Added Value: 6 Steps to 20/20 Vision

|  September 4, 2015
Photo: ©

To make sure you’re progressing forward, not backward, set “Vision 2020” goals. Photo: ©

We have less than four-and-a-half years until the ball drops in Times Square to ring in 2020. Have you considered making it a priority to set “Vision 2020” goals? We have to keep our goals clearly focused to make sure we’re progressing forward, not backward.

1. Make them interesting. Set goals that motivate, inspire and are important enough to be on your radar. If you have little interest in the outcome, the chances your team will fully support the efforts are slim to none.

2. Make them sharable. To make sure your goals are motivating, communicate why they’re important. Sharing your goals with everyone on the team is a must. Each team player must know his or her specific role, like on a sports team. Each player works to win collectively, but covers his or her own individual responsibilities separately.

3. Make them specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). Clearly defining specific goals puts everyone on the same page of your playbook. Making them measurable by including precise amounts and dates allows you to know exactly where in the process you are at any time. You must make sure the goals are attainable, because if there’s no hope of hitting the mark, you and your team will feel demoralized. Are your goals relevant to the direction you want your team to pursue? By focusing on what you want, you’re not just setting scattered and inconsistent goals, wasting everyone’s time and effort. Finally, setting time-bound goals is imperative because goals must have a deadline. When working on a deadline, the sense of urgency is greater and success comes faster.

4. Make them written. Writing goals down will make them visible and concrete. Place your goals where everyone can see them every day, so no one will have an excuse and say they forgot about them. Frame your goal statements positively, and use a to-do checklist to chart your achievements.

5. Make an action plan. Write out the individual steps and cross them off as the team completes them. Everyone will see the progress and can celebrate together.

6. Make an effort to see them through. There is great value in letting your team see your commitment to making goals come true. People like to work for someone who has defined plans for the success of their organization.

You can reach Ray Johnson, a past president of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), president of Sevierville, Tenn.-based Johnson Pest Control, and founder of ACES for Business, at

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