Excerpt from LEAP Module Goal Setting for Higher Performance
Set Goals at the Right Level
Setting goals at the correct level is a skill that is acquired by practice.
You should set goals so that they are slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there is no hope of achieving them: no-one will put serious effort into achieving a goal that they believe is unrealistic. However, remember that the belief that a goal is unrealistic may be incorrect.
Set Realistic Goals
Goals may be set unrealistically high for the following reasons:
Beware of Setting Goals Too Low
It’s important to be realistic and not set goals too high. Alternatively, goals can be set too low because of:
Personal factors such as tiredness, other commitments and the need for rest, etc. should also be taken into account when goals are set.
Excerpt from the LEAP Module: Goal Setting for Higher Performance
Set Performance Goals, Not Outcome Goals
Goals based on outcomes are extremely vulnerable to failure because of things beyond your control.
You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible - there is nothing as dispiriting as failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control such as bad business environments, poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. Goals based on outcomes are extremely vulnerable to failure because of things beyond your control. This is very important.
If you base your goals on personal performance or skills or knowledge to be acquired, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and draw satisfaction from them. For example, you might achieve a personal best time in a race, but still be disqualified as a result of a poor judging decision. If you had set an outcome goal of being in the top three, then this will be a defeat. If you set a performance goal of achieving a particular time, then you will have achieved the goal and can draw satisfaction and self-confidence from its achievement.
Another flaw when setting goals, is where outcome goals are based on the rewards of achieving something, whether these are financial or are based on the recognition of colleagues. In early stages these will be highly motivating factors, however as they are achieved, the benefits of further achievement at the same level reduce. You will become progressively less motivated.
Read the 2nd principle of goal setting: Set Specific, Measurable Goals
Excerpt from the LEAP Module: Goal Setting for Higher Performance
Setting Goals Effectively
The way in which you set a goal strongly affects the effectiveness. The following broad guidelines apply to setting effective goals:
Important! You should note a number of general principles about goal setting:
LEAP is a 12-month, cohort-based leadership acceleration program that guides members in solving real-world problems and applying learning in the real environment every month. LEAP transforms managers into leaders capable of guiding teams to move their organization to the next level.
LEAP is measurable and documents the change in leadership confidence and competence over the course of the member's LEAP journey. Since the first cohort graduation in 2003, LEAP has proven so effective that it has been accredited for Masters Level College Credits.
Interested in making the LEAP from manager to leader? Join us for an informational webinar about LEAP® the Leadership Acceleration Program. Register at http://bit.ly/LEAPWebinar
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There’s a hidden gem in your organization. This person is working right there among your workforce and having a huge impact on your organization’s success. No, it’s not the owner or a top exec — who’s more than likely pretty high-profile in your local market and industry. And, no, we’re not necessarily referring to that hotshot salesperson who “makes it rain.”
The diamond in your midst is none other than your middle manager. That’s right; he or she is the shining hero whom you may inadvertently be undervaluing or simply not recognizing or developing adequately. Unless you keep your middle manager polished and bright through ongoing leadership development, this precious jewel will remain hidden and dulled. He or she may even slip from your grasp.
Indeed, middle managers are fast becoming a key cog in our national economy. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released just a couple of years ago, there were about 10.8 million middle managers working in the United States. In a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, middle managers were described as making up “a growing share of the U.S. workforce.”
But this burgeoning population of professionals also faces great challenges. In the current era of “rock star” CEOs, middle managers are often ignored, viewed as easily replaceable or, in worst cases, left to take the blame when upper management’s strategic initiatives fail. And the increased use of specialized project teams has only exacerbated the tendency in many organizations to undervalue their middle managers.
The good news for your organization is that these issues create an opportunity. If you can change your view of middle managers, recognize the contributions of yours and then maximize the value of this underrecognized human asset, you’ll gain a competitive advantage.
For example, according to the 2013 Gallup study State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders, organizations with a 9:1 ratio of engaged employees to disengaged employees reported 147% higher earnings per share than their competition during the study period.
Middle managers have a significant effect on employee turnover as well. In a recent Accenture study, 31% of respondents cited “They don’t like their boss” as their reason for quitting. Another 31% pointed to “a lack of empowerment.” Middle managers have a direct and lasting impact on both of these attitudes.
Research released in May 2014 by Bersin by Deloitte, an HR consultancy, found that leadership development spending rose by 14% in 2013 to an estimated $15.5 billion. Small businesses were, believe it or not, the biggest spenders — investing 23% more in leadership development during 2013 than they did during 2012. And the amount invested on average for middle managers was only $3,900 per person.
Priorities for organizations devoting time and money to leadership development include improving middle managers’ communication skills, of course, as well as enhancing their ability to identify and manage talent. But some of the major focuses of today’s leadership development programs may surprise you.
For instance, a survey of 800 global executives and senior talent development professionals by Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning found that 80% of respondents were targeting “change management capabilities” while developing their middle managers. Moreover, 77% of respondents were working to instill “a leadership mindset” in their middle managers.
One last question for you: What does your organization need to do right now to develop its middle-management leadership? Today’s top performers are already doing it, so you don’t want to get left behind.
We can help. Our LEAP® program was specifically designed to bring Fortune 100 leadership development to small to midsize organizations in an affordable package. LEAP identifies key areas for personal leadership improvement in both middle and upper-level managers — using professional assessment tools, individual coaching, real-world application and small peer-based learning groups.
LEAP® is a practical, fact-based, results-driven program designed for immediate practical application in your organization. We have cohort groups starting throughout the year. Now is the time to find your gems and really polish them so your organization will shine brighter than its competitors. To learn more visit http://www.leadership-acceleration.com/ or join us for an upcoming webinar (register at http://bit.ly/LEAPWebinar)
LEAP for Coaches & Consultants
Are you a coach or consultant who is looking to add a new level of service for your clients? We are actively looking for affiliates to help us expand the reach of the LEAP program. Learn more about what it means to add LEAP to your coaching toolkit.
Emotional intelligence is kind of a popular thing these days and it’s been written about a lot. It is a critical component of being a leader and developing as a leader, but an important concept for life in general as well. Emotional Intelligence is made up of many things that stem from:
It's all about knowing your strengths and challenges and how you contribute to the outcomes of different situations.
We know that anyone can develop emotional intelligence. From start-to-finish during our year-long LEAP Leadership Acceleration Program, we track the change in emotional intelligence indicators; we absolutely see positive change in participants during their 12-month leadership development journey—upwards of 30% on average. In a nutshell, once a person gets feedback and becomes aware of the concepts around emotional intelligence, they learn to be aware of their behavior and their impact on their social environment. When they learn the tools for coping and regulating, they really can control their behavior and act with a higher level of emotional intelligence.
As an example, a couple of years ago we had a General Manager at a prestigious restaurant, who was a great employee—sharp, organized, great at his job, but he could not control his outbursts, he could not regulate he impulse when he became upset or frustrated. In this case, the person was very self-aware--the situation was quickly eroding his confidence as a leader and he could feel it. He knew there was a problem, he just couldn’t regulate. Through LEAP, with feedback, skill building, reflection, help from peers, and guidance from his Coach, by the end of the year we saw a 60% positive change in indicators for emotional intelligence and leadership confidence and competence. Backing this up, his sponsor and boss reported a visible and significant improvement in his leadership, the team he managed, and the work environment in general.
So, absolutely we can develop emotional intelligence. It comes down to first understanding “who I am at my core, at my best most natural self?” Then, “how do others see me in the work environment?” And from there, reducing the blind spots through reflection and sharing openly with trusted relationships.
It is important to note that the process of developing emotional intelligence takes time. It’s like working out at the gym; results don’t happen overnight. Throughout the leadership development process, the emotional intelligence muscles are being built overtime with the help of a coach, peers, and the tools and curriculum provided in the program.
How does a leader go about getting honest feedback?
Many leaders believe, “if I just ask for feedback, people will give it to me”. While I wish that were true, unfortunately all humans, being what we are, if you hold a position over me, bottom line is, I don’t know that if I were to be completely honest with you, “are you going to fire me or give me crappy work or a crappy schedule?” We tend to hold back being truly honest even when offered the opportunity to give real-time immediate, face-to-face, feedback.
Our LEAP members find that our 360 Survey is one of the most valuable benefits to them in terms of opening their eyes and helping them get started on their leadership journey. The feedback helps them reduce blind spots and helps them really understand how others are seeing them. Then the question becomes “what do I do with this feedback?” and that’s where the coaching, peer cohort, and skill building come into play—real leadership development requires all of these components.
Looking for a leadership cohort in your area? Find out more about LEAP!
We’ve tracked the development of emotional intelligence in leaders over many years working with executives, managers and aspiring leaders to increase their confidence and competence. We have metrics that show the change in emotional intelligence level from the start of the leadership development journey to the end, one year later. Based on this, we've identified 6 key indicators of lacking emotional intelligence:
#1 Very limited self-awareness, which really goes back to a lack of feedback. If employees are irritated, act annoyed, don’t respond to what you want them to do, have no idea as to why you’re asking them to do things, it could be something that you’re completely blind to, a particular behavior or a mannerism that you are completely unaware of, you have no self-awareness and also you have no feedback, therefore, you’re lacking that self-awareness.
#2 Having perfectionistic tendencies, being hyper-critical of others, and having unrealistic expectations that no one around you can live up to which deflates the morale of team-members.
#3 Defensive when accepting feedback. When people attempt to give the feedback, the recipient doesn’t see it as a gift, they see it as criticism and respond either defensively or angrily when others attempt to give them feedback.
#4 Inability to manage emotional impulses is another area or sign of lacking emotional intelligence. People who can’t quite control what their reactions are, become victims to their emotional impulses, whether its anger or depression or whatever it might be that they don’t have the ability to recognize that emotion and bounce back quickly or manage it effectively in the moment.
#5 Lack of accountability and not taking ownership for performance situations like lack of results in the organization or when something goes wrong on a project.
#6 Being inflexible, not just in behavior, but inflexible in one’s thinking and inability to adapt to changing environments and changing situations and other people.
Leadership can be lonely.
We're all familiar with the phrase "it's lonely at the top" but the isolation of leadership can extend through all areas of the organization--wherever people are in a position of authority. Whether you're at the very top or somewhere in the middle, when you are placed in a position of authority, you need to be the boss and sometimes you can’t really problem solve or talk through issues you’re having with your employees, team, or management team.
For example, let's say you have an employee that reacts in a very emotional way every time you give them feedback—who do you talk to about this? You can’t talk to other employees. You don’t necessarily want to expose the behavior to upper management and tarnish the perception of this employee. You don’t want to take it home. It’s sensitive and you want to respect the privacy of the employee, honor their trust, and help them overcome their challenges. But how? Without the ability to discuss and collaborate with others, self-doubt can creep in and really begin to affect your ability to lead well, ultimately negatively impacting the results of the organization.
How can a leader avoid the very natural isolation of being in a position of authority without creating division and separation?
We really encourage leaders to find a peer group. CEO’s and senior leadership often have an easier time with this because there are so many CXO focused groups and networks already available. For the mid-level manager, this can be really tough.
This is why our leadership acceleration program is based on a peer cohort group; we want our leaders to start with a trusted peer group where they can bring their issues and not feel so isolated. The peer-cohort is a group of like-minded people to talk to, who are also growing and developing themselves as leaders. Whether it’s inside your organization or not, you have a group of peers to talk about real-world things confidentially. The group will help you work through “how do I best handle these situations?” which can really be helpful for eliminating that isolation and also gives you the confidence to address things head on.
Looking for a leadership cohort in your area? Find out more about LEAP!
Better PROBLEM SOLVING. New INNOVATION. LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION. Improved RESULTS.
Executives who have sponsored employees in LEAP® report better problem solving, new innovation, leadership succession, and improved results as the top valuable outcomes of investing in the LEAP leadership acceleration program.
To achieve these valuable outcomes, leadership development initiatives need to have the right balance of skill building curriculum, 1:1 coaching, time to implement, real-world application, feedback, personal planning, and accountability.
Successful leadership development programs can not simply disseminate skill building curriculum via classroom or online presentation; nor can they be 3 or 5 day workshops that provide everything one needs to know in a whirlwind. These scenarios provide developing leaders with plenty of theoretical book-knowledge and ideas, but leaves them to their own devices on how to implement in their real-world environment. Once back-to-work, with their day-to-day workload tugging at their attention, it's too difficult for managers to apply enough of their learnings to really make the transition to an inspiring leader. While they want and are expected to be more effective as a result of the training, without knowing it, they really haven't been given the entire toolkit for success.
In order to grow highly effective, inspiring leaders who problem-solve, innovate, improve results, and are truly capable of succeeding current leaders, companies need to invest in an integrated leadership development program that combines curriculum, coaching, accountability, real-world application, and ongoing feedback over an adequate period of time to allow for proper implementation, reflection, and growth.
The LEAP® Leadership Acceleration Program is a 12-month journey that participant members take with 8 to 10 of their peers as a cohort group, guided by a highly skilled Certified LEAP Coach. The curriculum is customized to fit each cohort group's needs and real-world issues are discussed in a safe and productive way. Individuals work together to solve real-world problems, leading to better problem-solving and innovative thinking in their day-to-day environment.
During the LEAP® year we measure participants' "confidence and competence" at specific intervals so we know how much growth is occurring. We are proud to have graduated hundreds of leaders from our program since 2003 and our "confidence and competence" measure shows consistently high growth (in excess of 25%) in the following areas:
Watch this short video to hear from executives about how LEAP has helped pave the way for leadership succession, and why it works better than other leadership programs on the market.
New LEAP Cohorts are forming now. Make this your LEAP year! Apply to join a LEAP Cohort in your area.
If you are a top quality coach looking to add a proven leadership development program to your service offerings for small and mid-size businesses, join our collaborative network of coaching professionals at the Alliance for Leadership Acceleration and add LEAP to your business! Apply to become a LEAP Certified Coach.
Lynda Silsbee is Founder and President of the Alliance for Leadership Acceleration. She has spent more than 30 years creating and leading high performance teams. Along with the other LEAP Certified Coaches, she reports that helping managers make the LEAP to leader is one of the most fulfilling aspects of her work.