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  • Wendi Smith

Leaders, It’s Time to Revise Your Short-Term Goals


Ever watch a flock of birds synchronize their movements across the sky? It’s mesmerizing. What we know is that the birds aren’t just following a leader, they are anticipating the next move for the entire group.

Wayne Potts, zoologist: “birds in flocks are able to change direction quickly not just because they are following a leader, or their neighbors, but because they see a movement far down the line and anticipate what to do next.”

This can be the same for teams, but they need to know what to care about and how they can participate.


Reiterating short-terms goals, or creating new immediate term initiatives help teams focus. It encourages them to be productive and engaged, even when everything around them seems out of control. It also teaches people to operate autonomously because they can see the steppingstones to hitting the goals.


For some companies, it’s a moment for short-term wins to improve your products, services, or getting back to basics. Every company’s goals will be different, the most important point is that each new milestone hit will give team members a focal point and a sense of accomplishment.


Here are some questions to help determine your goals or initiatives:

  • What is the most critical thing we can do for our clients/customers right now?

  • What are the most pressing issues our clients are facing? Are there commonalities?

  • Do we have a tool, service or product that we can improve or create to meet client’s immediate needs?

  • What internal initiative would make the greatest impact for now and for the long-term?

  • Is there a purpose-driven initiative that we can put our energy into?

Most important is that these goals keep the business moving forward and the teams engaged, even during social and economic uncertainty.


The way you guide your team today during this crisis will determine the kind of culture you have in the future—particularly important when some of your teams will probably still work remotely in what will likely be the new normal.


The end goal is to create a workforce that is as nimble as a flock of birds that can easily anticipate what they need to do and can move quickly when its necessary to realize the company vision.

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