12 Important Leadership Goals (Your Ultimate Guide)

By Indeed Editorial Team

30 November 2021

Setting goals is an effective way for leaders to grow and succeed in their careers. A leader can show the value of personal development to their team to foster a positive workplace environment by establishing clear objectives. If you're a manager or a professional looking to improve your leadership qualities, learning about the different goals you could set for yourself may help you succeed in your career. In this article, we define leadership goals, discuss how to set them and share 12 goals to help you become a better leader.

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles

What are leadership goals?

Leadership goals are short- and long-term goals that can help you develop as a leader and improve your team's success. As a leader, determining goals may give you a clearer vision of your team and the company's direction. Assigning objectives can also help you develop useful leadership skills, such as clear communication, active listening and adaptability.

Improved leadership may encourage a happier workplace. If your colleagues feel respected and supported, they may work more productively and with greater pride. Teams also look to their leader as a role model and mentor. Your colleagues may feel more confident establishing their own aims and strive for improvement if they see you leading by example.

Related: Top 6 Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

How to set goals as a leader

Leaders typically have strengths and skills that are unique to them. It's important to identify which goals would help you most to become a more effective leader. Here are four steps to help you establish and implement your plans:

  1. Identify strengths and areas for improvement. Before setting goals, you can reflect on your current abilities. This may help you plan targeted goals for improvement.

  2. Pick one or two areas to improve. To begin with, choose just one or two areas that you could improve. Starting on specific areas can help increase your chances of success.

  3. Establish development goals. Determine what you want to achieve and what can help you make progress in the areas you feel you could do better. For example, if you have identified develop a better rapport with the team as something to work on, you could establish smaller objectives, such as improve active listening or practise empathy.

  4. Note your progress. To appreciate your progress, it can be a good idea to check in with how your goals are going, especially if they are long-term objectives. Consider assigning personal benchmarks across a timeline to help you monitor what you have achieved.

12 useful goals for leaders

Here are 12 important goals leaders can consider setting:

1. Develop your leadership presence

Effective leaders have a strong presence they can use to motivate others. Recognise your leadership style and core values to improve your presence. Leading with integrity can help you lead with greater confidence. You may communicate your ideas more convincingly. For example, you may write a mission statement to establish the type of leader you want to be, and this may correlate to the company's values and goals. As a confident leader, you may earn greater respect from your team. As a result, your co-workers may optimise their productivity and strive for success.

2. Become a great coach and mentor

Strong leaders are also mentors. Your team may look to you for support and guidance. Customise your approach to each team member according to their own unique goals. You can look for new opportunities that could challenge each team member if you understand their aspirations. Mentoring shows you care about the welfare and personal and professional development of your team.

3. Be more adaptable

Great leaders can respond to unforeseen events with a positive and open-minded attitude. Adaptability can help you perceive unexpected circumstances as opportunities. You can improve this skill by encouraging your team to offer new ideas and solutions. An eagerness to learn from others can also be beneficial.

4. Listen actively and be more curious

As a leader, try to listen to your team members fully and without preconceived ideas, regardless of their position. You can use positive body language, such as nodding and eye contact, to show you're engaged and curious. Aim to practise responding in a way that assures your colleague that you understand what they've said and have taken it on board. Fostering a culture of open and respectful communication encourages colleagues to share their ideas, resulting in a more diverse input and a more successful company.

5. Build better connections

Members of your team likely want to feel individually heard, respected and appreciated. It can be productive to spend one-on-one time with them to foster trust and build a stronger rapport with them. This gives them space to talk openly about potential concerns or ideas and for you to get to know them better. Both parties can give constructive feedback in this safe environment, leading to increased growth and development on both sides.

6. Learn to manage yourself

Influential managers may have a positive and energetic attitude. Your team may feel motivated to create and feel energised in the workplace as a result. As a leader, knowing how to manage your energy is important. You could set a goal such as practising yoga once a day. This action can help you rest and restore physically, emotionally and mentally. Taking the time to recharge can make you a more engaging and effective leader.

7. Identify and nurture future leaders

You likely became a leader because someone recognised your personal attributes and work ethic. Therefore, you may understand the qualities of an effective leader. Aim to identify team members who display these attributes. You can nurture future leaders by offering them greater responsibility. This process may show your team that you support and value their individual development.

For example, you may have identified a team member who displays excellent communication or creative thinking. You might take the time to chat to them about delegating managerial responsibilities to them. Alternatively, you may assign tasks that encourage them to activate and develop these skills. You can also deliver specific training for this employee.

Related: 14 Leadership Qualities That Are Found in Great Leaders

8. Build dynamic teams

Proactive teams comprise people with a diverse range of talents and interests. As a leader, you may delegate tasks according to each member's skills. You may also consider which tasks they could enjoy most to elevate productivity. Regular meetings that encourage honesty can help you determine this information. Investing time in your team can improve job satisfaction for both parties.

9. Improve time management

Understanding how to manage time effectively is essential for a leader. Businesses may run more smoothly if you clearly define tasks in order of priority. You may introduce digital scheduling to stay on top of deadlines. You may find it easier to make decisions if you manage your time well.

Good timekeeping also involves delegating tasks to other team members. For example, you might notice a team member is good at a particular administrative task. You might delegate this task to that person more frequently to increase productivity. It also allows the employee to enjoy their work.

Related: Time Management Skills: The Importance of Including Them in Your Resume

10. Improve self-awareness

As a leader, it's important to evaluate your own skills and strengths. You can practise self-awareness by reflecting on your performance over a week or month. Journalling is an excellent tool for this task. At the end of this process, you might identify areas you want to improve. For example, you might recognise that you could optimise the tools around you more efficiently. Going forward, you might dedicate some time to learning to use new software or equipment that improves your workflow.

11. Take responsibility

Leaders regularly make final decisions that may impact the team, department or company as a whole. Try to accept accountability for your actions, as this can help you build confidence. Aim to be transparent with your team regarding your decisions and why you have made them. Your co-workers may appreciate your honesty and feel valued as a result. These actions can also encourage transparency between team members and minimise conflict.

12. Appreciate your team

Aim to appreciate your team and express gratitude for their input, especially when they've achieved something significant. If your colleagues feel appreciated, they are likely to experience greater satisfaction with their work and take more pride in their roles. For example, in meetings, you may provide space for team members to acknowledge the achievements or progress of their colleagues.

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