Universally acknowledged as one of the world's wisest leaders, King Solomon, applied leadership principles that are as relevant and powerful today as they were in his own time. This article examines the importance of developing meaningful goals. When all are pulling in the same direction at the same time great things can be achieved.
Lead With Meaningful Goals
Wise leaders communicate a clear and inspiring vision that serves as a beacon for the organization they lead. The vision becomes all the more powerful when it is supported by the leader’s guiding values. This vision/values complex forms the framework that creates meaning and stimulates and aligns employee motivation. When all are pulling in the same direction at the same time great things can be achieved.
Wise leaders show how the vision will become a reality by focusing on, and connecting the employees to, current, meaningful objectives and asking important questions; questions that, when answered, produce power and energy.
In order to be able to address meaningful objectives, the vision needs to be connected to the organization’s current situation: What is working well/what are our strengths today and what do we need to develop? We begin by highlighting the positive; what we are already excelling in. This creates enthusiasm and helps us get the right perspective on opportunities for development.
The difference that arises between our present situation (how it is) and our vision (how we want it to be) produces the creative tension that motivates us to act, develop skills, form or enhance relationships, and so on.
King Solomon, a leader synonymous with wisdom, says: “Hard work brings prosperity; playing around brings poverty. ”
Each division, department, group, or team needs to see the link between what they do and the overall objectives. These larger objectives are broken down into intermediate objectives that are in turn broken down into individual objectives and contributions. Doing this stimulates employees to do their very best.
Wise leaders formulate meaningful objectives that are:
• Challenging, yet realistic.
• Simple and clear for full understanding.
• Timetabled, so all involved know when the targets should be achieved.
• Measurable so that everyone can see and monitor progress.
• Few, so as to create focus.
Use these criteria when you make up your plan. Ask these questions: How do you know that the objectives are challenging and yet realistic for you and your group? What are the exact results you want to achieve? When are you going to achieve them? How can you measure you success? How do you maintain focus?
Solomon says: “Do you know a hard-working man? He shall be successful and stand before kings!”
Wise leaders get the whole organization to purposefully work towards the achievement of their objectives. This leads to meaningfulness, to creating something of value for employees, customers, society and the world . A wise leader helps employees in the organization move their internal desires into mental visualization so it can produce the physical creation of a positive future. The leader supports them in seeing the potential and the road to development.
A wise leader also helps employees in the organization to grow and enjoy the success that is verified and reinforced by praise and appreciation in various forms from those around them. This releases energy, power, and momentum.
The leader has to clarify in his or her own heart the greater value he or she want to be a part of creating. A key question to ask is: Who do I want to be? The use of our imagination to create inner pictures of success and to develop the spirit of pride for our role gives enthusiasm and focuses our actions.
Solomon says:“If you won’t plow in the cold, you won’t eat at the harvest. ”
Discipline is doing what we have to do and paying the price to bring the vision into reality. It’s giving up something good today for something better tomorrow.
Everything has its price. If we want more, we need to give more. If we want to have a higher yield, we need plow and plant more. The natural law of development and growth always applies. We reap what we sow.
Objectives become a reality through our investing in the practice, performance, time, and effort it takes to produce them, one small step and one sacrifice after another. This takes place day after day as we take step after step in our development and we gradually take part in the harvest. The vision becomes a reality.
Solomon says:“Be patient and you will finally win. ”
Everything will come to those who wait. Most of what is worth fighting for takes time to achieve. The objectives must engage us as leaders to, in turn, get our people engaged – to help them see progress as a gradual process, one step at a time, one small victory after another. This gives them the energy and motivation to continue the journey.
The wise leader develops a tremendously strong identification with the role that is needed in order to achieve the objectives.
Solomon says:“Work hard and become a leader. ”
Objectives should give meaning and motivation to accomplish the work. Wise leaders, in addition to the objectives they are connected to in their organization, need a clear idea of what gives balance in their lives.
To become a wiser leader:
• Create a picture of common opportunities and the direction for your organization.
• Together with your lead team, come up with a small number of challenging objectives for the organization. Focus on a combination of developing well-aligned coworkers, customer satisfaction, working smarter, stimulating growth and creating profitability.
• Gather and communicate with your employees for participation, understanding, and commitment to the objectives.
• Clarify roles and mutual expectations to build your group into a powerful winning team.
• Have a dialogue with yourself regularly and always acknowledge ownership of your process.
• Get a clear idea of what gives balance in your life.
Per Winblad, founder of Motivation Consultant Inc. , a well-respected international training firm, is recognized as one of Sweden's leading management coaches and an experienced leader in achieving leadership excellence. He is the author of the award winning leadership book “The Wisdom of Leadership". To find out more and get a free inspiring video, visit