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Why Write Down your Objectives

Why Write Down your Objectives

author: Lee Buttolph

I recently read a blog post from a high school friend and #5 on his list of Secrets to Success is to be predictable.  Much like young kids needing a predictable schedule, employees need a predictable set of objectives.

Have you ever had a boss that had an ever changing list of objectives they were trying to achieve?  Yeah… me too.  Luckily I also had one boss that had the guts to write down his objectives on paper and to then share those objectives with his entire staff.

This boss became very predictable.  We knew what his objectives were and if we were making decisions that met his objectives he would stand behind us 100%.  

He also set the expectation that we were able to challenge him when he ordered us to perform some task that didn’t relate to his list of objectives.  In one instance he asked one of his subordinates to set up an event that would have taken a lot of time and resources.  That employee asked the question “Have your priorities changed?  What you just asked me to do doesn’t seem to fit into your original list.”  To my bosses credit he quickly relented because it didn’t meet his original list of objectives and nothing had changed in the interim to change the list.

When you write down those objectives:

    1. There is no confusion about what you want.

    2. Employees can make decisions on their own as long as they meet your objectives.

    3. Employees feel empowered to keep management on track.