LEADING OFF: CEO Challenge: Start a 12-Week Goal

If you have set annual goals for your staff and the results were not as you hoped, let’s consider some of the potential reasons for this, along with a different approach.

The two common reasons goals are not met are (1) a long time frame, causing procrastination or distractions or (2) a disproportionate focus on results over actions.

With a 12-week goal, we’re much more likely to execute under a shorter time frame.


  • Create a compelling vision of the future you desire (long-term vision).
  • Identify a 12-week goal that aligns with the longer-term vision.
  • Identify the top one to three tactics that will have the greatest impact on reaching the goal, and pursue those.
  • Spend the first 15 to 20 minutes at the start of each week reviewing progress from the previous week and planning the upcoming week.
  • Keep a weekly scorecard to measure execution (percent of activities you complete each week) and results.
  • Reassess your commitments and results at the end of 12 weeks, and begin again.


A 12-week goal is more focused, has a greater sense of urgency (less time to procrastinate) and is easier to commit to than a longer one. Use week 13 to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Celebrate wins with your team. Then start another 12-week goal. OM