How Do You Set Goals?

Make a start now, not tomorrow – There is no tomorrow

Within the world of business, no matter what industry you are in, there is always some continuous improvements/goals/milestones wanting to be met.

1. Continuous Improvement

For example, in the rail industry where I have worked most of my career, the goals for engineering are: number of delay minutes a day, making service with a specific amount of trains each day, and reducing the amount of technical issues. These all had daily, weekly and monthly goals.

I’m sure that whatever industry you work in, your organisation has daily, weekly and monthly goals too. However, we ALL have team and individual goals, and these are usually called objectives. A very corporate term, but they are there for a reason.

They are there to measure our performance and also to figure out what kind of development we need. Most of the people I worked with didn’t care about objectives, but I did and so should you.


When we are set a goal, or an objective, we usually try to find a way to meet that goal or to just about achieve it. But, I am saying that we should find a way to beat that objective or goal, not just meet it. We are striving to be excellent, so we should know how to make things happen.

Now, we don’t just want to make things happen, we want to make things happen quicker and better than what our boss expected. Imagine how much you could increase your influence if you not only beat your goals, but you did it sooner.

Not only that, the trust you will build with your boss and the team will increase too.

2. Foundation of Leadership

Doing tasks or beating goals sooner than your boss expected helps you build trust. Trust is the foundation of leadership and influence.

So your foundation of trust will rise, and be of great benefit for you in the future. Which means, you will be given a lot more responsibility and again you will be known as the leader within your team.

If you want to gain confidence, then gain trust. Trust is the foundation of leadership and influence.

Your boss will increase the amount of confidence they have in you if you can beat their expectations sooner. You will be the first person they ask for help. You will be the first person they ask for an opinion. You will be the first member of the team they listen to.

As we have discussed before, your responsibility level will rise and your influence will increase.

Don’t be the person who doesn’t care when they complete their objectives or tasks. Having an attitude like that will only create distrust between you and your boss, and your influence will decrease.

Your boss will lose confidence in you and then they won’t ask you for help, they won’t raise your level of responsibility, and they won’t ask your opinions on things.

Leadership is a verb, not a noun. It is action, it is moving. Don’t stand still, or you will never beat your goals.

The leaders who don’t have any trust with anybody, but still have influence, only do so because they are in a certain position or they have a certain job title.

People only follow them because they have to, and that is no way to lead. They only lead through fear, manipulation or intimidation. There is absolutely no foundation of trust, and their influence is very negative. Again, don’t let that be you.

3. Creating Trust

Throughout this site I am sharing leadership principles with you, and every single one of them gives you the tools to create trust within your team. They give you the tools to create trust with your boss.

They give you the tools to create trust with your friends, family, and within your community too. If you don’t apply these principles throughout your life then you will create distrust.

You have the character to lead and influence your people, and you are learning the principles to go with that character. When you can match both, it doesn’t matter what position you hold or what job title you have. There is no such thing as leading people through manipulation, fear or intimidation.

Your team members, organisation, family, friends, and community will want to follow you because of who you are. They will follow you because they want to, not because they have to. Leadership and influence is based on trust, and through building your character so you can build trust with others.

It won’t matter what level of authority you have, whether you’re a team member, a supervisor or a manager. Anybody in any industry can lead people this way.

4. Beating Your Goals Sooner

Being a team member and beating your goals or objectives sooner than was expected, that is the best place for you to build trust and increase your influence. You don’t need to have a job title or position to do that.

Your boss is your number one customer remember, so all you need is the passion and the will to put in the extra effort. You must be willing to make the sacrifices that will enable you to beat your goals sooner rather than later.

But, don’t just stop at your boss. You want to increase your influence and build trust with as many people as you can. You never know who you might need to call on for a helping hand in the future.

Remember I told you the story earlier about me walking around the shop floor and the facilities team member asked me for a mop? I was a few levels above his supervisor, but to me that wasn’t an issue. He needed my help and I was more than happy to help him.

His immediate supervisor didn’t help him, or it may have not been a huge priority to him, so he was going to help him later than expected. This created distrust between the supervisor and the facilities team member, and the relationship between them broke down.

I was pretty sure that helping him increased my influence throughout the team. He would have done some good advertising for me by spreading the word. In fact I was even thanked by some of his team members, which made me feel great.


Remember this, if a person has a problem with you, it is their problem and not yours. The problem has nothing to do with you. However, if a person doesn’t trust you, that has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with you. It is impossible to force a person to trust you.

The only way to gain a person’s trust is by making the right decisions that will make you a trustworthy person. Other people can then make the decision to either trust you or distrust you, depending on the decisions that you make.

Now we’re coming towards the end of this post, start thinking about what principle you are going to work on first. What do you need to start doing differently? Who do you need to start building trust with first?

What obstacles could be in your way, and how are you going to remove them? Try your best not to make any excuses. This is your future we are talking about, make it good.

To strive towards excellence, you will come across failure and that’s ok. Don’t make that failure final.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

10 thoughts on “How Do You Set Goals?

  1. I think that gaining confidence as a leader is one of the most important things to be a real leader, and that is a point that I can work on. The problem is I think, that I am too empathic towards people and give them too much trust, so that they don’t actually perform, because “everything they do is ok”.
    It is difficult to find the right balance in this, right?
    Great article thanks

    1. Hi Lizzy,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You are right, it is difficult to find the right balance between empathy, trust, leadership, influence…all of it really. Leadership overall is a very, very difficult way of life. It is very similar to being a parent.

      All you need to do is keep going, keep learning and DO NOT GIVE UP!

      All the best,


  2. I do agree that the foundation of leadership is trust, and I have experienced this in many areas of my life over the years in both business and personal matters. When setting goals continuous improvement is most definitely the objective. I personally only set time limits for project goals and not for the big dreams and objectives as they tend to arrive at just the right time and right way with persistent actions and making changes along the way. What is most important is doing the “Next Step” effectively and efficiently. Thanks, Tom, for this most thought-provoking article.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      I appreciate your comment.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences in the foundation of leadership,,,trust.

      There will be so many reading this and your comment who will be able to relate to you, and learn from you.

      It is my pleasure to share this article and I thank you again for sharing your experiences.

      All the best,


  3. Leadership is a verb. I like that, it’s a powerful statement that says it all. As a leader and team member, you have to earn your trust and not lead through intimidation or fear or the fact that you have a higher position. As a leader, one is still a member of the team. People should indeed follow a leader because of who he or she is, because of the trust he/she inspires.

    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for sharing your comment.

      Leadership is definitely a verb which means we must take action. It is moving, not stagnant, so we need to keep building the momentum in our leadership, just like a train builds momentum.

      Keep working and keep inspiring your people to do the same.

      All the best,


    1. Hi Brianna,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I am pleased that my posts help you and inspire you. I hope you take action on what you learn and share what you learn with others.

      If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      All the best,


  4. I agree that trust is one of the most important aspect when it comes to leadership because without it there will be no leadership and people will not follow and I can see this all the time pin social media.

    1. Hi Thabo,

      Thank you for sharing your comment.

      Keep building trust with your people, and strengthening the relationshsips you have with them.

      All the best,


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