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tomorrow. Periodically check your goals to ensure that they’re still relevant to the vision you want to achieve. If they are not, meet with your employees to revise them.
Be careful not to take on too many goals at once. Not only are you in danger of being overwhelmed, but also so are your employees. It’s much better to pick a few, significant goals and then focus your efforts on attaining them. Management isn’t a game of huge success after huge success. Management is a daily meeting of challenges and opportunities— gradually, but inevitably, improving the organization in the process.
COMMUNICATING GOALS AND VISION
Once you have established goals for your organization, you’ve got to communicate them to your employees. There are many possible ways to
EXECUTION: GETTING THE JOB DONE
communicate goals to your employees, but some ways are better than others (and some are worse). Whatever your approach, the goals must be communicated clearly, the receiver must understand the goals, and the goals must be followed through on by the people to whom they have been assigned.
Although communicating vision and goals to employees is equally important, your approach in doing so will be different for each. Managers usually introduce their organizations’ visions publicly, and with much excitement—all the better to inspire employees with it. Here are some ways that companies commonly announce and communicate their vision:
• By way of huge employee rallies where the vision is unveiled in inspirational presentations.
• By incorporating their vision into anything possible that employees, customers, and vendors will read, including business cards, letterhead stationery, newsletters, employee name tags, and more.
• By requesting that supervisors and managers keep vision front and center in staff meetings and employee interactions.
Goals are much more personal than an organization’s vision, and so the methods used to communicate them must be much more direct. Here are a few tips for communicating goals:
• First write down the goals. In the case of individual goals, conduct face-to-face meetings with employees to introduce and discuss them. To maximize their involvement and buy-in, be sure to ask for their input in the development of the goals that they will be required to achieve.
• Introduce team-related goals in a meeting specifically held to do that. As with individual goals, be sure to maximize the team’s involvement and buy-in by asking for their input in the development of the goals. Get the team together to explain the role of the team and each individual in the successful completion of the goal; make
The Management Bible
sure that every member of the team understands exactly what he or she is supposed to do.
• Request that your employees, whether individually or on teams, commit to the successful accomplishment of their goals. In addition, ask your employees to prepare and present plans and milestone schedules explaining how they will accomplish the assigned goals by the deadlines that you agreed to. Then be sure to regularly monitor employee progress to ensure that the goals are on track, and to flag problems that you can help them overcome if necessary.
MAINTAINING FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS
The goal setting process gets employees energized and excited. But the problem is that this excitement and energy can quickly evaporate the moment employees get back to their desks. It’s your job as a manager to take steps to ensure that employee focus remains centered on the goals and not on other matters that are less important but momentarily more pressing.
Maintaining a focus on goals can be extremely difficult—particu-larly in the typical busy business environments in which most of us work. Consider the typical situations that vie for your attention during a typical day at work:
• You’ve got your day all planned out only to have your plans pushed aside when your boss gives you a call about some crisis that needs immediate attention.
• An employee walks in your office with a problem that needs to be solved right now.
• You get caught in a 15-minute meeting that drags on for several hours.
There are 1,001 ways you or your employees can lose the focus that you need to get your organization’s goals accomplished. One of the
EXECUTION: GETTING THE JOB DONE
THE REAL WORLD
"All performance starts with clear goals" is a basic tenet of management. The clearer those goals can be defined, the more likely they are to be attained. The more you involve others in creating the goal, the greater is their buy-in to want to achieve it. The best goals are clear in number and specific in focus. You can't focus on everything; the longer your to-do list gets, the greater is the tendency for you to do nothing on it. By constantly prioritizing "what is most important for me to get done," you'll have the greatest chance of doing those things. If you get bogged down or off track and find yourself not focused on the most important things you should be doing, break those goals down into smaller, more achievable objectives and keep them on top of your list.