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Philosophy of Being Goal-Oriented

Types of Goal Orientation

I have been in the business of personal and organisational development for nearly 30 years now. In my experience, there are four types of people that I work with. They are:

  • People who don’t have any goals/objectives in their life
  • People who have goals/objectives but, for whatever reason, are unable to prioritise
  • People who are able to prioritise but who are unable/unwilling to organise/schedule around those priorities
  • People who are willing/able to organise but who lack the discipline to actually take action and execute

philosophy of being goal oriented

philosophy of being goal-oriented

I genuinely believe that only a very small percentage of people really understand the need to set goals and only a small percentage of those actually do set goals. Consequently, many people do not realise their full potential, which is arguably the greatest waste, and they look back on their lives and say something like “If only I had….”

So, being goal-oriented is a valuable trait that can produce incredible results in both your personal and professional life. No matter your level, job title or industry, it is important to learn the ability to navigate the process of setting goals, reviewing your progress and having the flexibility to revise your strategy if necessary.

Suitability to Collaborate psychometric

No, I do not intend to make this blog about setting SMARTER objectives. This blog is about the more general philosophy of being goal-oriented, which is one of the facets of the Suitability to Collaborate psychometric devised by our partners at the Advance Consultancy.

goal-oriented person definition

Advance define a goal-oriented person as someone who makes plans, sets objectives and establishes goals rather than being disorganised in their approach to, and prioritisation of, their work. It is also known as being task-focused or results-driven. It’s a generalisation I know, but someone who is goal-oriented uses their targets to stay motivated in their work.

Just pause for a second here and imagine if you were working on a major rail or road project, or any project come to that. Just how effective would you be if you had no idea about what your goals were?

high goal orientation

You have a high goal orientation if you plan new projects at the outset, setting clearly defined and often challenging objectives and timelines. You are well organised, setting realistic timescales for activities and target dates for project milestones. You drive projects to completion, managing both your time and that of others effectively and taking pride in consistently achieving project goals. However, you might have a tendency to plan in too much detail and find it more difficult to work in unstructured environments where you have to think on your feet.

If you think that this sounds like you, your suggested development task is to engage other key players in the planning process, particularly at an early stage.

moderate goal orientation

You have a moderate goal orientation if in general, you have an organised approach to your work. You will set priorities, plan ahead and endeavour to manage your time effectively in order to achieve well-defined objectives on schedule. However, on occasions, you may adopt a more reactive approach, for example when unforeseen events occur. Whilst a planned, proactive approach is not always possible, an unanticipated event may be due to your lack of thorough planning to achieve the goals.

If you think that this sounds like you, your suggested development task is to always have an effective plan in place that has the full support of other key players, without losing the benefits of flexibility.

low goal orientation

However, if you tend to be creative and spontaneous and, rather than plan ahead, you often react to events as they unfold, you might be low in terms of goal orientation. You don’t always set clear priorities, starting tasks before plans are fully in place. You may occasionally forget to identify the important priorities in an activity and may find that project deadlines are hard to meet. You are not particularly interested in the detail, however instead you do maintain a clear focus on the bigger picture.

If this sounds like you, your suggested development task is to consult with others to identify priorities, plan action steps in detail for achieving objectives and then follow them through to completion, or ensure that they are completed.

Failure to prioritise

Now, while having goals and objectives for you to achieve is to be commended it is important to realise that they do need to be prioritised; which is an important element to success. Failure to prioritise will result in you lacking focus on what is really important and you might find that less important tasks are achieved while more important activities are pushed further down your to-do-list.

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