It is always good to have a goal in mind. I believe goals are stepping stones to achieving my dreams and finding my purpose. They are points on
a map of my desired future. Without goals, my life would have no vision or direction. I have goals for every aspect of my life, such as personal, educational, and professional goals.

So how will I accomplish my goals? By being aware of my level of development with each goal, I can discover the best way for me to achieve each intended goal. I also need to make sure that my goals are clear and achievable. Ken Blanchard discusses levels of development in his book, Leading at a Higher Level (2010). Each development level (D#) corresponds to a leadership style (S#). An enthusiastic beginner (D1) needs a lot of direction (S1), a disillusioned learner (D2) needs to be coached (S2), a capable but cautious performer (D3) needs support (S3), and a self-achiever (D4) needs delegation (S4). He also discusses making SMART goals, meaning they need to be specific, motivating, attainable, relevant, and trackable (time-bound).

For example, my professional goal is to start a nonprofit organization within the next two years. My development level is currently that of an enthusiastic beginner (D1). In order to be successful, I need to be persistent in learning and seeking help from those with more knowledge than I (S1: direction). Skills such as business writing, marketing, grant writing, and fundraising will be most helpful in my effort to achieve this goal. The biggest challenge I am sure to face will be funding. I will enlist help from my community to help me start my organization. I will need many volunteers to make it successful. I will use my current community connections to help me build skills and facilitate relationships that I may need in the future.

These goals will help shape me into the person that I want to be. Being aware of my development with each goal will help me make the proper objectives to accomplish them. I hope to reach the development level of self-achiever (D4) with all my goals. To be adept and achieve anything that I put my mind to do is what I believe true self-leadership is. After all, a great leader is one who can lead their self to better opportunities and a better future.


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