Goal setting mastery for leadership


“Many people fail in life, not for the lack of ability or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal,” — Elbert Hubbard.

MOST successful leaders do not stumble into greatness, but they make crucial decisions that are coupled with concerted efforts centred on a goal.

Successful leaders create their success twice. They first create it in the mind and make it manifest in the physical realm. The former takes not only being created in the mind, but being scripted down and being followed through.

For the purposes of this article, let us delve into six things that I have found to be core in goal-setting. This writing knits well with our previous article on the psychology of time.

Decision early and right now!

We mainly become what we think about most of the time. What is impressed in our subjective and subconscious mind is ultimately expressed as results.

The misnomer that most people have is that they think champions are made in the ring, while they are merely recognised there. The law of focus clarifies that. The camera captures images that are in focus.

If you are always focusing on poverty and the problems it brings, guess what, being broke will be part of your lifestyle. Being in a state of poverty should not dictate and define who you are to become, but you must decide what you want to be and dwell your mind on that.

Most people, some managers included, live on a salary without a definite thought of what they want to become without that paycheck. As long you have not made up your mind, you will just live to help others fulfil their dreams. The best first step to greatness is to know what you want to become.

Write it down

Writing your goals makes you stand in the 3% of the people that are successful as Brian Tracy points out. Writing helps you have a roadmap and road signs to your success.

If you don’t have a roadmap, when you get lost how will you know it? Worse still if you don’t have road signs, how will you know that you are about to plunge into a ditch? Write your lifetime goal.

For example, you could want to be a millionaire. Write down when you want to attain that (time frame). Write how you will achieve it (sub-goals). Write down people who will help you get there (coaches, mentors and advisors). Finally, write why you want to achieve goals (the motive).

Writing makes you remember, prioritise, order your list, measure and review your progress. Break you goals into small bites. What’s your 10-year goal?

What will I do every year to attain that? In each month of the year, what will I be doing? What are the weekly, daily, hourly targets? That makes you to be a pro or leader in your field.

Most people don’t do that, that’s why they blame everything and everyone for their failure.

Set deadlines

Put timelines on every goal. This forces your subconscious mind to bring all solutions possible to hit the target. This makes you overcome the negative spirit of procrastination. A target met brings fulfilment and a sense of purpose.


Goals without action have no results. They just remain on paper. Successful people are action and result-oriented. Always find people to help you achieve your goals. Your success is determined by who surrounds you.

I have since realised that action — as you work smartly — beats talent and skill. You might be smart, talented and skilled, but that is not enough; there must be action.

Do something everyday

Success is about small everyday successes put together. Top achievers do small things in a great way. Learn to achieve one small goal at a time. That might be reading a positive self-development book one hour every day. This translates to one book every week and 50 or more per year.

This looks like a small goal, but it has astounding results. Strive to be in the top 10 of your field by learning the power of small daily victories. It might be learning a new word every day, making that one crucial sale a day, memorising a good saying for public presentations; it’s all done in small bits every day.


You need a burning desire to achieve your goals. One person once said if you are not ready to die for what you believe in, you are not yet ready to have it. Do what you love, what you want, what you are excited about and what brings a sense of meaning and purpose to your life.

Desire is the fire and fervour that burns any self-doubt and all winds of opposition. It is that drive which will say it’s possible as the storms of life are threatening.

Believe that it’s possible

The mind pattern or your paradigm is crucial for your success. We become the pattern of our thoughts. Most people whine and think of their problems more that they would do about what they want to become.

You know what they get? Failure! Poverty! Mediocrity! Stress! And the list goes on and on. The author of the book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, says: “If the mind can conceive it, believe it can achieve it.” Believe it’s done! All your goals should be SMART — simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

lJonah Nyoni is an author, success coach, leadership trainer and public relations consultant.

Email: jonah@classicmail.co.zacesslife.co.zw