The ability to clearly define what one wants to accomplish and track the progress toward achieving the results.


Most people like to have goals and are actually motivated by them. People like it even better when they are allowed to participate in the goal-setting process; it's even more motivating to them to have a hand in setting their own stretch goals.

Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.Matthew 7:17-20

Skilled Characteristics

  • Assigns

    Clearly assigns responsibility for tasks and decisions

  • Measures

    Sets clear objectives and measurements

  • Monitors

    Monitors process, progress, and results

  • Feedback

    Designs feedback loops into work according to measured goals and results

“What gets measured gets done.”

– Unknown

Unskilled Characteristics

  • Lacks Goals

    Doesn’t use goals and objectives to manage self or others

  • Disorderly

    Not orderly in assigning and measuring work

  • Unclear

    Isn’t clear about who is responsible for what

  • Disorganized

    May be disorganized, just throws tasks at people, or lack goals or priorities

  • Poor Time Management

    May manage time poorly and not get around to managing in an orderly way

  • No Feedback

    Doesn’t provide ongoing feedback

  • Benchmarks

    Doesn’t set up benchmarks and ways for people to measure themselves

“Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.”

– Unknown

Causes of Weakness

  • Conflict Avoider

    Avoids the conflict that goes with setting tough goals

  • Disorganized

    Not orderly in thinking about work and tasks

  • Inexperienced

    Inexperienced with goal setting and measuring results

  • No Goals

    Not personally goal oriented; doesn’t use goals to guide or motivate self or others

  • Time Management

    Poor time management; doesn’t get around to it or make it a priority – may dislike administrative activities

When is the last time you updated your team’s goals? How often do you talk about them and report on progress towards them?


Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.

  • Connect

    CONNECT GOALS WITH VISION: Team goals should almost always be directly connected with your team’s overall vision and direction. If a goal does not help move you toward your vision then you may need to consider why you are working toward that goal. Starting with the end in mind, you can look at your end vision and then ask yourself what goals you would need to set in order to achieve that vision.

  • BROAD Goals

    BROAD GOALS: A BROAD goal is a high-level or general goal you want to set. It does not have to be easily measurable, but should give you a general idea of what you are wanting to achieve. A BROAD health goal might be something like ‘Be physically fit.’ A team goal might be to ‘teach people English’ or ‘Provide job skills training’, or ‘Disciple the youth.’ The purpose of BROAD goals is to help you identify even more specific goals that will lead you closer to achieving your vision and mission.

  • SMART Goals

    SMART Goals: SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Timebound. If you really want to get things accomplished, it is essential to set SMART goals. This is because if you set a SMART goal, then by definion you have clearly defined who will do exactly what, how, when, and with what result. Try setting a goal and then asking yourself if it meets all of the criteria of ‘SMART’. Keep refining your goal until it does.

  • Include Others

    INCLUDE OTHERS: Involve others in the goal setting process. Having the input and perspectives of multiple people not only leads to defining better quality goals, but is also increases the commitment to accomplishing the goal for every person involved in defining it.

  • Match

    MATCH GOALS WITH PEOPLE: Make sure you give people goals that are in alignment with their skills, ability, and interest. Challenging but achievable goals are good. And sometimes people need to be stretched outside of their comfort zones. But in general, people need to be working on goals that represent work they enjoy and are passionate about.

  • Measure

    MEASURE AND COMMUNICATE: Define how, when and how often you will measure each goal. The more often a goal is measured and talked about, the more value and importance people tend to assume the goals has. Conversely, the less often you measure and communicate about a goal, the less important people assume the goals is. Celebrate small accomplishments and milestones along the way to achieving bigger goals.

  • Feedback

    FEEDBACK: Ask for frequent feedback about progress toward achieving each goal. How is it going? What challenges are you facing? What might we need to adjust about the process we are using, or the people assigned to the task, or the resources required? Is the goal realistic or do we need to adjust it or eliminate it?

  • Be Flexible

    BE FLEXIBLE: The world changes so quickly that goals often need to be adjusted to the changing situation, needs, resources and demands. Be open to change and to doing things differently.