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This month I’d like to begin writing about goal setting, from the leader’s point of view, for a few posts and how it ties to customer expectations. When leaders think of exceeding customer expectations and producing a positive experience they often realize they have to set a consistent standard that staff and customers can come to expect from them. By taking the time on an on-going basis to create actionable goals for themselves, they greatly increase the odds that their staff will also create and execute goals that add to their development while creating value-add for their customers. This actionable goal setting experience requires us all to be smart.

Here are a few suggestions for the next time you wish to embark upon actionable goal setting. Make your goal:

 Specific – Identify exactly what you want. Describe the outcome in detail. Establish realistic goals. Remove obstacles that impede the goal’s accomplishment. Do not tolerate negativity from anyone involved in the goal attainment process.

Measurable – Quantify your outcomes. How much, how big, what size etc. Quantify your objectives. Write down your goals. Make sure that every aspect of your goal setting agenda is clearly defined and precise.

Action – Plan your work and work your plan. Prioritize the individual tasks at hand.

Agreed upon – Create a document that details your agenda. Be certain that all of the essential issues are outlined and mutually agreed to by you, your staff, and the projection you have of your customers’ expectations.

Realistic – You can accomplish the outcome if you make a reasonable stretch. Be honest with yourself. Be sure your goals are realistic, obtainable, and accessible.

Time Frame – Designate a target date for completion. Combine each issue relating to your goal with a deadline. Examine the way you do business now. For example, if you commit to delivering a product to a customer by a certain deadline, then treat the delivery of your quality experience program in the same manner.