“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Great leaders have a vision.
When you think of people like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers and Bill Gates, you cannot help but be in awe of what they created as a result of their vision. Everyone on the planet has been impacted by their inventions. These visionaries brought us light, sound, transportation, and computers. Entire industries were born resulting in millions of people throughout the world finding employment and healthy commerce.
At the time, these creative thinkers first had their vision, many doubted that it was possible to make a light bulb, telephone, car, airplane or the Windows operating system. But they did…devising a plan to bring their vision to life.
It’s essential to have a plan with specific goals in mind.
Could you imagine if they listened to the naysayers? Our lives would be so different without cell phones, tablets, and laptops connecting us at all times to one another (hey, that could be a good thing!). The point is that each of these gentlemen developed goals. They had a plan and knew what they had to do to achieve the desired result. Do you?
Clearly defining a specific goal is critical to accomplishing what you want. Six questions that you want to consider when writing a specific goal are:
1. What exactly do I want to accomplish?
2. Why is it important (purpose or benefits) to realize this goal?
3. Where (niche area, product line, geographic location, etc.) do I want to focus?
4. Which resources need to be available?
5. Who needs to work with me?
6. When can I do what needs to be done?
Establish tangible criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. I highly recommend setting milestones with deliverable dates to break-up the task and keep you focused. For instance, if your goal is to introduce a leadership training program to your company, some of the milestones would include: developing criteria, objectives and budget, deciding if you want to develop the program in-house or hire a consultant, evaluating if the available training programs are right for your company, etc. Each of these milestones need to have a firm date in which they will be delivered.
Although I doubt if the great inventors listed above wanted a reality check, I do, and most people should. It allows me to decide how far I am willing to go to consider my efforts a success. It also provides me with a very clear path – I know exactly what I need to do and how I will do it.
Being as clear as possible on what you want to accomplish is critical to the success of any initiative.
For example, if my goal is to generate $100,000 in revenue this year and the average project is worth $20,000, I know that I need to obtain five new clients. From there, I have to determine how much activity must be done to generate enough leads to win five clients based on my average close ratio. If I close 50% of the leads I generate, I have to get ten solid leads, which could mean that I must meet and have a meaningful conversation with 100 executives.
So, my goal would be to meet 100 people this year that have a need for my service. Is that acceptable? How much time would I have to invest to meet 100 prospects? Where would I meet them? What process would I use to develop and nurture a relationship with them? All of this would need to be taken into account to achieve the desired result.
What goals are you setting to reach the apex of success? How will you plan to be a visionary in the coming year? I’d love to have your feedback.
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)