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Chapter Forty-Two - Goals and Goal Setting

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"In any poker game, the ultimate goal is to walk away with more chips than when you started. In an organization, leaders, like poker players, have to keep their eye on the ultimate goal. For the poker player, each hand involves decisions about the level of resources (chips) and the strategy to be applied based on the situation (the cards dealt). The poker player evaluates the situation, organizes the information, develops priorities, and applies resources he or she bets. Based on feedback from the table, the player re-evaluates the application of resources based on a change in the environment (somebody else raises or calls, perhaps). Although the player is constantly shifting priorities and resources based on the situation, he or she is doing so with the ultimate goal in mind walking away a winner. A leader must be do the same thing for their staff and themselves."
Andrew J. Harvey and Raymond E. Foster (Leadership: Texas Hold 'em Style).

Articles on Goals and Goal Setting

Goal Setting: Why Should I Set Goals?
The fact is that goal setting works! Research studies have shown a direct link between goals and enhanced performance in both sports and business. Earl Nightingale put it this way, "People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. It's as simple as that."

Effective leadership crucial in today's Air Force
Setting goals is one of the greatest tasks leaders face today. Leaders must possess the ability to convey to each individual they have a stake in the desired goal. Leaders have to create expectations where ownership and attainment of a goal is personal to each individual.

Management by Objectives
Much has been written about a management technique called Management by Objectives (MBO). MBO has been suggested as a management system by which to organize the sprawling bureaucracy of the federal government. Management by Objectives programs are presently being used in many corporations involving thousands of people and billions of dollars worth of assets. This widespread use of MBO is causing more and more military managers to ask how this technique can be related to their own units and their management problems. Consequently, a relevant question for all Air Force managers has evolved: Can Management by Objectives be used to improve the management of Air Force units? In my opinion, the answer is definitely yes. The purpose of this article is to substantiate the answer in detail.

Goal Setting
Setting goals can be an excellent consensus-building activity. It is energizing to watch a group of people who may start with very different opinions and visions work together and listen to each other to develop one set of goals. These goals set the stage for action, defining what tasks will be considered and embraced. By sharing together in the decision making process to develop goals that everyone agrees upon, we find this process generates commitment to follow through and getting the work done.

Setting Goals and Objectives
The difference between where we are (current status) and where we want to be (vision and goals) is what we do (target objectives and action plans). As this statement shows, setting goals and objectives builds on the previous steps of visioning and taking stock. Goals are simply a clearer statement of the visions, specifying the accomplishments to be achieved if the vision is to become real. The target objectives are clearer statements of the specific activities required to achieve the goals, starting from the current status. At this point, strategic planning begins to produce lots of ideas and action steps. A common practice for keeping individual workloads to a manageable level is to delegate different topics to different teams. For example, there could be a curriculum team, a facilities team, a budgeting team, etc. A useful tool for keeping track of ideas and seeing how they relate to each other is the affinity diagram.

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Web-based resources

Career Development Planning

Achieving Cultural Resource Management Goals through Partnerships

Knowing how to Lead: Goal Setting

Knowing how to Lead: Goals and Goal Setting

Goal Ladder

The Goals Grid: A Tool for Clarifying Goals and Objectives

Planning and Goal Setting for Small Business

The Difference between Goals and Objectives

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Visual Summaries of Various Goal Setting Models

Performance Measurement Overview

Performance Measurement Overview (Three Step)

Achievement Pyramid

Personal Development Plan

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