Goal Setting: Unleashing the Power of Passion

Author By Steve Brechter

Have you ever wondered why certain things are difficult for you to do? Why is it that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to make headway?
And the fact that a deadline is looming doesn’t make things any easier.

When that happens, what’s your natural reaction?

You might feel there’s something wrong with you and you label yourself as deficient. Your confidence erodes.

Now think of those things that you can do in short order and look forward to doing. In fact, you actually seek out opportunities to do them again and again.

What’s that all about? Why are some things easy for you to do and others not?

The answer is passion. Passion is interest in overdrive.

You find your passion ignited when you’re engaged in something you like to do. Work becomes easy.

When you’re doing something you’re not interested in, work is hard. What does all this have to do with goal-setting?

Actually, a lot.

As you set your flight department’s goals for the coming year, take full advantage of the power of passion. Align those goals with the passions and interests of your people.

Once you do that, all you have to do is step out of their way.

How to Align Flight Department Goals and Unleash the Power of Passion

1.  Set Clear Goals

The first step in engaging the passions of your people is to set a clear direction for the department. That means taking your leadership team offsite for an annual goal-setting meeting.

Identify the end game first.  Be sure to clearly articulate the next “flag on the hill” for the flight department.

As an Aviation leadership team, ask yourselves: “What are we aiming for in the coming year? Which key actions will help us reach the next level of performance?”

Clearly define your goals. Otherwise, your team will drift aimlessly throughout the year.

Then do a gap analysis.

Be very specific about the gaps you identify, because they become your areas of focus. You need razor-sharp precision.

Stratify your goals by relative priority and make sure they’re well-stated. Is their relationship to the next “flag on the hill” for the department clearly recognizable?


2.  Connect People with Passion

This may seem trivial, but it’s the most important step in the process.

People need to be clear about what motivates them. As a leader, a big part of your job is to link the passions of your people with the goals of the organization.

This will help increase a person’s engagement in the organization (and their own career).

If someone isn’t engaged, assume the role of “leader as a coach.” Schedule time to talk with them about their interests.

Ask what gets them excited.  What do they most enjoy doing? What are they most curious about? What would they like to learn more about?

Hint:  Use a tool, such as The Birkman Method™, to help them identify their interests.

Helping an employee clarify their interests enables them to choose the most appropriate organizational goals in which to take part based on “fit.” It also becomes the aspirational part of their individual development plan.


3.  Put Out the Call

Now that you’ve defined your flight department goals for the year and know the interests of your people, you’re ready to make the link of people to goals.

First, a word of caution. Don’t assign goals to people.

If you do, you’ll miss a tremendous opportunity.

Rather, ask for expressions of interest. What you’re watching for is who steps forward and volunteers to take the lead role in a department goal.

Doing so gives your people choices and clearly indicates who your future leaders are.

Those who don’t volunteer will find themselves falling behind.

But those who do step forward and ask to be involved in a specific goal are doing so from a position of interest. And that’s precisely the link you want to make.

So put out the word and see who steps forward.


4.  Empower

At Gray Stone Advisors, we’ve often said that leaders do three things: set direction, break down barriers and provide resources.

Emerging from your leadership team offsite meeting with a clear statement of goals, you’ll have accomplished the direction-setting part of a leader’s role.

And once you link your people to the goals of the organization through interest, it’s time to focus on the second and third roles of a leader.

You simply need to break down the barriers that may be in the way of accomplishing the goals and provide the resources by which to do so.

Then get out of their way.


5.  Recognize Achievement

In no time, you’ll notice that people who work on things they’re interested in make tremendous progress.

Gone are the excuses of missed deadlines and why things can’t be done. They are replaced with achievement and performance beyond expectation.

What’s the fuel of this new found organizational energy? It’s passion. Interest in overdrive.

As a leader, take time to recognize those who go “above and beyond.” People may say they don’t need recognition, but don’t believe that. Everyone does.

And by recognizing the achievement of those who perform, others who have been on the sidelines will inevitably join in.


Your Turn
How have you linked the interests of your people with the goals of your flight department? We’re interested! Please let us know.