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Goals! (And how to score them!)

EVERYBODY, everywhere wants results and they all want them in the first five minutes of play! At the workplace too supervisors and heads of department constantly breathe down hapless necks.

It all comes down to the relentless pursuit of targets, which are also often called goals. Like any motivated coach, seeing how many of his team can score obsesses every manager and eats away at his soul until his goal is scored!

Being successful in scoring is the happy dream of a good manager leading a successful team, and there is no doubt that the effort, individual or team, translates into a departmental championship!

Every second tome in a management library talks about setting up and scoring goals and good practice seems to focus almost exclusively on short term goals, long term goals, individual goals, team goals, etc., etc.

But times have changed, environments have changed, so the setting up of goals must have changed too. What has changed and what remains the same are all critical points, which beg an answer.

Since the intention of scoring as many as one would like, would mean the difference between just another player or a David Beckham who gets bought by Real Madrid for 25 million! Who will buy you? And for how much? And will your 'team' fight to keep you as their top scorer?

In point of fact, setting up a goal is several times trickier than scoring one! Scoring is the easy part, and effective goal setting is the absolute essential in the management of self in the changed playing field of today!

Lead ups to the setting up of a scoring opportunity involves noting what you think your team offers for your personal agenda, in terms of your individual growth and your making it to the big league! x The next issue is, that if you set it up and someone else converts it into a goal will you share the credit? Then examine how much of an effect your goal will have on the organisation's objectives. Will profits roll in?

Will the betting have higher stakes? Make certain that your goal is not purposeless. It must make a difference for it to be remembered, and being remembered for scoring will last you far longer than you can imagine!

A goal that anyone can score is never appreciated; strive therefore to be certain that your goal is one that involves a degree of difficulty that becomes the envy of other scorers!

The goal having been set, and your commitment focused on it, you need to see that you can convert it into a scored goal! Doing this requires the skill of a surgeon, a copywriter, a PR whiz and a master blaster all rolled in one! So;

Clearly enunciate the plan providing points along the way where metrics can be taken and matched with timeframes.

Mention how your goal will improve the score, and how uniquely it will do that. It could improve the score by saving money and earning some more. The result could be a picture of what the company was like before and after your goal!

Remember that you might set up the goal and you might convert the attempt yourself and the score will be directly attributed to you, but unless the whole team is involved, the victory will be hollow. Remember, you need everybody's help to achieve your success. There are other players in the field, the opponents who will try and stop you from scoring and your own teammates who will be invaluable in marking the opposing team members while you progress to the mouth of the goal! If you exclude your team, you'll end up scoring an own-goal for which you'll be derided for the rest of your working life!

Make certain that your goal is a nick-of-time game-winning goal! It should be valued as something that the company could not do without! Make certain it makes a difference. It should be realistic and enthusiastically supported by everybody in the 'team'!

What do you need to make a successful sortie on the goal? Whose help will you need? How will you secure their cooperation? What do you need to make it happen? This list will help you to prioritise your pursuit!

No point scoring a goal when there is no goalie or when the match is over! Get it done in the time you've planned for it. Any later and it will be too late and not worth the effort and the planning!

Know your playing field. In the work environment of today, it will never be a level playing field. Mostly it will be tilted against you, so that the rush to the goal will be uphill all the way. You need to watch where you are going to see the changes in the field so that you can make course corrections and adapt to changing circumstances! Its all very well to be fixated on the goal, but unlike Arjuna, who blotted out everything else out of his vision to hit his target, remember that you goal is not a sitting duck, it's a moving, dodging target that changes with the market forces, the players in the field and the state of the economy (of both the market and your 'team')

Scoring goals as I said is the easy bit; planning them is the toughie. But it's the planning that keeps you focused, purposeful and dedicated.

A need to achieve the successful outcome of an attempt on the goal should provide you with a game plan of how to conduct yourself and in what direction.

If you do all this well you'll be the top scorer and perhaps, who knows, which high-power team will offer to wean you away and you'll see how hard your team fights to keep you!

S.RAMANUJACHARYA

professor1@sify.com

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