The first big mistake leaders often make when it comes to goals is not having them. All to often, we just plod along aimlessly, trying to get as much work down and bring in as much profit as when can for our organization. The problem, of course, is that it's hard to reach a target that we aren't specifically aiming for. Goals can help us focus and provide us a metric for how successful we are in our work.
But once we get around to actually creating some goals for ourselves and our organization, how can we be sure that we're doing it the right way. Well, I think there are two important things to remember when setting goals. The first is that the goals must be attainable. If you want your people to actually work toward them, the goals actually need to be possible to reach. If not, they will just give up and shrug off the goals; then, it will be as if you never made goals in the first place.
The second important thing to remember when setting goals is the opposite of the first: goals need to be challenging. While it must be possible to reach your goals, it also must be difficult. If your goals are easy, then what's he point in setting them in the first place? You'll probably reach them without trying. Good goals, though, provide motivation for your to work harder and push forward. The best goals are those hover on the line between extremely difficult and impossible. You always want to be able to reach your goals, but you want to go as far as possible in order to do it.