January 2018 | Nano Tools | Leadership
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Caroline Adams Miller, author of Getting Grit: The Evidence-based Approach to Cultivating Passion, Perseverance, and Purpose.
Set better goals and pursue them more effectively.
Are the goals you’ve set for yourself or your team letting you down? Research shows that we need goals to direct our attention, both cognitively and behaviorally, toward what matters. Without them, we can easily get distracted and expend energy on many tasks without an organizing purpose.
But many people who feel “stuck” in their careers and/or their lives aren’t moving forward because the goals they set for themselves (if they set any) are either too low or unrealistic. And because we value things we work for, not what comes easily, the quality of the goal matters — harder is better. Harder goals not only give us a greater sense of accomplishment, but they also influence persistence, meaning we are more likely to achieve hard goals than easy ones. In addition, they remind us of past mastery efforts and enhance our belief that we can do even more difficult things.
With these powerful benefits in mind, consider the five action steps below to help you set and achieve better goals.
Goals need to be dosed and prescribed carefully to avoid common pitfalls, such as demotivating employees who don’t have the resources to achieve their goals, creating competition between groups whose goals conflict, suppressing creativity and extra learning because of a too-narrow focus, and focusing too much on profit at the expense of culture.
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, director of Custom Programs at Wharton Executive Education. Nano Tools for Leaders® is a collaboration between joint sponsors Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management. This collaboration is led by Professors Michael Useem and John Paul MacDuffie.
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