People without targets lack direction and often sing songs like ‘I will get there somehow…….’
On the road to leadership development, one key item that prepares us is target. You cannot be on the leadership journey without having targets. You must set some targets for yourself and they must be clear and stretching. If you don’t learn to do this, you may dissipate in the blurry atmosphere of your own values, vision, mission, objectives, strategies and tactics. That is, if you have one.
People without targets lack direction and often sing songs like ‘I will get there somehow, I know there’s a way, there’s always an answer when I hit the highway, I still stagger in pain and I shall cross the river when I get there’. Some of these songs are ‘sweet’ to the ear. But they don’t put bread on the table and they don’t even bake bread.
Have open arms for targets. Ask for targets when you join any new team. Questions like; so what’s the team’s objective, vision and mission are very important to know. It is suicidal to start each year without targets. In life, everyone must have a target if not targets. At home and at the workplace, you have to have targets. Target. Some say it’s a goal. Some say it’s a mark. Some say it’s the aim. Some say it’s the objective. None of these synonyms would be written off, albeit, the bite would like to flow with target as the bull’s eye. No matter how hard it is, drag the bull by the horn and eye the bull’s eye.
Targets are not meant to be glorified. They are set to be met and exceeded. It’s boring to meet targets. But it’s exciting to exceed them. Be spirited about exceeding targets and you will be happy you did. Of course resources shall be scarce and situations may remain ambiguous, but you need to exceed your targets. I shared the concept of targets with a team sometime back in one of my corporate trainings. I only try to make a journey simple for myself before I walk in it. I did not say it is easy. I said simple. Current trends turn out to be that simple things are difficult to do and complex things are simple to do. Think about it.
A simple view of targets is thus expressed in a simple analogy. Targets provide clear direction because it is expected to be specific. As said, if you know where you are going, you are always directed at the target. If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll also think that every route is exciting if not the answer for you. For example, travelling from Accra to Kumasi by road is a clear and specific route well-defined. The target is to get to Kumasi and yours is to get to move from Accra to Kumasi. With this in mind, you’ll only be interested in boarding the bus that should take you to Kumasi. The bus may choose the Nsawam route or the Koforidua route, if you are familiar with Ghana travelling itinerary.
So let’s agree that your bus chose the Nsawam route. If the bus had a tyre blast at Nsawam, you don’t truncate the trip. You either wait for the tyre to be fixed or you change the bus. When you change the bus and the new bus breaks down at Konongo, you don’t return either. You still have a target to meet. The target is to get to Kumasi. So you look forward to it. If you decide to join another bus and the vehicle experiences overheating and therefore the engine has to stop at Ejisu, you’ll still have to think again because you haven’t hit your target yet: that is to get to Kumasi.
If you don’t get a vehicle to continue your journey from Ejisu to Kumasi, then you would have to think again. Maybe you have to start walking. If you still fall behind time which is an essential ingredient in target setting and meeting targets, then you would have to start running. If you fall whiles running, you would have to get up, dust off and run towards meeting the target and subsequently exceeding expectations. I know for sure that you do get the drift. The only satisfaction in meeting and exceeding targets is the learning curve. The learning curve is experience. And with experience, you can’t put money on it.
Don’t be happy to only meet your targets. Be excited to exceed your targets. On the journey to leadership development, build generational thinkers. Employees must contribute to the next generation and not just for the immediate teams’ success. Exceed targets for the next Manager to also come in to exceed targets for the subsequent Managers. In so doing you shall be meeting generational targets and also extending capacities for opportunities. Don’t jump out so quickly.
See beyond. Do beyond. Love targets. Live targets. Loop in targets. Ask for challenging targets and exceed them. As you do this at work, have and set personal targets too and see the bigger picture.