Goal Setting and Planning Strategies for Executives

January 11, 2019 | A new slate Harwant Khush, Ph.D., Research Consultant, Tero International,

"Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction." – John F. Kennedy

Goal setting and planning strategies provide focus and direction to executives, business leaders and managers to make their organizations successful and productive. These strategies are vital tools and skills that, once acquired, can help accomplish the vision and mission of their organizations. They can help answer questions such as what do they need to achieve? Where do they want to take their organization in the years to come? Goals and planning strategies can also be effectively used by executives to formulate their policies and procedures for successful business ventures.

What are Goals?

Social sciences literature provides a vast amount of definitions and guidelines to set up goals. According to the Business Dictionary, goals are, “an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.” Webster’s Dictionary defines goals as “the end towards which all effort is directed.” Achieving end results is the essential criteria for setting goals based on these definitions. The common theme is that goals are future-oriented activities that lead to specific, tangible and measurable results.

Planning Strategies for Setting Goals

A careful and well thought out planning strategy is vital for success. It serves as the blueprint for all activities to be accomplished and implemented. The importance of planning is indicated in most any article around goal setting and planning. Some suggestions are as follows:

  • Establish policies and plan: List the specific and detailed activities to be taken at various stages to implement the goals.
  • Communicate and collaborate with employees and significant others to make sure that everyone is on-board and working for the same target.
  • Set a timetable: Deadlines or target dates for each step of the plan should be elaborated and fixed.
  • State each goal in positive rather than in negatives statements. It is easier to say, “accomplish these tasks,” rather than saying, “do not make these stupid mistakes.”
  • Write them down, communicate them and prepare a flow chart of actions or activities to be taken.
  • Assign responsibilities, delegate tasks and make sure members are accountable to perform their roles.


Goal setting and planning strategies are important to consider for any business or organization’s success. When goals succeed, so do executives and their businesses. For methods of goal setting and more planning strategies, go to www.tero.com/articles/goal-setting-planning.php.