How do you set goals to lead an organization? Dr. Mike St. Pierre, the Executive Director of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, joined the Catholic School Matters podcast to discuss leadership, productivity, and feedback. He started with expressing his admiration for athletics. It’s easy, according to St. Pierre, to measure your weekly goals because there are weekly games. The goals of a team are broken down week to week in bite-sized goals and measurable contests. There is a winner and a loser, after all.
St. Pierre pointed out that schools often fall victim to setting only annual goals. That 10-month time frame doesn’t motivate staff members. It’s too far off (and thus, not well-timed, according to SMART goals) and schools would be better to set monthly or quarterly goals. He mentioned that when he became president of Morris Catholic HS (NJ) he set his primary goal as a growth-oriented, healthy organization where the staff would support each other. Then he needed to work hard to make that goal actionable in smaller chunks.
St. Pierre’s contribution to leadership organization is his work on productivity. Taking control of your calendar is his #1 recommendation for productivity. He recommends “theming” your days to maximize you work. Leaders could schedule a day for Board work and long-range planning every week, another day to spend with students and on issues pertaining to student life. Another day could be spend with employee concerns, etc. This allows leaders to organize their week and make incremental progress every week and saves him/her from the guilt which plagues every leader (i.e. “Am I spending enough time with classrooms?”).