Flipping through the channels on the television last night, I watched some of the Democratic debate, and while each of the 10 candidates tried to differentiate themselves from the others with communicating their unique vision of a better tomorrow with them at the helm of the Presidency, the rubber truly hits the road only when that leader can also set clear and measurable goals and objectives to achieve their vision and ultimately prevail and succeed.

It goes without saying that one of the great traits and skills of excellent leaders is their ability to clearly define, and set goals and objectives for themselves and their team. It is about keeping score and doing everything possible to deliver on commitments.

Great leaders work very hard to eliminate as much ambiguity as possible and keep energy and work effort focused on the goals. I truly enjoyed. learned the most and delivered the greatest amount of success when working for leadership that consistently kept score and communicated often and frequently what the desired end state looked like and what each individual and team members needed to contribute to get to that finish line.

Leaders who know how to describe both what they are aiming to accomplish along with a meaningful rationale for that goal have a significant advantage over others.

Personally, as the Chief Commercial Officer of a 400 person sales team of a bank, I and our team had the greatest success when our goals were clearly defined, easily measurable, and we were able to collaboratively work together to track, measure, overcome obstacles and find new ways to succeed. Daily, weekly, and monthly branch sales targets cascaded down from the me to regional sales leaders to the branch managers to the individual contributors could be tracked and acted upon.

Ultimately, winning is the desired end state. Setting, having and following-up on clear and measurable goals and objectives is one of the key attributes of successful leaders.

LEADERSHIP 101:  Setting Clear & Measurable Goals