12 SMART Goals Examples for Developing Leadership

Successful leadership is about committing to your team and leading by example. All leaders should inspire their employees and boost morale as everyone strives towards achieving common goals.

Luckily, establishing SMART leadership goals will enhance your leadership quality and boost your team’s workflow.

You should realize that leadership goals are prevalent across all industries, and you should aim to accomplish these targets for success.

This post will cover several examples of SMART goals for developing leadership. But first, it’s crucial to learn what exactly SMART goals are.

What is a SMART Goal?

Your goals will be more successful if you make sure they follow the SMART goal technique. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

  • Specific: Your goal must be well-defined and easy to understand.
  • Measurable: Track your progress to see how close you are to reaching your goal.
  • Attainable: The goal should be manageable and within your capabilities.
  • Relevant: Aligns with your overall vision and mission.
  • Time-based: Give yourself a reasonable timeline to stay the course.

Many people set the goal of becoming better leaders in their industry. But they may not make their goals SMART. That would make it unrealistic to achieve goals in any area.

12 SMART Goals Examples for Leadership

Leadership success doesn’t pop out of the blue. It would be best if you created practical goals to reach your destination. Here are 12 SMART goals examples to develop your leadership skills:

1. Show Encouragement

SMART Goal: In the next 5 months, I want to inspire my team through positive coaching and feedback. I hope to see each team member offer one new idea every week to help increase our workflow.

  • Specific: With this goal statement, the leader demonstrates that they will use positive coaching and feedback to motivate their team.
  • Measurable: Goal progress is determined by the number of ideas each team member brings up.
  • Attainable: Delivering extra words of inspiration to your team is achievable.
  • Relevant: As a leader, you should keep your team members motivated so they do their best work.
  • Time-based: There is a 5-month timeline for accomplishing this goal.

2. Help Others Develop

SMART Goal: I will help one team member develop their skills so they can take on additional responsibilities at work for the entire month. I’ll give them regular feedback and opportunities to practice their new skills.

  • Specific: This goal has specified that they will help one team member to develop their skills.
  • Measurable: You can measure this goal by regularly checking in with your team members to see if they can handle more work responsibilities.
  • Attainable: Providing regular feedback and opportunities for the team is absolutely doable.
  • Relevant: Leaders must help their team members sharpen their skills to be more effective in their roles.
  • Time-based: You should expect goal attainment by the end of the month.

3. Boost Communication Skills

SMART Goal: Within two months, I want to boost communication with my team by holding weekly team meetings. I will send a meeting agenda beforehand and follow up with action items after the meeting.

  • Specific: The leader has announced that they will hold weekly meetings to improve communication among team members.
  • Measurable: We will know this goal is on track when team meetings are more efficient in relaying information to everyone.
  • Attainable: Boosting communication with the team is realistic and achievable.
  • Relevant: Communication is a critical leadership skill, so this goal is relevant to leadership success.
  • Time-based: This goal has a deadline of being accomplished within two months.
effective communication

4. Delegate Effectively

SMART Goal: Until three months later, I will delegate tasks more effectively to ensure my team members can work on projects they’re passionate about. To do so, I’ll assign tasks that match each team member’s skill set and interests.

  • Specific: The individual has particular actions to help them delegate tasks better.
  • Measurable: Make sure every team member is assigned a task that matches their interests and skills.
  • Attainable: Assigning tasks requires you to understand your team well.
  • Relevant: Workflow will have far better results if team members are passionate about the project.
  • Time-based: This specific goal will be pursued for three months.

5. Develop a Strategic Plan

SMART Goal: I’ll aim to develop a strategic plan for my team to be more effective in our work by the end of two weeks. I’ll conduct a SWOT analysis and create an action plan with clear deadlines.

  • Specific: This is specific because the person will conduct a SWOT analysis to create a great strategic plan for their team.
  • Measurable: Ensure you use the SWOT analysis technique correctly to create the best possible strategic plan.
  • Attainable: This SMART goal is achievable if the leader takes the time to conduct a SWOT analysis and create a well-thought-out plan.
  • Relevant: Developing a strategic plan is a pertinent goal for any leader who wants to improve their team’s efficiency.
  • Time-based: Goal attainment is expected by the end of two weeks.

6. Build a Cohesive Team

SMART Goal: I will build a more cohesive team by the end of this year to work more effectively together. I’ll hold two regular team-building activities each month to foster a positive team culture.

  • Specific: The leader has specified that they will build a stronger team through certain activities and fostering team culture.
  • Measurable: The objective is measured by having at least two team-building activities every month.
  • Attainable: Building a cohesive and positive team culture is undoubtedly feasible.
  • Relevant: A leader’s objective should always be to build a tight-knit and successful team.
  • Time-based: There is a one-year end date for reaching this goal.

7. Improve Time Management

SMART Goal: To stay more productive at work, I will improve my time management skills by the end of this month. I want to create and follow a daily schedule.

  • Specific: The individual will practice time management by creating and following a consistent schedule.
  • Measurable: This will be successful if the leader is able to knock down their daily tasks.
  • Attainable: Achieving this goal is possible if the leader is willing to stick to a schedule each day.
  • Relevant: Time management is suitable for leaders who want to do more productive work in less time.
  • Time-based: You have a one-month time frame to meet this target.

8. Be More Decisive

SMART Goal: I will be more decisive in my decision-making to avoid timidness. For one month, I’ll take 15 minutes to weigh all options before making a choice.

  • Specific: The statement is specific because the leader will carefully weigh all choices during decision-making.
  • Measurable: Check how often you give yourself a 15-minute buffer period when making a decision.
  • Attainable: To reach this goal, you need patience and critical thinking.
  • Relevant: Being decisive is a relevant skill for any leader who aims to make more effective decisions.
  • Time-based: This SMART goal must be completed within a month.

9. Become an Active Listener

SMART Goal: I’ll show my team how much I value their input during team meetings by being an active listener. This includes keeping my phone away, asking thought-provoking questions, and maintaining positive body language.

be an active listener
  • Specific: The leader has specific actions to encourage better active listening skills.
  • Measurable: You can measure progress towards this goal by ensuring that you practice the provided tips in every team meeting.
  • Attainable: All leaders are able to meet this goal with directed, intentional effort.
  • Relevant: This is a pertinent goal because team members are more likely to stay if they feel valued.
  • Time-based: You should expect to check in regularly on this team goal.

10. Stay Flexible

SMART Goal: I pledge to be more flexible in my work methods to adapt better within the next three months. I hope to receive new thoughts and be curious when exploring new territory.

  • Specific: This SMART goal describes how to be flexible through curiosity and accepting brand-new ideas.
  • Measurable: You could check how often you dive into unfamiliar territory.
  • Attainable: The leader must be open to leaving their comfort zone and embracing the unknown.
  • Relevant: All leaders should learn to be more flexible and quickly adapt to change.
  • Time-based: This goal should be met by the end of three months.

11. Take More Risks

SMART Goal: To become more innovative in my work, I’ll take more risks by the end of this month. I want to think outside the box by listing three innovative ideas, even if they may fail.

  • Specific: This statement describes how the leader will take more risks by pursuing innovation, even at the cost of failure.
  • Measurable: The goal is successful if the person can come up with at least three creative ideas.
  • Attainable: Plenty of people have the capacity to be innovative and take risks.
  • Relevant: Risk-taking is the norm for many industry leaders in the workplace.
  • Time-based: There is a one-month deadline for accomplishing this goal.

12. Be More Assertive

SMART Goal: In two months, I’ll be more assertive with my team to get my ideas across more effectively. I will speak up at least four times in each meeting and clarify what I want.

  • Specific: This objective specifies certain actions to become more assertive as a leader.
  • Measurable: Ensure you speak up at least four times in every team meeting you attend.
  • Attainable: You can attain this goal with intentional practice and by practicing your communication skills.
  • Relevant: Assertiveness is indispensable to being a successful leader.
  • Time-based: You must ideally reach this goal within the course of two months.

Final Thoughts

Leadership SMART goals are essential to help you develop the skills you need to be an effective leader. By setting SMART goals, you will push yourself to become the best leader you can be.

Pick out a few of the SMART goals examples above to start on your journey to career success. As you make great strides forward, you and your organization will accomplish more work.

And remember, the best leaders are constantly learning and growing. So don’t be afraid to set goals that challenge you.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.