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Why The Way Leaders Set Goals Does Not Work
Val Wright -- Global Leadership and Innovation Expert Val Wright -- Global Leadership and Innovation Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Angeles , CA
Thursday, March 14, 2019


It’s already two months into your business fiscal year but not everyone on your team has clear goals. In fact, you are still working on your own priorities and haven’t yet agreed on them with your boss. I understand, multiple priorities can cause distraction from articulating and communicating goals to your organization, but the lost productivity of a team adrift without a destination is far greater than some realize.

I have been working with many of my executive clients on developing robust and meaningful goals rapidly.  

Here are the six biggest mistakes I see when executives are setting goals for their teams:

  • You fail to mention profit, revenue, costs, market share and business-impacting metrics. Yesterday I was working with a newly appointed technology executive whose organization is viewed as detached from the business, we created meaningful goals that were framed in the language of what the business needs to achieve in market share and revenue growth.

  • You spend so long developing them, they are irrelevant when published. A sales organization I worked with never gave their sales team their sales targets until 12 weeks into the new fiscal year as they waited for the goals to cascade from above. The calendar year is no surprise, we reduced and shifted their planning cycle so that sales teams knew on day one of the fiscal year what was expected from them and no longer were adrift for 25% of your year.

  • Your process, system, technology, for capturing them is so arduous everyone avoids completing them. All you need is a list that you can share. I have seen more complex performance management systems than JPL uses to get rover on Mars.

  • You create goals in a silo. Many executive teams create goals in a vacuum and treat them as trade secrets amongst your own executive peers. Look left and look right across your technical, creative, and business teams to make sure everyone’s goals are heading in the same direction. 

  • You ignore your people. You forget to include a goal that is focused on building leaders and an organization that will accelerate your results (and no that doesn’t mean training!)

  • Your process becomes a source of company amusement. The forms, questions, and information requested is so pointless people start ridiculing it. I knew of one leader who told me every year he had written a comical paragraph in his goals to test whether anyone actually read them, nobody ever did.

Ask yourself what impact will your organization have on your company profits, revenue, and market share and hook your goals into those metrics.

To your continued success,


  Val Wright is a recognized leadership and organization expert. Working with Xbox, Microsoft, Amazon and LinkedIn, she has spent the last 20 years partnering with executives to accelerate growth and gain market superiority across the the games, technology, retail and e-commerce industries.

She is know for telling leaders what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Leaders seek her out when they need to accelerate their business results, build organizations, develop leaders and create world-class people strategies. Val is a dynamic speaker who will provoke, inspire and provide immediate value to your audience. She has been quoted in Fast Company, E-commerce times, Yahoo.com, Aol.com, usnews.com, NJ.com, TheNetworkJournal.com and TechNerwsWorld.com.

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Group: Val Wright Consulting
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