SMART goals provide clarity and can accelerate your success. Conversely, poorly written goals will waste time and resources and frustrate and demotivate teams. SMART goals are critical to achieving execution success. They allow you to begin with the end in mind and have clarity about your goals. They also allow you to communicate in such a way that quickly aligns other team members to help you achieve the these goals. So why are there so many goals not written to be SMART? Could it be because it is difficult and hard to remember what SMART means, let alone how to write a goal that is SMART? SMART goals are powerful tools to help you achieve your dreams and goals.
I recorded a short 5 minute video to help make it simpler to write SMART goals.
This 5 Minute Rhythm episode covers the following:
- What are SMART Goals?
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Attainable
- R = Realistic
- T = Time bound
- But most people can’t remember what SMART refers to or how to write such a goal. And if we can’t remember what SMART is, it's a good probability that we won’t write our goals this way. I have been teaching a process to “Red-Yellow-Green” (RYG) your goals, that results in a SMART goal as well. RYG is simpler and easier to remember. Here is how it works:
- Green = Describe what success looks like
- Red = Unacceptable results
- Yellow = between Red and Green
- SuperGreen = Stretch goal (because our star players all want stretch goals)
- Add a deadline, and you’ve made it time bound as well.
- I share a case study that shows the importance of leaders setting clear RYG success criteria for goals before delegating goals to their team. Not having clear RYG criteria (aka a goal that is not SMART) creates mis-alignment, and a misunderstanding of what we are really trying to achieve as a team. This lack of clarity often leads to poor results and demotivates team members. Imagine if you were doing your best to achieve a goal and upon achieving that goal, you proudly walk into your manager’s office to announce the victory, only to find out that he or she had a different vision of success. I have seen this happen quite often. It is very demotivating, and can turn an enthusiastic team member into a disengaged employee. This case study teaches 3 important points:
- When people understand what success looks like, the team has clarity.
- It is powerful to take the time to discuss what Red-Yellow-Green looks like. This discussion of Red, Yellow, and Green gives both the manager and the team member extreme clarity and alignment on what they need to achieve.
- Nobody sets out to fail. People will do their best to manage themselves away from Red and into successful Green territory if they know what Red looks like.
Slow down and take the time to discuss what success really looks like and gain clarity and alignment before launching a project or goal. This will make the world of difference between success and failure.
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