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Increase accountability by reviewing progress against your annual goals.

Photo by Jannes Glas on Unsplash

One year ago, we were faced with a reality that few could have expected - the global pandemic with 100k dead globally, unheard of national lockdowns and a plethora of unknown unknowns. With the global death toll at almost 3 million, we have light at the end of the tunnel one year on. Vaccination programs are successfully stemming the tide. However, there is more work to be done as the vaccination coverage is uneven across nation-states.

"The future is already here - it's just not very evenly distributed."

- William Gibson (American-Canadian writer)

So what does this have to do with the title for this article?

Well, one year ago, I wrote about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater - Goals and why we shouldn't ignore them in a COVID-19 world. The synopsis is even though the world has changed around us, there is value in reviewing progress versus goals, refining and updating them to keep them relevant in the rapidly evolving reality that we find ourselves.

More recently, I doubled down on the importance of annual reviews and goal setting, calling it - One of the most productive and valuable things I do each year.

Yet, I was recently surprised by a new coaching client telling me they had never set personal goals. This surprise was a powerful reminder that we are all different, and what works for one person may be less effective for another. A coaching leadership style shows faith in the coached individual's ability to grow (growth mindset) and arrive at the best solutions. This leadership approach facilitates problem-solving and encourages personal and team development by asking questions and offering support and guidance rather than instructing.

So while I feel strongly that setting personal goals and measuring progress against them is an excellent way to hold yourself accountable, it isn't the only way. Some people will find more value in a less structured, more spontaneous path. The reality, as Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, said, "Your career is your business, and you are its CEO." Or another way to put it is that no one will care more about your career than you will.

If having a written set of goals helps you achieve what you want to achieve, grow and develop yourself, and provide direction, I strongly recommend reviewing progress against the goals. Now that we are halfway through April, this is a great time to assess what is working versus what is not working, and you can course-correct very quickly, whereas leaving until the end of the year is likely to be too late.

However, if annual goals don't work for you, that is great too. The world would be an incredibly dull place if we all did the same thing.

"Your input determines your outlook.
Your outlook determines your output,
And your output determines your future."

- Zig Ziglar (American author)


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