I have been reading some stuff from Ken Blanchard again lately and have just realized that I really enjoy his stuff for the most part. He has a way of taking topics and practices that seem to be elusive to people and communicating the stuff in such a simple way that even I can understand. I was driving in the car recently with my wife and we got to talking about a pastor friend of ours who was our senior pastor of ours at one time. Steve Schmidt is his name, and my wife always loved to hear him preach. She would always talk about how he (plus our current senior pastor – Larry Burton) are able to take stories that we have all heard many times and preach them in such a way that it still makes an incredible learning time even for those like my wife, who for the most part seem like they came out of the womb saved (I know this is not exactly correct, only an example).
Ken Blanchard is one who does that for me in leadership type issues. Ken Blanchard writes how good goals are smart goals. He goes on and talks about how many leaders do not take the time to clearly develop goals with their people and write them down. As a result people get caught up in the activity trap where they become too busy doing things, but not necessarily the right things.
What Ken has re-shared that brings me to writing this blog post is that he uses again the acronym of SMART for the most important factors in setting quality goals:
Specific and measurable. Goals have to be specific, observable, and measurable. He also is noted to say that if some people say that their job can’t be measured, offer to eliminate it and see if anything will be missed.
Motivating. People want to know that what they do makes a difference. That’s motivating.
Attainable. Set goals that will stretch them but not impossible.
Relevant. There is what is called a pareto principle that says 20% of your work, time, people will accomplish 80% of your results. A goal is relevant if it addresses one of the 20% activities that make a difference in overall performance.
Trackable and time bound. You want to be able to praise progress or redirect inappropriate behavior. To do that, you must be able to measure or count performance frequently, which means you need to put record keeping systems in place to track results.
How are you using S.M.A.R.T. in your children’s ministry? Have you gotten caught up in the activity of ministry and being as productive as YOU can? What if you did away with some items, activities, or lessened some relationships in order to increase in other relationships? Have you taken the time to become S.M.A.R.T in what you do?