Dictionary meaning of success is “a desired outcome”. This desired outcome when well defined is called a goal. So why do we need a well defined goal to be set. Lets cover the reasons one by one.
1. Statistical reason: Goal is a measure of success. If you have not defined what your goal was, how do you know wether you were successul. You can only say that you or your team was successful when the goals set at the start were achieved. This becomes all the more important in case your performance is being measured against your set goals.
2. Ensures you hit the right target: The process of brainstorming of what goals should be set, provides opportunity to ensure that the goal is correct. Correct, because one should not mistake an action plan as a goal. For example, getting up at 4:30 am in the morning may not be a goal in itself, the goal could be to send children to school on time.
3. Ensures there’s no collateral damage: If the mind is set too narrowly on the goal, then there are chances that you may end up with collateral damage. It is important that when goals are being thought of the context does not get missed. The completeness of what we really want should not get missed. Let me explain with an example, a manager guns for an extremely tight deadline and is making everyones life on the project miserable to ensure to they don’t miss the target date as it is one of their project performance goals. What happens, some of the key people of the project decide to quit, because they cannot take it any more. Whats gone wrong, there are no goals for limiting attrition and there are no action plans either. Something got totally missed. Completeness hence is the key to reducing collateral damange.
4. Provides platform for improvement: Once you achieve your goals, they become a benchmark of your performance. Now you can look forward to further improve you performance and rethink on your next set of action plans.
5. Brings in commitment: Democratically set goals in project team environments ensures team support and commitment, which in itself is sufficient to pull an otherwise tough project through.
6. Brings joy: Accomplishing goals gives you joy of having achieved what you had set out for. It helps build your credibility in case the goals where shared with others. It helps boost your confidence too.
Though there would other significant reasons for setting goals, these are the ones which are at the top of my mind. In case you have more ideas on this, let us know. Learning never ends.