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Our working definition of leadership is the intentional, character driven practice of serving and sacrificing for the legitimate needs of others so that they willingly work towards common goals.

Servant leaders are rigorous and disciplined around results and having a clear direction (both their own and the organization’s) to lead their people towards so let’s start at the end of the definition…common goals.

Have you ever worked with someone who had a different goal than you? How did that work out for you? Them? Bottom-line: whenever two or more are gathered to achieve a purpose there is leadership and common goals or destination increase the effectiveness of any team and leader.

As you look towards 2015, what do you want to accomplish? What is your desired result?

These two questions are all about choosing a direction and determining where you want to go.

These questions are so important because direction determines destination.

The line from Alice in Wonderland says it best…”If you don’t know where you’re going…any road will take you there”

There are countless stories of individuals and companies who spent years heading in a particular direction before realizing that the destination was not what they had in mind. They intended to be somewhere different but their direction ultimately determined their final destination.

A team of two long haul truckers were making a delivery across the country. One slept while the other drove. At one point, the sleeping driver awoke and asked how the driver was doing. The driver said, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is there has been little traffic and we’re making great time.” “That’s great” said the waking driver, “what’s the bad news?” “The bad news is that I have no idea where we’re going.”

Setting and knowing your destination is so simple, but the consequences of not doing it can be massive.

How do you begin setting your destination in your leadership responsibility? Stephen Covey suggested to “begin with the end in mind.”

In this process of setting your leadership direction, it’s important for you to define both the end and the starting point (i.e. the current situation). Once you define both, you can set the plan, enlist your team in moving toward the common destination, measure your effectiveness and track progress.

Use the following steps to set your destination:

  1. What the possible areas in your leadership responsibility in 2015 that need to move forward?
  2. Which one of those areas is the highest priority?
  3. Describe in as much detail as possible the “destination” you want to reach in that area
  4. Describe in as much detail as possible the top two reasons the current situation in that area is unacceptable
  5. Describe in as much detail as possible the top two reasons the “destination” will be fantastic
  6. Set an appointment with your team is review #1 – 5 and get their input

Share your destination with me on twitter (@jeffdharmon74) and use the hashtag #PrepareFor2015

Jeff HarmonJeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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