Entrepreneur, co-founder of The Social Chain, Diary of a CEO podcast host, author, and Dragons Den investor Steven Bartlett recently hosted a webinar with Vodafone Business to give his top tips, advice, and expertise on how to turn your business ideas into action by setting strategic goals.

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How to set goals for your business

“I would say goal setting definitely has led to the success of everything I do,” said Steven.  

Discussing goal setting in regards to his podcast Diary of a CEO, Steven explained how he set out with a 3 tier goal system, that he believes helped him with the success of the podcast. So if youre trying to navigate goal setting why not try this method! 

Tier 1; Macro Goal 

A macro goal is your overall aspiration for whatever you’re setting out to do. 

Example; “Wanting to create a podcast that helps people to feel and think better, that will reach as many people as possible in all corners of the world, in as many ways as possible.” 

Tier 2; Medium Sized-Goals 

These are the goals you set out that you must be able to achieve to reach your macro goal. There can be multiple medium goals that help you achieve your overall goal. 

Example;  “We will increase the distribution of the podcast” 

Tier 2: Micro Goals 

These smaller goals will put you on the right path to achieving your medium-sized goals. 

Example; Recently the Diary of a CEO Podcast signed a deal with multiple airlines so that the podcast episodes can be streamed on any plane that has a screen, with flights all around the world. This helped Steven achieve his goal of wider distribution. 

When goal setting it should be seen as a filter, with each tier helping you achieve the overall goal. Once you have your overall goal, you can then find a number of medium goals that can help you achieve this goal, then your micro-goals should be seen as the actions you need to take to achieve all of these medium-sized goals - see them as a to-do list, where you must tick each box to achieve the ultimate goal. 

So, how can you efficiently achieve these goals?

“There is a certain philosophy that I think successful teams must have in order to accomplish these goals. For me, I’m a big believer that it’s deadlines” said Steven. 

“I have observed this (the benefit of deadlines) for many years, and having run an organisation where we had almost 1000 people, I observed how the lack of deadlines, and tight deadlines specifically, can hold your company back in ways you would never know”, he said. “I have observed how a task that could take 2 weeks can take 6 months”

Steven went on to explain how you can avoid this inefficiency, and how he has achieved successful deadlines in his own organisations. “In my businesses I allow my team to set their own deadlines, so whoever is responsible for a certain task gets to set the deadline. I will give them all of the resources that they need to achieve this deadline, but their end of the bargain is that you have chosen when it will be complete, and that is then a tight deadline!”

By using this thesis in his organisation Steven’s team have been able to achieve remarkable results, and achieve their goals more quickly, and efficiently. So by giving your own employees the chance to have a say on their deadlines, you are likely to avoid late results or no results at all - whilst still implementing a firm position on how things should be done. When employees feel they have a say in their responsibilities they are far more likely to work hard to achieve their goals. 

Responsibility also goes hand in hand with deadlines, ensuring that you are in a good position to achieve your goals. Steven explained from his own experiences, how giving responsibilities to a smaller group of people, or an individual person is far more effective. He explained how he once sent a task out to 15 people to get done, and the task ended up taking far longer than it should have. He then delegated tasks to a much smaller group, with a tight deadline, and saw the job get done far quicker. “This defined our business,” he said. 

“With responsibility then comes autonomy, which means you have to trust people. You set the deadline, I will provide you with the resources, and I will trust you” says Steven. 

“My organisations always achieved micro-goals way more successfully and way faster if the team responsible was much smaller.”

Key Takeaways

  • Set out goals in a tier system, that allow you to achieve your ultimate goal in steady, achievable steps. 

  • Make sure deadlines are set so that your team has something to work towards, making goal-achieving far more efficient 

  • Let your team decide on the deadlines (if reasonable) and provide resources and trust - this will help you create a more efficient team

  • Things get done quicker by smaller groups, be sure to delegate tasks to smaller groups, with reasonable deadlines 

Want to know more about Steven and his business journey? Click here.