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The Alternative Board Blog

Goal-Setting Tips for CEOs and Business Owners

Nov. 16, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
goal setting

Like most businesses, you probably have a process in place whereby employees are required (often with the assistance of their supervisors) to set job-related goals for the weeks, months, and even the next year ahead. But have you, as a CEO and/or business owner, been diligent about setting goals for yourself?

Without concrete objectives in mind, business leaders “have no way to monitor your company’s progress or keep yourself or your team accountable,” notes Forbes. The goals you set “help you create a clear path for your company and get you headed in the right direction.”

Here are tips for refining the way you set about making goals for yourself:

Strive for specificity.

Generalized business goals, much like those we all “commit” to every New Year’s Day, are likely to be neglected or forgotten as time goes by. Instead, frame your objectives around specific language, including detailed milestones and/or desired financial outcomes (down to percentages or dollar expenses). This helps you craft a viable strategy to achieve these goals.

Prioritize.

You can make a long list of wished-for objectives, or you can prioritize and thus increase the likelihood of actually reaching your goals. Executives sometimes find themselves “setting too many goals and then completing none of them,” notes Sage Advice. A better approach may be listing “the areas of your business you’d like to improve” and then selecting 2-3 objectives “and make sure they’re achieved before moving on to other goals on the list.”

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Maintain accountability.

You expect employees to be accountable for what they say they’re going to do. That won’t work unless you make the same commitment yourself (and, where appropriate, let others know about this commitment). If your objective is time-sensitive, your deadlines for getting things done should reflect that urgency. Deadlines always bring tasks into focus and provide impetus for getting things done.

Monitor progress towards the desired objective.

Every goal you set for yourself can be monitored for progress. If the roadmap to achieving these goals is broken down into discrete steps, they can be catalogued on a spreadsheet (or some other way to track metrics) and then you know whether progress is being made. Armed with this knowledge, you can refine your goal-achieving methods and perhaps accelerate the journey towards success.

Using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is an effective strategy for measuring progress. Look into creating an online KPI dashboard that incorporates a wide-ranging array of data in a way that’s easy to access and comprehend. Enter data related to your goal on a regular basis, or have someone do it for you, so you can see if what you’re doing translates into concrete progress towards completion of a goal. If that progress isn’t discernible on the KPI dashboard, it may be time to change tactics in order to attain the desired outcome.

If, for example, your objective is to boost revenue by 7% in 2023, create actionable KPIs—metrics that clearly pertain towards this goal—and look for ways progress can be measured and quantified each step along the way.

Commemorate milestones along the way (and when the goal is achieved).

It takes considerable time and energy to make every goal a reality. To keep your commitment strong, take a moment to celebrate individual milestones that mark a significant step forward. This celebration, which doesn’t have to costly or elaborate, “should be a reminder of the hard work that you put in” along the way, notes Lightspeed. “Take a moment to enjoy this, you deserve it.”

As noted, accountability is a key element in the process of reaching one’s goals. To learn more about how to boost the chances of success, register for our free TAB Boss Webinar, “Maintaining Accountability in a World of Distractions.” 

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Written by The Alternative Board

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