A Process for Writing Work Objectives

1. Spend some time initially thinking about the organization and the unit. What are the problems it faces? What processes are in need of improvement? What practices need review? What are the developmental needs and requirements of the people? 2. Think about what the person for whom the objectives are being prepared is to do. Here, you might be thinking about someone else or you might be thinking about yourself. 3. Draft a verb-object or action component. 4. Think about why that action is wanted. What results does it produce? What outcomes will it have? What effects will be created? Why are those important? What is their value? 5. Modify the verb-object component, if necessary, to emphasize results instead of activity. 6. Think about ways of measuring the work you have begun to specify. 7. Draft some measurable standards the work must satisfy. How could you tell whether or not the work or results occurred? What is the measure of those results? Quality? Quantity? Speed? Money? Frequency? Ratios of some kind? 8. Modify the action component further, if necessary. 9. Think about the time frames in which the work is to be accomplished. 10. Specify some deadlines, time frames, due dates, etc. 11. Rethink it all, rewrite it, rethink it again 12. Ask the person who is to be accountable for meeting it what he (or she) thinks it means. Or, if you're writing them for yourself, ask your boss to tell you what she (or he) thinks it means. 13. Rewrite it again if necessary.

1. Writing good work objectives is not easy. 2. Reconcile yourself to writing, reviewing, rewriting, and then rewriting again. 3. The form of a good work objectives has two components: a verb-object, indicating what is to be done, and a standards component, indicating how well. 4. A conditions component might be included but is optional. 5. Work objectives may be broad or narrow in scope, short and sweet or quite lengthy, address financial or operational matters, and pertain to routine, repetitive work or to special, situational work. 6. Work objectives may be solicited from the person who will be responsible for their achievement, specified by that person’s supervisor, or developed jointly by the two of them. 7. The mix of routine and non-routine work should play a key role in determining the respective roles of the employee and the supervisor in determining the substance of the work objectives. 8. Keep in mind that writing good work objectives involves two stages: derivation (content) and specification (form). 9. In all cases, work objectives should be clear, measurable, time-tied statements of the work to be accomplished and the results expected from that work.

while leaders are people who do the right thing.find something that is not broken and make it better." the people who do. how to implement it. These are you eyes to the future. . and improve .Warren Bennis. and how to manage it. "If it ain't broke. and goal definition. Treat every job as a new learning experience. Just as you perform preventive maintenance on your car. As a leader. don't fix it. allowing you to recognize the need for change. grow. you have to get your . Do NOT believe in the old adage.Big Dog's Leadership Page Leading Managers are people who do things right. Ph. you must perform preventive maintenance on your organization. go broke! Treat every project as a change effort. Good organizations convey a strong vision of where they will be in the future. You find vision by reaching for any available reason to change. They provide vision.D. "On Becoming a Leader" Goals Your thinking skills can be considered directional skills because they set the direction for your organization. purpose. when to make it.

monetary. Feedback Providing feedback enhances the effects of goal setting. If they seem too high. Participation in Goal Setting Employees who participate in the process. the process of getting that vision implemented . To sell them on your vision. It also affects their belief that the goals are obtainable and increases their motivation to achieve them. People want a strong vision of where they are going.). generally set higher goals than if the goals were set for them. Your people should be involved in the goal-setting process. The more difficult goals lead to increased performance if they seem feasible. keep these points in mind: They should be realistic and attainable. They should improve the organization (moral.or a company headed in the wrong direction. employees will give up when they fail to achieve them. No one wants to be stuck in a dead-end company going nowhere. Performance feedback keeps their behavior directed on the right target and encourages them to work harder to achieve the goal..people to trust you and be sold on your vision. They want to be involved with a winner! And your people are the ones who will get you to that goal. Using the leadership tools described in this guide and being honest and fair in all you do will provide you with the ammo you need to gain their trust. etc. You cannot do it alone! When setting goals. A program should be developed to achieve each goal. you need to possess energy and display a positive attitude that is contagious. The Six Steps of Goal Setting Although finding a vision can be quite a creative challenge. Employees need a set goal or model in order to display the correct behavior.. Goal Specificity When given specific goals. employees tend to perform higher. There are four characteristics (1) of goal setting: Goal Difficulty Increasing you employee's goal difficulty increases their challenge and enhances the amount of effort expended to achieve them. Telling them to do their best or giving no guidance increases ambiguity about what is expected.

The concept of a vision has become a popular term within academic. Vilfredo Pareto. that is. But. how you could still achieve the same quality product. they are really getting something accomplished. Many people fall into the time wasting trap of going after the 80% of items that only have a value of 20% of the total net worth. While the senior leaders set the vision for the entire organization. and corporate circles. Your vision needs to coincide with the "big picture. 80% of the effects come from 20% of the possible causes. or small group of people.can be quite easy if you follow the steps: Vision . the vision you want.Follow Up: Step 1 The first step in setting goals and priorities is to personally develop what the organization should look like at some future point. They believe that since that since that 80% encompasses so much. you will mainly be concerned with a department. The mission of the organization is crucial in determining your vision.Time Lines . 20% of the inventory items in the supply chain of an organization accounts for 80% of the inventory value. or even 50 years in the future for visions affecting the entire organization. or what the most efficient way to produce your product would look like. For example. This time horizon tends to be mid to long term in nature. Your visions need to picture the 20% that will have the greatest effect on your organization. This has spawned many different definitions of vision. should be a picture of where you want your department to be at a future date. or perhaps if your budget was reduced by 10 percent. defense." The term "vision" suggests a mental picture of what the future organization will look like.Tasks . As a junior leader. government. Although it is nice to have small victories now and then by going after part of that easy 80%. 20.Goals Objectives . focus on the few things that . such as 6 months to a year. that is. And that vision needs to support the organization's goals. try to picture what your department would look like if it was perfect. For example. establish a vision. Your visions should be on much shorter time horizons. you set the vision for your team. focusing on as much as 10. such as a supervisor or manager. theorized that most effects come from relatively few causes. The concept also implies a later time horizon. section. a 19th century economist.

" Step 5 Now it is time to establish a priority for the tasks. An example might be. "The transportation coordinator will obtain detailed shipping rates from at least 10 motor carriers. Step 2 The second step involves establishing goals. the shipping department will use one parcel service for shipping items under 100 pounds and one motor carrier for shipping items over a hundred pounds.will have the greatest impact. it needs to be framed in general.. This is the strategy of turning visions into reality. "The organization must reduce transportation costs. For example. Once you have your vision. measurable terms such as "By the end of the next quarter. again with the active participation of your team. Tasks are concrete. objectives are accomplished. and means (resources) to achieve the vision. with the active participation of the team. ways (concepts). Step 4 The fourth step is to determine tasks." ." This establishes the framework of the your vision. It is the crossover mechanism between your forecast of the future and the envisioned. but they are more focused. Through tasks. Goals are also stated in un-measurable terms. For example. measurable events that must occur." The aim is to get general ownership by the entire team. Since time is precious and many tasks must be accomplished before another can begin. un-measurable terms and communicated to your team. Step 3 Now you establish objectives. Your team then develops the ends (objectives).that is what a good leader does.. Definable objectives provide a way of measuring the evaluating movement toward vision achievement. "The shipping rates will be obtained by May 9. establishing priorities helps your team to determine the order in which the tasks must be accomplished and by what date. desired future. Objectives are stated in precise.

and the perception by subordinates that the leader does not care. People need feedback so that they judge their performance. There is a narrow band of adequate supervision. It includes looking at the ways people are accomplishing a task. breeds resentment. . lack of coordination. they will keep performing tasks wrong. measure. It means getting feedback on how well something is being done and interpreting that feedback. For the leader it demonstrates her commitment to see the matter through to a successful conclusion. or stop performing the steps that makes their work great. Without it. Evaluating is part of supervising. It includes giving instructions and inspecting the accomplishment of a task. and on the other side is under-supervision. and lowers morale and motivation. All employees benefit from appropriate supervision by seniors with more knowledge and experience who tend to see the situation more objectively. or things. This kind of leader involvement validates that the stated priorities are worthy of action. or significance of people. Under-supervision leads to miscommunication. Supervising Supervision is keeping a grasp on the situation and ensuring that plans and policies are implemented properly. On one side of the band is over-supervision. Over-supervision stifles initiative.Step 6 The final step is to follow up. quality. It is defined as judging the worth. ideas. and check to see if the team is doing what is required.

In organizations where the is a leader with great enthusiasm about a project. but it is still people! A leader's primary responsibility is to develop people and enable them to reach their full potential. and people forget. but in the long run. "A" priorities must be done today." And in order to perform that. Abrams used to say in the mid-1970s. For example. You will spend less time and energy correcting mistakes and omissions made long ago.it may make a product or sell a service. is that "the Army is not made up of people. List tasks by priorities. Paperwork gets lost. we have to have some life ourselves. how can you expect your people to get worked up about it? Get your employees involved in the decision making process. The Army is people. Double check on important things by following through. Your people may come from diverse backgrounds. Following through may seem to be a waste of your time and energy. and "C" priorities need to be followed up with in a few days. If you do not communicate excitement. If you have a system of checks and double checks. Be passionate. "B" priorities must be done by tomorrow.Use checklists to list tasks that need to be accomplished. Inspire means "to breathe life into. Strange things can happen if you are not aware of them. a trickle-down effect will occur. have time to correct them." Your organization is the same. Know what your organization is about! The fundamental truth.. plans get changed. Listen to them and incorporate their ideas when it makes sense to so. and minimize any disruptions.. you will discover mistakes. but they all have goals they want to accomplish. Create a "people environment" . You must be committed to the work you are doing. Every decision we make is a people issue. Almost all of us have poor memories when it comes to remembering a list of details. People who are involved in the decision making process participate much more enthusiastically than those who just carry out their boss's order. Three main actions will aid you in accomplishing this. Inspiring Your Employees Getting people to accomplish something is much easier if they have the inspiration to do so. Help them contribute and tell them you value their opinions. it pays off. as General Creighton W.

Clarify direction. As a leader you must view coaching from two different viewpoints: 1) Coaching to lead others. You might picture it as when you were school. Both coaching and training have a few points in common: Evaluate to determine knowledge. Training is a structured lesson designed to provide the employee with the knowledge and skills to perform a task. Next you went out for the school team. Encourage peer coaching by reminding them that everyone has a stake in each other's success. and then you coach them with motivational pointers. Coaching. is a process designed to help the employee gain greater competence and to overcome barriers so as to improve job performance.where they truly can be all they can be. on the other hand. removing performance barriers. and confidence levels. and accountability. as you can see. So. the gym teacher (trainer) taught you how to play basketball. involve the person or team in the decision making. skill. goals. although some people use them interchangeably. creating challenges. During physical education. People learn by the examples of others. To foster accountability. . but the coach taught you the finer points of the game. It involves giving advice. Coaching is more than telling people how to do something. 2) Being coached to achieve selfimprovement. training and coaching go hand-inhand. First you train them with lots of technical support. by applying it to their job. skill-building. Define objectives that can be measured periodically. You had a basic understanding of the game and its rules. Both training and coaching help to create the conditions that cause someone to learn and develop. by forming a picture in their minds of what they are trying to learn. or practice. It helps to break them down into step-by-step actions. Training and Coaching Training and coaching are two different things. by gaining and understanding necessary information.

You cannot teach knowledge or skills to someone who is not motivated to learn." Almost anyone can use power.building better processes. etc. If it is a large complicated task. Give feedback by pointing and hinting towards solutions. He must feel the need to learn what you are teaching. They want to be able to perform their tasks correctly. then break it down into short learning steps. try to stay away from critiquing errors. Normally. Leadership power is much more than the use . The next condition of learning is to involve them in the process. Learning The first condition of learning is that the person must be motivated to learn. reviewing and pointing out ways that they hold themselves back. Lead by example! demonstrate the desired behaviors. Most employees are motivated to do a good job. but it takes skill to use leadership. You cannot keep their attention with a long lecture. job satisfaction. If you lecture for an hour. Power and Leadership Al Capone once said "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. Provide feedback throughout the practice period until they can do it on their own. Instead. They need to use what is being taught or their minds will wander. learning through discovery (the aha method). Deal with emotional obstacles by helping them through change. etc. Have them participate through active practice of the skill or through discussion. challenges. people pay attention for a short time less than 30 minutes. comforting when they become confused. demonstrate. give a brief lecture (less than 10 minutes). Keep their attention by actively involving their minds and emotions in the learning process. Their motivation is being able to perform their job to standards in return for a paycheck. etc. and then have them practice. very little will be remembered. benefits.

That is. The mere knowledge of an officer's power by an enlisted person has some influence over him or her. so that he or she (person B) acts in accordance with A’s wishes. A person with coercive power can make things difficult for people. Power refers to a capacity that person A has to influence the behavior of another (person B). but does not have to be used to be effective. This power is a capacity or potential as it implies a potential that need not be actualized to be effective. Employees working under coercive managers are unlikely to be committed. an officer in the Army has certain powers over enlisted personal. Plain power forces others to achieve a goal..Power that is based on fear. These are the persons that you want to avoid getting angry. but that power does not have to used to be effective.of force.. and more likely to resist the . a power may exist. For example. The Five Points of Power A person has the potential for influencing five points of power over another: Coercive Power .it is influencing others to truly WANT to achieve a goal.

The person has the right. tend to view things differently: Political Astute Label Fixing responsibility Developing relationships Political Minded Delegating authority Documenting decisions Encouraging innovation Passing the buck Covering your rear Creating conflict Building Powerless Label Blaming others Kissing up Cunning .Influence based on possession by an individual or desirable resources or personal traits. Politics and Power The more political that employees perceive their organization. You might find it advantageous to trade favors with him or her. the lower their satisfaction becomes. Reward Power .Compliance achieved based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable.The power a person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of an organization.Influence based on special skills or knowledge. Expert Power . On the other hand. Referent Power . Expert power is the most strongly and consistently related to effective employee performance. considering his or her position and your job responsibilities. to expect you to comply with legitimate requests. You like the person and enjoy doing things for him or her.manager. Legitimate Power . This person earns respect by experience and knowledge. This is because they tend to feel powerless on a continues basis. the politically astute. Able to give special benefits or rewards to people.

instead it focuses on intimidation. while leadership requires goal congruence Power maximizes the importance of lateral and upward influence. you need to use good leadership skills: Power does not require goal compatibility. while leadership focuses on on getting answers and solutions. while leadership focuses upon downward influence Power focuses on tactics for gaining compliance.Teamwork Planning ahead clicks Scheming To prevent these "Powerless labels" form developing. .

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