Employee-Led Goal Setting: Alignment

As we continue our efforts to assist in making goal setting more effective and a meaningful investment of time, you know, not just another check the box activity, we want to focus this blog on the second element of effective goal setting, alignment.

Imagine if a team of sled dogs were not aligned and pulling in every direction.  You would get nowhere quickly and chaos, frustration, and ultimately resignation would ensue.  The same holds true with organizations, departments, and individuals. If the actions, activities, behaviors, and priorities where not all aligned, the same chaos, frustration, and ultimately resignation would rule.

Once we have achieved maximum clarity on the vision, mission, values, and our role in supporting each, we now need to consider the actual activities, the time lines for those activities, and equally important, how we will be going about delivering those activities behaviorally, as well as what resources will be required.  Creating specific, measurable, and time-bound goals is critical, but what is even more important is ensuring those actions, activities, and behaviors are aligned with the organization, department/business units, and those individuals you will be working with and around. 

So how do you gain alignment?  It starts with mutually defining success.  First define success on each goal/activity from your perspective then connect with those identified resources that will be impacted or will be necessary in achieving each goal.  Sit with them and ask them what success looks like from their perspective.  Then align all of those visions for success into one mutually defined vision and path.  End by stating “Here is what you can expect from me.” and have them express to you the same.  Then and only then do you have both clarity and alignment that will lead to the final element of successful goal planning, Accountability. 

Start with you defining success. The magic is when everyone is completely aligned with you and just like that dog team, the speed and power that is generated driving for that success is unstoppable.


Cornerstone Learning is a performance and leadership consulting organization that has worked with clients all over the world. Our focus is working with individuals and organizations to create performance solutions that deliver top-tier results by inspiring, enabling, and developing employee-led, leader supported, and organization enabled performance. We are able to successfully deliver this through multiple products and services such as employee surveys, online training, performance assessments, and performance coaching. The goal at Cornerstone Learning is to assist our clients in developing a dynamic and customized blue print to deliver role model organizational and personal performance.