Does goal-setting feel like a burden? Perhaps you’re one of many who feel pressure to come up with brilliant goals for yourself and your team each year—and you try to do it alone. 

While, yes, it is a leader’s job to establish clear direction and goals for the team, I don’t believe you should tackle it alone. In fact, your year could be off to a rocky start if you attempt to set your goals in a vacuum.

Instead, check in with key stakeholders to understand their goals and expectations for you. Ask your boss, peers, and internal and external customers what success would look like for you and your team this year. This will help you align your goals with the real direction you need to go, so you’re not putting your efforts in an area that doesn’t serve them and their needs well.

Take a moment and write down 3-5 key stakeholders that you and your team serve. Here are some ideas to get you started…

    • Your boss
    • Customers (internal and external)
    • Directors or VP’s that you work with
    • Other departments
    • CEO
    • Board members
    • Employees

Schedule time to check-in with the people on your list. It may not take as long as you think. Use the following questions to spark your conversation:

    • In your eyes, what would success look like for me and my team this year?
    • What challenges are you facing this year that my team could help solve? 
    • Imagine being at the end of 2022 and reflecting on what was achieved over the year. What did my team accomplish?

Be sure to take notes to capture their perspective. As key themes emerge, you’ll have a clear idea of how to align your team around shared goals. Not only will this process help you craft effective goals, it will also open channels of communication that will foster goodwill and transparency for the year to come.


We want to follow our own advice and check-in with you—our stakeholders—the people we strive to serve through these Two-Minute Tips. Would you please take 60 seconds to tell us what you want more of this year in this short survey? We’re all ears. 

“Two-Minute Tips” are a series of short videos with relevant, expert leadership advice. 

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