Leadership Goals

Exceptional leadership skills are desirable to have, both in everyday life and in the workplace. In any working environment, employers are always on the lookout for leadership potential among their employees. Developing these skills will give you a leg up on the competition in the working world.

Whether you’re a leader yourself or you’re looking to become one, our goal is to give you some useful tips and tricks in this article. We’ll be listing some common leadership goals, benefits of these goals, and reasons why you might want to set them for yourself.

 What Is a Leader?

The term “leader” is both vague and specific. A leader is anyone who takes charge and helps others who follow them, but a leader can come from many walks of life. A leader might be a business owner, an entrepreneur, an employee, or just someone who paves their own way. There’s one common theme among leaders, however: others look to them for guidance and inspiration.

You don’t have to be in an ownership or management role to be a leader. Although these are the people we most often think of as leaders, an employee, or even someone who’s unemployed, can be a leader, too. A blogger who’s the authority on their chosen subject matter, for example, is most definitely a leader.

A leader sometimes functions as a trailblazer, although the two are not quite the same. While a trailblazer innovates and walks paths that no one has before, a leader is someone who’s not afraid to take that first step onto a path, whether it’s been well-traveled or not, so that others can follow behind them.

Leaders help an organization or project to find and maintain its direction. It’s a leader’s duty to instill confidence in and inspire those who follow behind them, whether they know those people or not.

They need to be ready to take on new technologies, ideas, and strategies, even when others are reluctant to do so. If they do not, they’ll be edged out by other competition. Part of a leader’s duty is to work towards the success of their organization, after all.

Leadership Goals

Any leader should be setting goals for themselves and others in order to keep their organization in the best possible condition. Often, these goals are set on a yearly basis depending on what the business or organization needs at the time. Upper levels of a company can often set leadership goals for staff and employees to strive for, as well.

In this section, we’ll be introducing you to some common leadership goals that employees and employers both set, in addition to why each goal is helpful and important.

Strategic Thinking

Any leader should be able to think strategically to ensure the success of their business or venture. Strategic thinking involves looking at the big picture and focusing on the whys, hows, and whats of making the business a success.

Strategic thinking is the ability to analyze a situation for what it is, what it needs, and what might be coming around the corner. Without strategic thought, people and businesses would not be prepared for future events, mishaps, expansions, and growth as they should be.

A leader who can think strategically for the business should be able to create a “road map” of sorts for it. To create a road map, the leader needs to ask questions. Where should the business be in one year? Where do you want the company to be in one year according to the best-case scenario? What improvements need to be made to promote that success? What’s holding the business back?

When new opportunities become available, strategic thinkers need to be able to analyze them. Sometimes it’s the right time to take advantage of an opportunity, and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes, the fact alone that an opportunity came about is a sign that something else of note is going on. Leaders who prioritize strategic thought need to always be on the lookout for such cues.


Good communication between the members of an organization is essential to keep things running properly. This is especially true if they work together in teams or general collaboration. Teams need to communicate even more thoroughly than the average coworker to ensure that their duties or projects are completed on time and up to standard.

When there’s bad communication in the workplace, everyone suffers. Besides bringing down morale, bad communication can decrease productivity, result in fights or animosity between coworkers, and cause a loss of focus from what should be getting done. Thus, excellent communication should be maintained at all times and should be a constant goal in any workplace.

Good communication provides an array of benefits to the workplace, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Conflict mitigation
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Better customer relationships
  • Increased productivity

Communication isn’t just talking, though. You also need to be good at listening to be a good communicator. A leader in the workplace should be able to listen to and address employee concerns, pick up on feelings of discontent or happiness in the office, and hear out customer complaints. Active listening, in particular, is a powerful way to make employees feel valued and appreciated at work.


An experienced leader should know the value of sharing what they know with their juniors. Sometimes, leaders in a business setting can get too preoccupied with “telling” and “directing” employees and processes. Instead, leaders should set goals to coach and teach those who they lead whenever possible.

Just like in the previous paragraph, getting to know employees and consumers instead of dismissing them improves much within the business model. Instead of rejecting them, pay attention to what employees and customers do, and use what you find to guide them to better things.

Coaching and directing may seem similar, but they result in very different things. Direction leaves little room for personal thoughts and ideas, where coaching encourages the individual to grow and come to their own conclusions. Direction does not promote growth or self-thought and basically does not acknowledge the employee as a thinking, functioning individual.

With a directing approach, an employer or leader would be more concerned with replacing underperforming employees than teaching them to do better. A coaching mindset focuses on bringing out the talents of the individual worker, nurturing those talents in accordance with what the business needs, and retaining such employees.

Financial Understanding

Leaders with any connections to the financial happenings of a business should, of course, have goals in mind to better understand those financial happenings. Those in positions of financial authority will know the ins and outs of finances as part of their job, but not everyone has this requirement. Another term for this is financial literacy.

Even if financial literacy isn’t required of you, making a point of learning it anyway shows a lot of incentive and dedication to the company. Besides impressing your coworkers, learning the financial ins and outs of the business can help you make better-informed decisions in the future. Someone who knows the economic impact of a given idea will be able to make better choices than someone who does not.

If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner who is in charge of the finances for your business, then it’s all the more vital for you to learn more about finances and financial practices. If you don’t know the numbers behind the decisions you’re making, you could be losing money without even knowing it. Moreover, if you’re not making sound financial decisions for your business, others in the industry will not respect you.

Industry Knowledge

Industry knowledge goes hand-in-hand with financial understanding, but it extends a bit further. Rather than just relating to money, industry knowledge can relate to other business’ practices, red tape that needs navigating, potential technology upgrades for your business, and much more. At least cursory understanding of the industry should be a requirement or goal of any working employee.

Expanding your industry knowledge also has important customer aspects. As a business owner, if you’re not able to understand what your customers think and need, your business will be unable to thrive. For a business to run correctly, there needs to be demand in a given area for what the company is selling. If there is not, again, the company will fail to thrive.

Industry knowledge can involve many things, a few of which we’ve listed below.

  • The ability to spot trends or “connect the dots”
  • The ability to identify new technologies or strategies that can be helpful or harmful
  • Knowledge of what is and isn’t okay in an industry, legally or otherwise
  • Knowledge of what employees need to know and do to succeed

Make a list of areas that you’d like to improve your experience on, whether they be industry knowledge or otherwise. Any good leader never fails to search out ways in which they can improve, and in the process, they set a proper precedent for those who follow them. Doing this in the workplace shows your employees that they should do the same, and will make them look up to you as someone knowledgeable and dedicated.


Some leaders might not initially think about their leadership “presence” as something to improve. Presence is a bit of a strange combination that involves communication, bedside manner, and knowledge. The ability to “command a room” starts with your leadership presence.

A leader who has good presence might be confident giving an important presentation, be able to win over those who listen, and answer questions quickly and accurately. Someone without presence, however, might be unconfident or shaky, unable to answer questions, or not respected by those listening.

When we think of a leader, we often imagine a person with an intrinsic leadership presence who makes us want to follow them. However, not all good leaders possess this presence. It’s not necessarily a detriment if it’s something that you don’t have, but it definitely helps speed up your recognition as a leader. Those around you might not realize it right away if you don’t possess that quality.

Charisma, of course, is at play a lot here, so if you have trouble speaking publicly with others, that should be a goal of yours. Knowledge, though, is just as necessary. If you have the charisma, you may be able to get people to follow you for a time, but if you don’t have the learning and skill to back it up, you will lose their faith quickly!


The subject of management combines several other areas of leadership under one large umbrella. A leader should always be able to manage what they’re in charge of, regardless of what it is; after all, a leader is expected to amass knowledge in whatever they’re responsible for.

Below, we’ve included a few of the many types of management we speak of in this section.

  • Time management
  • Employee management
  • Business management
  • Technical management
  • Management style
  • Information management
  • Brand management

Of course, there are many more types of management, but a leader should always be able to manage whatever they might be in charge of. For instance, if a leader must leave the premises of a business for a time for a vacation or business, they should be able to manage things remotely. If they can’t, improving their remote management skills and strategies should be one of their goals.

Any leader who works with employees should aim to have employee management down, of course. In the same way, an entrepreneur or self-employed business owner needs to be able to manage the business. Time management, in particular, is a big one that any leader should have experience with. Leaders may want to set time-management goals for employees, as well.


Collaboration is very close to good communication concerning how important it is in a community workplace. Not all workplaces require constant collaboration between employees, but when it does become necessary, employees should be able to work together flawlessly. Leaders should be able to promote this collaboration by showing employees that they can collaborate as well.

Collaboration between businesses is also sometimes necessary. When corporations need to collaborate, employees should know how to be polite, helpful, and civil towards those they don’t know, even if the other corporation does not show the same courtesy. Situations like this can vary in how often they happen, but as with most things, employees should be prepared for when it comes.

Collaboration will start with you, though, as the leader. If you collaborate well with others, employees will follow your lead; if you don’t work well with others, employees will do the same. This is especially important because collaboration with customers and outside sources can reflect on your image. Depending on how well you do, this can be helpful or harmful to the business as a whole.

Skill Improvement

As we’ve mentioned before in this article, leaders should always be looking to improve their own skills, both to inspire their employees to do the same and to maintain the aptitude of the business itself. Skill assessments are useful both for you and for the employees to make sure everyone is where they should be.

The importance of skill improvement varies depending on the field you’re in. Technological fields, for example, are constantly being updated with improved technologies, languages, and practices. Someone in a technical field should have a goal of checking their skills several times per year, else they may fall behind.

If you’re in a field that doesn’t often change, however, skill assessments might be appropriate once per year with the normal performance review.

In addition to useful business skills, don’t forget to test your leadership skills, too! Although we mention many in this article, there are hundreds more than you can work on that might make you a better leader. We recommend making a skill “checklist” for leadership skills or otherwise. Make one of these checklists once per year or so, and check things off of the list as you accomplish them!

We’ve made an extra list of some related skills below that might be useful for leaders or employees to have.

  • Computer knowledge: if you’re not particularly familiar with the technology your business or organization uses, that may be something to learn.
  • Delegation: Although perfectionism has its place in the workplace, excessive control does not. If you can’t delegate smaller jobs to other employees, you’ll eventually burn yourself out.
  • Mediation: When a fight happens in the workplace, it will be up to the leaders to de-escalate things and bring the office back to normal. These skills can sometimes be necessary to calm customers down, too!


Development can mean a lot of things in regards to a business, and even more when we’re talking about a leader. In fact, leadership development is a term unto itself. If you feel that you’re not quite the leader you want to be and you’d like to get better, leadership development is the way to go. There are leadership development courses and camps available online or through your workplace to help develop your inner potential!

Development also concerns the growth of the company and the employees themselves. As we’ve mentioned, employees should always be looking to grow as the company grows, and change as the company changes. If they do not, they will eventually become obsolete as others overtake them.

Employee development can take many forms, but most go through training programs that are meant to teach them specific skills. If a new technology is being deployed by a company, for example, employees may be put through training programs to learn to use it properly.

Personal development of employees is also a priority. Surprisingly, some employees may lack useful “soft skills” when a large corporation hires them. It’s ideal that these employees realize this and acquire relevant soft skills themselves, but sometimes, it’s necessary to tell them during a performance review. Things like nonviolent communication, emotional balance, and intellectual growth are particular sticking points.


Any business strives for efficiency in its operating goals, and thus, leaders that represent that business should strive for efficiency, too. When a business or employee is not optimally efficient, it’s the same as throwing money away. No employee is expected to work at one hundred percent efficiency all the time, but any employee who’s obviously lagging behind should get a talking to.

Efficiency and productivity are similar, but not quite the same, though both are excellent goals to have as a leader. Efficiency involves minimizing the waste of resources, whether it be time, effort, money, or manpower. Productivity, on the other hand, involves getting as much work done as possible within a time period while still maintaining a high-quality product.

Efficiency can be lost in many different areas of a business. Below are a few efficiency-related reasons why your business might be suffering.

  • Refusal to identify inefficiencies
  • Archaic business tools
  • Favoring bureaucracy over innovation
  • Refusal to streamline inefficient processes
  • Refusal to follow the rules
  • Underestimation of necessary skills

As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that you’re operating as efficiently as possible. Even if you don’t have any direct control over the efficiency of the company itself, as an efficient cog in the machine, you will both inspire others to work better and hopefully improve the running of the business on the whole.


Interpersonal relationships are another area where businesses can suffer if proper leadership isn’t shown. Employees should be urged to follow an appropriate set of etiquette rules for whatever company they work for in regards to forming relationships. Typically, friendships between coworkers are okay, but romantic relationships are discouraged.

As a leader, your goal should be to form productive, respectful, friendly relationships with both your peers and your betters. Even if you’re regularly exposed to people that you don’t get along with, be the better person. That’s what a leader does, and hopefully, employees will follow your example.

Sometimes, the relationship between two employees can be particularly bad. If this is the case, intervention from you or another superior may become necessary. This is where team-building exercises often come in handy. If employees can’t learn to get along on their own, it needs to be made clear that you will make sure it happens regardless.

It might not be possible to make enemies become friends, but employees should realize the importance of setting arguments aside to work as a team and get things done satisfactorily.


As a leader, you should learn to embrace flexibility and make it a trait of yours. Businesses are notorious areas where adaptation can either be embraced wholeheartedly or shunned. Old companies sometimes operate under the assumption that if it isn’t broken, it shouldn’t be fixed, even when new, efficient technologies are available. This can cause an undeniable drop in efficiency.

If you don’t hold a position of power within your business, you may not be able to adapt the company itself as much as you’d like to. However, do your best to employ relevant, time-saving practices, strategies, and technologies in the areas that you do control. Also, if you are able to influence the adaptability of the company, or at least suggest a change, do it!

Besides the business itself, though, your goal should be to become more adaptable as a person. Things can change at the drop of a hat, especially in business. If something doesn’t work out the way it was supposed to, someone doesn’t get their work done in time, or some other roadblock comes up, be prepared to step up and handle it.

Adaptability also means being willing to step up and take charge when challenging assignments come to light. Others in the office might not be brave enough or willing enough to take on challenging tasks, but if you show the confidence and resolve to do so, you can inspire them to do the same!

Final Thoughts

A leadership role can be a tough one to fill. If you expect to be a good leader, you’ll end up with a lot on your shoulders, including both your burdens and those of others. A leader will find that things that should never have been their problem become their problem more often than they’d really like.

However, this is just part of what being a leader means. If you care about the organization you work for, taking on a leadership role will feel like nothing. If you’re driven by the want to make your company the best it can be, no burden will be too much to bear. This resolve is contagious, too; those around you will start to see what you see if you can stick to your resolve.

All in all, the path of a leader will not be an easy one. If you were having thoughts of becoming a leader just to earn some extra points with your boss, we urge you to rethink your choice. It’s a real commitment, but a worthy one, to be a true leader, and we hope that the goals we’ve written in this article make it just a bit easier.

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