Lesson 25º








Setting goals

The leader will decide the long term objectives with the help of his team.

The leader has to be very selective when choosing these objectives. They should be difficult, demanding, but they should also be realistic and achievable. If this is not the case the organization will consider them absurd.

The objectives should be very precise. The company has to concentrate its resources on achieving some determined objectives. They shouldn’t fight for scattered objectives as if this happens there is the risk that nothing will be achieved.

The objectives should be quantified (be No 1, double sales in 3 years, win 4 points in the market quota, etc). More imprecise ideas are not valid (be the best, grow, diversify).

It is fundamental to get the opinion of those that you are going to demand these goals from, listen to them, know their arguments, and pay attention to them. Goals that are set from above, in which the effected people have not been consulted will not be very motivating.

Once the long term objectives have been defined, short term goals will be established.

These small goals will drive towards achieving the long term goals.

These immediate goals will increase the pressure on the organization (the long term can be seen as something distant and can make people relax).

On the other hand, carrying out these partial goals contribute to increasing the employees morale.

Although it is fundamental to tighten the defined action plan and be very persistent when carrying it out, the leader can not give into flexibility, to make a fuss in a certain moment if an opportunity arises which he is interested in taking advantage of.

In a world that is constantly changing, like the one we live in, you can not afford to be inflexible.

Once the goals have been fixed, the leader will give autonomy to the different departments so that they can proceed in the way they consider most appropriate (the person that does the work knows the best way to do things).

Autonomy with certain limits, this doesn’t imply chaos.

Autonomy means the employees have to assume responsibilities, make decisions and respond to their results.

Autonomy promotes creativity.

The leader can not interfere in the smaller work details of his subordinates.

Doing this can make them feel uncomfortable, pressured, underestimated.

Only in cases in which a certain department underachieves can the leader go deeper to se the motives of their failure and fix changes.

When the department works with autonomy, it is good to establish a communication system with the company that allows people to share experiences.

If a department has developed a work method that is efficient, this can also be useful in other areas of the company.

Finally, you need to give the departments the necessary resources so they can achieve their objectives.

You can not ask the production department to reduce their manufacturing cost, improve the quality of their product and not give them the adequate tools, the necessary technology, required training.

Neither can you ask the commercial department to gain market quota and not give them a portfolio of attractive products which they can compete with.