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Careers: Articles - The Lost Art of Goal Achievement Emotions are the Key

After consulting for over three hundred companies and doing presentations for a couple of thousand more, I have found that they all have one thing in common. Businesses all over the world have had to face the fact that goal setting is a lot easier than goal achieving.

I have seen dozens of impressively bound and documented strategic plans collecting dust after the goals set at the expensive off-site were unrealized. There are any number of excuses that prevented success; fires that had to be put out, the economy, or my dog ate my homework. Being a seasoned strategic planner, I have the right to say, "I hate it when that happens."

The reason most goals don't reach fruition is that the people that created them did it to please someone else, say their CEO. Instead, your team needs to be set free to put into motion ideas that they feel strongly about and that will be beneficial to the company and its team members.

When people have their emotions attached to a goal, it is achieved. If you think this is too simple, you're right. The problem in business today is that we forget the power of having real buy in versus agreeing to what the top dogs think they want. Team members will always give into the ideas of those who hold the power of the paycheck because everyone thinks about their survival first.

So here is a plan to get you team to not just set goals, but achieve big, fat, hairy ones. First let's reconsider the idea of SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely). This acronym has done more damage to business motivation than Dilbert.

The real truth is that if team members have their hearts in it, they will get to the finish line. I know the mere mention of hearts will make the "tough guys" cringe, but I've been doing this long enough to know that creating emotional buy-in works. The problem is that some leaders work long and hard to avoid "feelings" in the workplace. Today's managers and leaders need to learn to use emotions to their advantage instead of being scared of them.

The first step in harnessing this untapped resource is to believe in it. If that's a problem for you, just look at how you got to where you are in your life. Would you be here if you didn't have your heart in it? Now, how do you create that same drive, buy-in, commitment and power in your team? Well, as Obi-Wan said to Luke Skywalker, "Trust your feelings."

Use your gift of intuition (and I don't know one successful leader that doesn't have it) to guide you in asking your people what it is about the direction of your company that's important to them. Once you have an alignment and you give them the power to create their vision, then all you have to do is to get out of their way. This final step can be harder for some than for others.

Empower your team members by really supporting them in reaching the goals that they believe are best for the company. It will not only help you reach beyond your nicely packaged strategic plan; it will boost your profits to a level that only those who use this hidden force have been able to enjoy.

For more information about strategic planning, visit Dr. Goldsmith's web site at www.bartongoldsmith.com.

Managers and team leaders who do strategic planning and set goals for their company should consider my CD set "From Manager to Coach". You will learn to create new methods to maximize performance, improve goal setting, and get results from your strategic planning meetings. To order the set, simply go to my web site www.BartonGoldsmith.com and click on audio products. Mention this article and receive the"From Manager to Coach" CD set for the special price of $65.00 (regularly $95).

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About the Author:
For more than two decades Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organizations worldwide have relied on Dr. Barton Goldsmith to help them develop creative and balanced leadership. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, business consultant and nationally syndicated author. His columns appear in over 150 publications, including the Los Angeles Business Journal. Dr. Goldsmith works regularly with The Young President¹s Organization (YPO) and The Executive Committee (TEC). Considered an expert on small business, he has spoken worldwide to groups of 10 to 5,000, and is in high demand for Keynotes, Training and Consulting. He may be contacted through his web site BartonGoldsmith.com or at (818) 879-9996.

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