You already know that you really need to have a clear goal in your personal development as a leader. Without a goal you don't know where you are going. And that's exactly where you will end up… drifting somewhere… maybe it'll be great, maybe it'll be a waste of your time. Here are the 7 steps to your new leadership development goal:
- Who is in your Inner Circle?
- The people closest to you can raise you up or tear you down. Take a long hard look at those who are in your inner circle and fill it, if necessary with people who build you up.
- Develop SMART goals in each area of your life.
- Know specifically what your goal is, know how you will measure it, make sure that you can attain it (with the help of your inner circle). Make sure your goal is realistic (if someone else has done it, it is!) And put your stake in the ground for time. When will you achieve this goal? Can it change, sure it can… you can move the goal posts anytime you like.
- Breakdown your bigger, longer term goals into smaller, shorter term chunks.
- Any goal worth having is going to take time to reach. Breaking it down into smaller steps makes it much more manageable. I recommend that you “think week' – after all you can pretty well predict a week ahead. But a month… that's tough, all sorts of things could happen in a month. For example, establish steps that you will have completed by Friday each week (time to celebrate at the weekend!)
- Work with an accountability partner. Check with your inner circle regularly to review your progress.
- Wouldn't it be nice if you could trust yourself to have the self-discipline to do this alone? Sure… but believe me, you wouldn't actually be reading this if you were that self-disciplined. Work with someone in your inner circle who will support you, cajole you, nag you… whatever it takes. You already know what works for you, so invite them to do so and return the favour.
- Celebrate your conquering of each milestone.
- Don't wait till the end result. Constantly promising yourself that one day you will celebrate. No, choose to celebrate every milestone. My wife and I have a stupid little dance we do… in private I might add because it really isn't something you would like to see… but we have fun and it's our shared symbol of an achievement worth celebrating.
- When you reach the goal, choose to stretch yourself to new heights.
- So you've developed yourself well and achieved the goal you set. Well that just proves that you are a lot more capable than even you thought. Now let's raise your game and set new standards to achieve.
- Remember – leadership develops daily, not in a day. Keep on keeping on.
- It won't happen tomorrow. You don't absorb new competencies or character traits by simply exposing yourself to them. No, you need to put your development into practice each and every day. Repeat what works, learn from what doesn't. Adapt, change and keep on keeping on. Eventually it'll come ‘naturally' and you may even forget that previously you weren't this good.
No-one who ever achieved anything great truly did it alone. Build you inner circle, set clear SMART goals and plan each of the smaller steps necessary to achieve them – this is all part of successful personal development. I look forward to hearing about your celebrations.