Working to develop tomorrow’s high-potential future leaders within our organization, RX Medical, is a priority, and passion, for our executive team. In my work, I’m often asked how to set – and achieve – worthy goals. Experience has taught me that effective goal planning begins with the belief that having a destination in mind prevents us from meandering aimlessly. I’ve always been an advocate of goal planning. If you’re looking for ways to define your goals, dreams, and visions (and you’re curious how to turn them into reality) … keep reading.

Setting and working to achieve worthy goals is an important part of professional development. Goals deserve our time, attention, and energy because they not only help us learn and grow but, they contribute to the success of the organization’s we represent. I still find too many highly capable business professionals who somehow assume hard work alone leads to success (without a specific plan of action to actually get there).

In a previous post, we shared some of Michael Bungay Stanier’s work in the space of goal setting. This month, we’re taking another look at this leader’s perspective to share even more thoughts on this topic. Stanier is the author of the book, How to Begin: Start Doing something That Matters. He suggests three ways to rate goals below. An invitation to help ensure you have the specific qualities (and are asking the right questions), to support creating worthy goals.

  1. Thrilling: When you consider a new idea or project, do you get excited about it because it resonates with you or do you only think “I should do this”?
  2. Important: Does your idea contribute to helping others (either on a small or large scale)?
  3. Daunting: While this idea may excite you, does it stretch your talents and capabilities too (working outside your comfort zone can lead to new possibilities)?

Stanier suggests being cautious not to settle for two out of the three above when creating new goals. When you have an important and daunting goal, but it doesn’t excite you for example, the stimulation needed to sustain you throughout the process of achieving that goal may get lost.

Create Short Statements

Document short statements to outline your goal’s purpose and keep it front of mind. I recommend not aiming for perfection in the process. Remember you can always revise and expand goals later.

Gather Feedback

The process of building, and achieving, worthy goals includes asking for feedback from trusted professionals in your network. Gathering insightful viewpoints throughout your progress can help reinforce your current path. It can also help redirect you as needed. Getting ahead of potential challenges early in the process is critical.

Reflect on Previous “False Starts”

To hinder obstacles in the process when undertaking new challenges, Stanier recommends revisiting how you may have approached previous goals in your career history. When you reflect on examples from your past that may have been “false starts”, it can help you identify areas of opportunity. Examples of losing momentum might have included listening to others who suggested giving up, maybe you lost interest because you focused on being perfect, or you didn’t know who to ask for support. Regardless of the reason, if you didn’t experience progress and got discouraged too quickly in the process, it will be helpful to identify those patterns.

There’s no magic formula here. Setting goals is important, but also staying flexible and adjusting goals (as needed) can help you stay on track. Today’s business environment is in constant change, especially in our industry, healthcare, so we believe staying agile helps. My leadership team and I reinforce the importance of being open to ongoing learning (regardless of title) throughout our organization. Avoid getting stuck because you feel afraid to ask for support when roadblocks appear. Setbacks can serve as setups for amazing new possibilities.

📌LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE: Have a big business dream or aspiration but you feel it slipping away as time passes by? Reach out to a mentor or trusted contact in your network (right now), and take action to get back on track.

Brandon Rouse leads a diverse & growing team of professionals well-versed in the challenges facing healthcare. Headquartered in OKC, OK, Brandon’s experienced team represents various technological & innovative medical solutions. ZB RX Medical is a direct distributor of Zimmer Biomet.