Tip for Leading Well: Set Fewer Goals

As leaders, we often try to accomplish too much, and as a result, we end up setting too many goals. That’s how we’re wired. We want to get things done.

Of course there is nothing wrong with this, except that trying to accomplish too much can end up backfiring because it can cause us to lose focus, spread ourselves too thin, and even become overwhelmed.

I know this has happened to me on more occasions than I’d like to admit. I’m always coming up with ideas that I want to pursue. The problem is, I come up with new ideas faster than I can complete the ideas I’m already working on. So I end up with a variety of projects “in progress” that I can’t seem to get done. This ends up causing frustration and discouragement. Positive energy once directed toward pursuing important goals has now turned into negative energy that pulls me away from my goals.

What I need to remember, and what all leaders need to remember, is that less is more. Fewer, more meaningful goals are better than a list of 10 good goals and ideas. Instead, let’s focus on one or two key goals and pour our energy into completing those, all the while holding onto the other ideas (not abandoning them) for a later date.

As author Chris McChesney says, “Focus on the wildly important. There will always be more good ideas than there is the capacity to execute.”

This is so true and such an important reminder. We as leaders need to focus on what is most important, and we need to reduce that down to the one or two most meaningful goals that we are trying to accomplish right now.

Put this into practice for the next 30 days and see what happens. You’ll probably end up accomplishing more than you thought possible, and you’ll feel a lot less stressed, hurried, and scattered in the process.

Lead well.

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