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Tips for Effective Leadership: Defining Focus, Purpose and Setting Goals

To be able to lead others it is important that we know ourselves, what we stand for, what is important to us, where are we heading in life and work i.e. what our purpose and goals are. It is also important that we manage our own emotions and behaviour so that we can be role models and have a positive influence on others.
Below are some idea’s or tips that you can use to assist you to work out where you are heading and why.
• What you focus on is what you get: imagine going into a dark warehouse with a torch and you shine your light into a corner and all you see is broken furniture and dust – that’s where your focus is – this is all you can see – perhaps that’s all that you think is in the warehouse.

What if, you then turn on the light and find out you have been shining your torch into a cupboard and the rest of the warehouse is full of treasure.

What do you think would happen if you had not turned on the light and changed your focus?
What will happen now you know that there is treasure to move towards? How will this change your focus? What will you begin to move towards now that you know it is there?

Spend a few moments now thinking about where you are now and where you want to be in 6 or 12 months. What is or are your goal/s? State them in positive language –what you want rather than what you don’t want (treasure versus dust )

• Now that you have a sense of what your goals are, to really ensure that you reach them, ask yourself – For what purpose do I want this? If you can identify the WHY, the goal is much easier to achieve – the how kind of takes care of itself if you have a big enough why. If you can’t think of a compelling purpose, do you need to change your goal?

• To be able to focus effectively on where you want to go, in addition to your purpose, it is important to have a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals. Goals need to be achievable – each time you set a goal, score it out of 10 with 10 being I will definitely do and it and 1 being I definitely won’t do it. If you score a 7 or less – you are unlikely to do it – check:
o Is it Timed?… it is 3pm on February the 14th 2014 and…
o Is it Specific and Measurable? … I have read 20 books on leadership.
o Is it Realistic and Achievable?… ask yourself some questions … How many books will I have to read in a month and how much of each book will I have to read in a week to achieve that? Is it possible given my other commitments?
If not change the goal and score it again – do this until you get to an 8 or above.
Let me know how this process helps you and share your leadership tips too.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. —John Quincy Adams
References and Links
Some more leadership quotes


Slightly different approach to SMART goals – good resource

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