"In my experience as a senior executive in the competitive and fast-paced sporting goods industry, I have seen my share of good leaders.


The Most Important Strategy for Setting Your Goals

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Of the multitude of advice available on setting your goals, there is one point that simply cannot be stressed enough: regardless of how perfectly outlined and well thought-out your goals are, if they are not effectively communicated, they almost assuredly will fail.

How can you move your organization forward if your team does not know which direction you’re headed? Effective goal communication makes your organization work coherently and efficiently by eliminating confusion, streamlining efforts, and including every member of your team, from front-line workers to upper level executives.

Know Your Audience

Customizing how and what you communicate based on your audience is an important part of effective communication. The way you will discuss your goals with your top leadership staff differs from the manner in which you communicate with the rest of your staff. From the disclosure of privileged information to the nitty-gritty details, it is your job to understand who needs to know what.

Scheduling ongoing, in-person meetings with your leadership team will help you work together to clearly outline the goal. Their input can aid in the fine-tuning of your big-picture ideas. Though meetings may not be feasible for your entire staff, it remains important that they too are included in the vision of the company’s future. When everyone understands their role in the business’ goals, they can work more effectively to contribute to that end.

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Repeat and Remix

With the many different priorities across your business, it can be far too easy for everyone to lose sight of big picture goals. Repeating your goals frequently can help them to remain at the top of everyone’s to-do list. But repetition in the manner and medium leads to tedium, so mix it up. Learning styles differ greatly, so spread the word both audibly and visually. When you communicate your goal through a variety of channels and in different forms, you will reach a wider audience. Perhaps a formal memo will work for some staff, whereas a concise Tweet will hit home with others. And don’t forget, as your goals progress and change, your communication content and strategy must evolve as well.

Top-Down and Bottom-Up

Your communication strategy must include employees from every station, and the flow of communication needs to be in both directions: top-down and bottom-up communication must be in concert with one another. Even the newest of interns likes to feel valued, and being privy to the overarching goals of the organization inspires those feelings of appreciation. Even more importantly, being armed with a clear understanding of the role they play in the bigger picture can help bring a team together, achieving a more focused output. When one channel of communication is not in sync with the other, the progress on the goal comes to a grinding halt, because the teams are working towards different ends.

The important role communication plays in setting and achieving goals cannot be overstated. But “communication” goes far beyond a mass email or the monthly corporate newsletter. Strategize and experiment to find the most effective communication plan for your organization. The results are a team working in unison to move your company forward.

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Julie Nimmons

Julie Nimmons

Julie uses her 30 years’ experience to help CEOs, executives and business owners in her Vistage Group find success in their businesses and personal lives. With positive leadership, a firm sense of prioritization and the commitment to lifelong learning, Julie’s creates a constructive workspace for Group members where honesty, innovation and cooperation can flourish.