Three Steps to Personal Goal Setting for Leaders

By Ron Price

Most leaders have completed their organizational plans for next year, communicated with specificity and enthusiasm to their employees, and appropriated the necessary resources to lay the groundwork for a successful year.

However, I tend to find in my work that few have applied this same discipline to creating and implementing their own individual performance plans for the year. Sometimes this is nothing more than an oversight; other times it is because the leader doesn’t feel accountable to the same disciplines imposed on others, and sometimes it is because of deeper feelings of insecurity that produce a subtle but lingering fear of failure.

What about you? Do you have a dynamic professional development and performance plan for 2019? Have you asked yourself, “What does superior performance look like in my role next year?” Have you created a set of key results that you can track throughout the year to maintain your focus on what matters most? 

If not, here are three steps you can employ to create your own plan, and questions to consider under each.

Take Inventory

  • What am I happy about regarding my own contributions to success in our business during the past year?
  • What am I frustrated about regarding my contributions during the past year?
  • What am I hopeful about regarding my role in the coming year?
  • What am I fearful about regarding my role in the coming year?

Create Focus

  • What are the key results that will reflect superior performance in my role during the coming year?
  • What will I need to change or reinforce about the way I do my work to achieve these key results?
  • How can I make sure that I maintain a steady and intense focus on these key results for the entire year?
  • What do I need to quit doing or say “no” to in order to maintain a passionate focus on what matters most?

Measure and Celebrate

  • How should I track my progress toward achieving superior performance throughout the year?
  • When and how often will I consider making adjustments to my plan based on the changes in circumstances that occur through out the year?
  • Who can I include as an advisor or coach to help me stay disciplined and motivated throughout the year?
  • How will I celebrate milestones achieved along the way and what big “prize” will motivate me to run through the finish line at the end of the year?

Answering these questions can lead you to a fresh focus and accountability for your own performance in 2019. I would love to hear your answers and thoughts. Write to me at