once or twice a month and talk over how it is going–progress to date, barriers encountered, etc.
Love how you said, “you could share them with anyone and that ‘anyone’ would be able to see all five SMART components.” … that brings clarity and simplicity to the mix. Two of my favorite things, even if they are a bit rare.
Ooooo…. another practical suggestion… SMART lunches once or twice a month… Now Doc, thats just too practical. 😉
Thank Mr Dan . It made great impact and gave increased energy for my goal setting for 2013. Meaningful value added.
Thank you Vskumar! Best wishes for the new year.
Thank you Dan for another great post and questions to remind us that we are only as strong as the people we serve. Cheers and best wishes for a happy new year.
Thanks for dropping in Redge and for the good word. Best wishes for 2013 to you too!
Thanks Dan. This will be another repost for me. On projects I think the journey is as important as the end result. The growth of people and relationships during a project enhances its results. Setting people goals and including them in project scope (SMART objectives) helps a project succeed. Thanks.
Thank you Glenn. I respect what you do so being included is a great honor.
I know you manage projects so a word from you about people goes a long way. Cheers!
I love how you go beyond the business goals and really push leaders to develop themselves and their team. People do the work, so developing them will grow the business.
Hi Carol, Yes people do the work. This post was inspired by a conversation my wife and I had while driving. I started realizing the power of thinking about people while setting goals for the new year. Cheers!
I would feel – I would have utilized my time more effectively. I would think- I would have done much more. That is what I may feel when 2013 slips away. And I want to make others feel the same. What I want for me, want for others to feel it, do it and realize it.
I always believe that time and effort are the most important things in human life. Time is natural change. We can not stop it, it goes in to one direction. So, we must know, how to make use of time. As long as we respect time, time will respect us. Effort is in our hand. It does not depend. Though we try to accuse, blame or excuse that it depends upon other things. We need to make our effort so that we should not repent when time is passed.
So, I believe that speed of effort should be greater than the speed of time. And we can do that, We can understand the depth of time and effort. And that is how I am going to use 2013.
Thank you Ajay. The feeling I get from your comment is … Get busy. No excuses. 🙂 thank you. Cheers!
Great guidance, but what happens when an organization accepts and even encourages artificial goals, providing mere lip service to the SMART methodology? The obvious I suppose is to develop, maintain and acheive your own SMART Goals.
Hi K, I think you answered your own question with wisdom. 🙂 Best wishes.
And keep your resume up to date with your eyes toward a different horizon…
Will do! Do you have a job for me?
Do we make others feel? Or do we offer support for where they are not being attached to the outcome?
Great tips. Just what I needed.