How to Use This Book to Save Time and to
Write Compelling Performance Goals
Setting goals for your employees—or, more accurately, helping
them set appropriate goals for themselves—is a very individualized
and personal endeavor. Adding the right elements to the
recipe, so to speak, therefore varies significantly depending on
the individual’s needs and aspirations. Still, your key focus
always lies in customizing a blueprint or template for success to
help your staff members find new ways of increasing their own
productivity, which of course improves your departmental and
ultimately company performance.
Creating Development Plans for Employees
So how exactly should you go about creating individual development
plans for your subordinates, and, more importantly, how
can this book help you get there? First and foremost, always ask
your employees for their input. Without your subordinates’
involvement, drafting development plans in goal statements
becomes hit or miss. Second, realize that employees will remain
loyal to their companies—regardless of headhunters’ calls luring
them away to greener pastures—as long as they’re on a positive
career growth trajectory and they feel appreciated for what they
contribute. This so-called psychic income serves as the glue that
binds workers to their organizations, and it’s clearly the most significant
element of any development plan.
If you convince subordinates that achieving specific goals at
work equates to adding vivid bullets to their resumes, then you’ll
develop an accomplishment mentality that enables your employees
not only to motivate themselves but also to reinvent themselves
in light of your organization’s changing needs. That’s
where an average manager or supervisor steps up to become an
outstanding leader. Great leaders know how to set up their subordinates
for success. Then they simply step aside and get out of
When you describe the best bosses and mentors that you’ve
had in your career, you’re more than likely to use the verb “to be”
rather than “to do.” In fact, in all human relations, “beingness”
typically trumps “doingness” because the greatest influencers on
our lives were loving, supportive, caring, patient, and selfless in
guiding us. And those traits all came much more from who they
were than what they did. In other words, providing others direction
and offering guidance is actually a lot easier than you think.
It’s simply a matter of being a selfless leader who’s committed to
balancing the company’s needs with those of the individual
If you’re able to make this one paradigm shift in your belief
system—that great leaders focus on being rather than on
doing—you’ll cut a lot of stress out of your life and develop
teams that will remain very loyal to you. Loyalty begets respect,
respect begets devotion, and we all know that devoted employees
will give you 110% of their efforts. In short, if you command
employees from the top down, you’ll get no more than 100% of
their efforts out of their sense of compliance. But if you can
touch their hearts and help them to love you as their boss and
mentor, you’ll build amazingly strong teams with lots of camaraderie
and teamwork and, in so doing, catapult your own career
to new heights.
With these simple premises in mind, understand that you’re
not responsible for motivating your team. Motivation is internal,
and I can’t motivate you any more than you can motivate me.
However, as a leader within your organization, you are indeed
responsible for creating an environment in which people can
motivate themselves. And that fine distinction is where this book
can come in rather handy.
More Than Just a List of Descriptive Phrases
This book offers a lot more than just descriptive goal phrases
outlining competencies and responsibilities. It provides wisdom
and guidance on how to manage your career, lead your team
more effectively, and inspire those around you to reach higher
levels of individual performance and achievement. 2600 Phrases
for Setting Effective Performance Goals will provide you with
insightful strategies to accomplish more yourself as well as
through others, to serve as an effective career mentor and coach,
and to help your company stand out from its competition. For
example, when it comes to motivating and leading your team,
look to phrases like these to minimize misunderstanding and
open the lines of communication:
● Encourage individuality and foster an environment of
respect and inclusion.
● Recognize that perception is reality until proven
otherwise; therefore, always hold yourself accountable
for your own “perception management.”
● Welcome and encourage others’ feedback so that they
are comfortable sharing minor concerns with you before
they become major impediments.
● Nix conversations about politics, religion, or politically
incorrect, nonwork-related issues, which are sure to
foster resentment or frustration.
● Learn what you could change about your own behavior
to invoke a different response in others.
● Understand that building on someone’s strengths makes
more sense than compensating for their weaknesses.
Similarly, you can become a stronger career mentor and
coach by helping your subordinates grow and develop in their
own careers if you:
● Encourage others to engage in random acts of kindness.
● Find creative ways of surprising your customers.
● Focus on making bad relationships good and good
● Look for new ways of reinventing the workflow in light
of our company’s changing needs.
● Think relationship first, transaction second.
● Realize that people can tell more about you by the depth
of your questions than by the quality of your statements.
● Separate the people from the problem.
● Heed Mark Twain’s adage: “If we were meant to talk
more than we listen, we would have two mouths and
● Always provide two solutions for each question you
ask or suggestion you raise.
● Employ right-brain imagination, artistry, and intuition
plus left-brain logic and planning.
● Convert “yes . . . but” to “yes . . . and” statements to
acknowledge the speaker’s point of view and to share
Likewise, recognizing that managing in corporate America
today is fraught with legal peril for the unsuspecting leader, keep
sage guidance like the following in mind:
● Never promise confidentiality before knowing the
nature of the question or request.
● Employ the attorney-client privilege by copying
our in-house counsel, asking for a legal analysis
and opinion, and limiting your audience to as
few individuals as possible.
● Recognize that the fundamental claim of unfairness
may become the basis for a legal charge of
Don’t forget the importance of finding your own work-life
balance and peace of mind as you face the daily grind and challenges
that come your way throughout your career.
● Practice the adage, “What you want for yourself, give to
● Convince team members not to act on principle to the
extent that their positions become rigid and self-justified,
allowing for little compromise.
● Put others’ needs ahead of your own, and expect them
to respond in kind.
● Realize that people don’t necessarily resist change; they
just resist being changed.
● Accept that no one does anything wrong given their
model of the world; therefore, look for common interests
and underlying concerns if you need to heal a wound on
● Ensure that your team communicates upward and asks
for permission up front rather than for forgiveness after
● Teach what you choose to learn.
● Help your team find individual and creative solutions by
asking, “I realize you don’t know, but if you did know,
what would your recommendation be?”
● Change your perspective, and you’ll change your
Chock full of insightful guidance and career and leadership
tips, this book is packed with useful information that you can
apply any time of the year, not just during performance
appraisals. So sit back and let 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective
Performance Goals serve as a handy guide and guiding hand to
walk you through the challenging task of helping your subordinates
set not only their annual goals but also the measurable outcomes
to ensure they’ve achieved them.