Leadership Goals (Definitions and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 18, 2022

Published September 7, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Whether you are a natural-born leader or have refined your leadership talents over time, there is always an opportunity for development. Setting leadership development goals is one way to improve as a leader and demonstrate the importance of goal setting to your team. People can become more effective, productive, and motivated to exceed their expectations when they have goals.

In this article, we discuss what leadership goals are, why they are important, list how to set them, and show examples of effective goals for leaders.

What are leadership goals?

Leadership goals are the objectives made to increase one's skills, abilities, and overall effectiveness. Goals, which represent the organization, also provide a guide toward success. These goals can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the group leader and the team in general.

Why are these goals important?

Leadership goals are important because they enable leaders to define their priorities. You may improve your efficiency and effectiveness as a leader by setting goals with your team in mind. Goals can help you meet company objectives and equip you with the skills necessary to assist your team in improving their skills. Goal-oriented leaders have a better sense of where their team is heading and know what works for them. Setting both short-term and long-term goals as a leader enables you to stay focused on the day-to-day and future.

A good leader sets goals to help them grow and creates a positive example for their team. They can show their team how creating realistic goals can help them achieve more in their roles.

Related: Goal vs. Objective (Differences, Definition, and Examples)

How to set leadership goals

The following steps outline how to set leadership goals for your team.

1. Define your goals

Being a leader means you have a certain vision or expectation for yourself and your team. Outline what that is and how you can achieve it. Make a list of all the goals you want to achieve and the amount of time. For example, you could set goals for a specific project or set them for the month, quarter, or year. Consider polling your team to see what they want to achieve with their goals. Make a long list and be thorough with it.

Related: Setting Goals to Improve Your Career

2. Assess your goals

You can assess your goals in two ways. One common strategy many leaders use is the SMART goals criteria. This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific. Assessing your goals gives you an idea of how you can achieve them. Assess what areas of your leadership you can improve on personally, such as active listening, task prioritization, and team communication.

Related: How to Achieve Goal Orientation at Workplace (With Tips)

3. Prioritize your goals

Determine which goals are more significant than others once you've narrowed down your list of objectives. Consider each team member's viewpoint since they can often provide valuable insight into certain team functions or positions, which can aid in prioritization. Reorganize your list, starting with the most important objective. Ensure that your top goal is to be executed as soon as possible or that you know it can have the largest influence on the team.

4. Make your team aware of your goals

Decide what goals you think are necessary to share with your team and which ones are more personal. Present those that involve your team. These are typically the SMART goals. Expand on what they are and how you can achieve them. Plan a time to meet with your entire team, announce your objectives, and address questions or concerns they may have. Assist your team in getting started by providing direction on some of the higher-priority objectives.

Some goals may not align with the SMART criteria, and you may need to work on them alone. Write them down somewhere and do a daily self-assessment on whether you have achieved those goals or how much work is left to do.

Related: How to Set Long-Term Goals: 5 Helpful Steps for Success

Examples of goals for leaders

While some goals may vary from person to person, here are examples covering general and SMART goals that most leaders strive to achieve.

Exhibit self-responsibility

A true leader takes responsibility for their actions, whether positive or negative. They can evaluate the results of their decisions and recognize the lessons that come with both success and failure. Employees and colleagues notice when management takes responsibility for their actions.

Become an active listener

Active listening is a key characteristic of outstanding leaders. An effective leader fosters a culture of open communication and actively listens to their employees. Whether you hear favourable or negative information, listen to what your team has to say. Showing that you are willing to listen may establish a strong sense of trust and urge others to be more vocal and share their thoughts and ideas with you.

Related: Active Listening Skills: A Key to Effective Communication in the Workplace

Be a better mentor

As a leader, your team may look to you for mentoring, counsel, and leadership. When creating your goals, make effective mentoring a priority to help your employees grow in their positions. To do so, have a meeting with each team member to discuss their career objectives. Then, collaborate with them to devise strategies to achieve them, giving them regular feedback and guidance. Take the time to listen and challenge them with fresh possibilities to show them you care about their personal development.

Be flexible

Make it a mission to be versatile and willing to learn new things. You may be in a better position to lead your team if you're open to change. Maintaining an open mind to changes and new business methods may help the long-term growth of you and your company.

Build stronger connections

Make it a point to strengthen your relationships with everyone in an organization by learning to collaborate and cooperate with others. You may have more help through difficult moments if you have stronger interpersonal connections at work. Facilitating team-building activities can also help your team connect. When people are comfortable with one another, they may feel more satisfied, relaxed, and motivated to work.

Lead by example

Its leadership defines the foundation of a company's culture. If you want to work in a company that encourages open communication and collaboration, you must model those qualities. As a result, if you lead by example, your staff is most likely to follow.

Improve on your time management

Because team leaders frequently have many projects running simultaneously, time management is a key goal for them to achieve. It's critical to stick to deadlines and make the most of your time. As a leader, your team is most likely going to imitate your actions. If you consistently complete your work on time, your staff may likely aspire to do the same.

Connect with other leaders

Building a professional network of fellow leaders can help you advance your career. Along with giving you essential career advice and tips for developing your goals, other leaders may help you find new leadership opportunities. For instance, if they know their company is hiring a manager or supervisor, they may be able to give you a referral. When making it your goal to network with other leaders, remember you need to also provide value to your relationships. See if there are ways you can help others progress in their careers.

Become more efficient

Leaders typically have to balance multiple competing tasks, which is why critical thinking is so important. Identify areas where you can improve your efficiency, both in your responsibilities and corporate operations and work toward those objectives. You may have more time to improve other abilities and complete other jobs as you become more efficient.

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