The importance of goal setting to your professional success

Posted on 3rd July 2019

Can you get through your life without goals? I would argue that purposefully trying to get through life without setting yourself any goals is a goal in itself, I have been told however, that I can be quite awkward when it comes to statements like that!

This blog, however, is about how important it is to set goals for professional success.  If you are a business owner reading this then you probably have this pretty much in the bag, but when you have achieved a large goal, how do you go about setting a new one?  If you are a business owner and manager, have you passed those goals to your team?

Those who have read my blogs previously will understand that I like to keep things simple, and I feel like comparing businesses to sports teams again, well done you Lionesses by the way!  Anyway, by this I mean, the manager of a football team will have a goal for his team. The Lionesses goal at the minute is to win the World Cup but that larger goal is split into smaller ones.  When they are on the pitch it’s about scoring more goals than the opposition.  Imagine a game of football with no goals to aim at, pointless!  The goals may change depending on the project but without an overarching goal how do you measure your success.

There is an industry built upon this subject, there are business coaches and mentors and all manner or inspirational courses for you to attend, most of them with good reason.  Setting a goal for yourself can be tough.  As human’s we are in-built with fight or flight and unfortunately it takes a lot of work to try and overcome your natural predisposition.  So do you set yourself a really challenging goal, nearly hit it and then run away thinking ‘I can’t do this its too hard’, or do you set yourself a mediocre target that’s achievable, not very challenging but you get to say ‘yey get me!’ at the end?  I’m asking the question; I don’t have the answers.

What I am good at however, is helping whatever you decide upon, be translated to your teams.  When you have set your awe-inspiring target and everyone’s eyes are watering at what’s involved in achieving it, how do you get the team to stand up and say ‘we’ll help!’

Make it means something to them.  If you have 80 people and you are talking about a sales target, make sure you have an idea how the new administrator that has been with you for 2 weeks can help.  We have all heard the story, the Janitor at NASA was asked what he did, he said I help send a man into space.  If that’s not a buy in to the ultimate goal, then I don’t know what is.

For me, you need to set yourself a goal/ target/ ambition whatever you want to call it.  Then you need to realise that you probably won’t make it on your own, whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, teachers or a business coach there will be somebody behind you.

Tell everyone involved what your goal is.  Either give them a part to play (if they are good at what they do they have probably told you how they can help already) and make sure they know what’s in it for them.

Celebrate together!

This blog was supposed to be around the importance of goal setting for professional success.  I hope that I have answered it, however, I realise that I may have thrown in more ingredients.  How do you know you have achieved if you haven’t set a goal?  Is falling short failing?  Depends what you have learnt and what you take forward.  Your professional success is likely to depend on others, and you may also need to set their goals.  Your goals will change depending on whether you’re in the last sixteen or the finals.

When you have set your goals, if you need some help determining how they relate to your team or business and what you need to put in place to help others achieve what you need them to, please contact us on either 01536 215240 or email info@gatewayhr.com  I will be backing the Lionesses to win the World Cup and we can back your employees to achieve your goal too!

Lindsay Baker Character
Written by:
Lindsay Baker
Head of HR