Day 76 How to Lead by THE BOOK: The Power of Specific Goals!

This morning I did a radio interview with Jim Blasingame, of the Small Business Advocate. His show is syndicated on dozens of stations nationwide. In fact, we’ve placed past interviews with Jim in the Online Press Room on our website at www.learntolead.com for our customers to listen to and use. Today’s interview will be posted soon.

Today, as we discussed the June publication date for, How to Lead by THE BOOK Jim asked why I thought so many leaders were unclear concerning their personal goals and corporate vision. I offered three key reasons:

1. They don’t know exactly what they want. In fact, most people don’t get what they want because they don’t know what they want!

2. They are afraid of commitment and resist accountability. Frankly, it’s easier to set general goals that you don’t have to hold yourself accountable for, than to draw a line in the sand and specifically declare what you intend to accomplish.

3. Pride. By keeping their goals ambiguous, they can’t be considered as failures by others if they don’t achieve them.

The problems with this “keep it general” goal setting philosophy are three-fold:

1. Your lack of clarity results in deficient focus. You can’t channel your energy and resources towards targets you haven’t clearly defined.

2. No thrill of victory. You miss the self-satisfaction and morale boost that comes with stating you’re going to do something and then doing it! This sort of personal momentum motivates you to set bigger goals and achieve greater things.

3. You fall for everything because you stand for nothing. When you fail to decide exactly what you stand for you tend to spread yourself too thin and engage in activities and pursuits that waste, rather than maximize, your resources. A specific goal serves as a filter to help you determine what fits, and what doesn’t; what to say “yes” to, and what to turn down.

In the Bible, leaders like Nehemiah, Daniel, Jesus and Paul were very clear about what they wanted and expected to accomplish. As a result, they earned a following. Followers prefer to work with leaders who are focused, resolved and who have clear convictions. As the fourth quarter of this year approaches, how precise are you about what you want to accomplish and where you’d like to finish in 2010? If these targets are not resolutely clear, what are your chances of hitting them?

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