In the September 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review, the article “Mistakes Leaders Keep Making” offers some advice that could be applied to your own brain when trying to lead yourself into the bright tomorrow of getting done that which needs doing.
The nuggets are tucked into a sidebar titled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Setting Demands,” but, because IÂ have such a rosy outlook, I have reversed the wording so it’s positive.
Here are my 7 Essential Guidelines to Make a Plan for Accomplishing Amazing and Wonderful Goals:
- Establish a realistic number of goals.
- Require a plan for how and when goals will be achieved.
- Push for improvements no matter how busy you are.
- Make yourself accountable for every goal.
- State your expectations without leaving an escape mechanism for failing to meet them.
- Avoid delaying the completion of tasks by making the excuse that another task beyond your control must be accomplished first.
- State your goals in measurable and definable ways.
If this semi-fuzzy-helpful-selfhelpy wisdom has failed to reach you in time, and you’ve piled up mistakes next to your executive nameplate like paper plates at a company picnic, worry not. An HBR blog post has a five-point strategy for handling screw-ups:
- Acknowledge your errors
- Change your ways
- Rely on a strong support network
- Get back out there
- Not all mistakes are created equal
Oh, and the four mistakes that leaders apparently make again and again, from the first article I mentioned:
- Failing to set proper expectations.
- Excusing subordinates from the pursuit of overall goals.
- Colluding with staff experts and consultants.
- Waiting while associates prepare, prepare, prepare.