BEING successful in business is also about time away from the office.
Missing goals can be more costly than some executives realise. It can even result in death.
That’s the warning from leading executive support group, The Executive Connection (TEC).
TEC regional chair Barry Upfold (pictured) says managers of small and medium businesses often find themselves macro-managing as they strive to be accountable for recruitment, training, OH&S, accounts, rosters, audits, supply control and stock management, tax and so much more.
“While this is often unavoidable, one of the most effective business tools – goal setting – can get bumped down the list of priorities," says Upfold.
Goal setting in management falls into two categories – business goals and personal goals. Many executives are good at setting and achieving business goals – like growth or acquisition.
While they are also good at setting personal goals – like spending more time with family or getting healthier, Upfold says that 'a lot of executives are woeful at achieving those personal goals'.
“Somewhere along the line they have lost the art of maintaining a good, healthy worklifestyle balance."
Failure in that area can have serious consequences. Families break up and the health of an executive or manager can deteriorate as goals fall by the wayside amid excuses of being too preoccupied with 'important' business matters.
Chairs at The Executive Connection (TEC) dedicate time to goal setting and goal reviewing with members at regular intervals throughout the year. This includes business and personal goals.
“We have a high success rate because we continually review the goals set at the beginning of each year," says Upfold.
Upfold says anyone can, and should, set goals. But the key to success is setting goals that are achievable, meaningful and measurable – and then spending time working towards them, he advises.
“There is no right or wrong way to set goals, what matters is the process that takes place after the goals have been set," says Upfold.
“It’s not just about setting goals, but also about working towards them. Writing them down and reviewing them regularly is most important.
Upfold says effective goal setting is about trying new techniques until a person finds one that suits them. The process may be as simple as writing the goals on a board or as complex as creating a spreadsheet with milestone dates and status updates.
Surrounding yourself with peers can be a great way to stay on track with your goals, says Upfold.
“A good way is to encourage your staff to set goals and encourage them to maintain yours," he says.
The TEC is an international organisation with more than 15,000 members. The invitation-only executive networking group was launched 53 years ago in Wisconsin. TEC has around 1400 members in Australia of which about 240 are in Queensland.
Members are placed into support and discussion groups of no more than 16 people. Group sessions along with monthly one-to-ones are conducted. No one in a support group can have competing business interests with anyone else in the group, or their spouses.
Upfold has been with the organisation for 21 years after a career that has included running a public company, consulting and 27 years with tissue and nappy manufacturer Kimberley-Clark.
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