AAFF

The Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) is a 501(c)(3) coalition that aims to unity and collaboration among the various Asian Pacific American organizations and to improve the relationship of a culturally diverse Asian Pacific American community in Florida. The AAFF is a statewide organization made up of more than 70 Bangladesh, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Iranian, Korean, Laotian, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese community-based organizations, businesses and media.

ON SETTING GOALS

 http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadled.html

Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing. - Warren Bennis, Ph.D. "On Becoming a Leader"

Goals
Your thinking skills can be considered directional skills because they set the direction for your organization. They provide vision, purpose, and goal definition. These are your eyes to the future, allowing you to recognize the need for change, when to make it, how to implement it, and how to manage it. You find vision by reaching for any available reason to change, grow, and improve - find something that is not broken and make it better. Just as you perform preventive maintenance on your car, you must perform preventive maintenance on your organization. Do NOT believe in the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," the people who do, go broke! Treat every project as a change effort. Treat every job as a new learning experience.

Good organizations convey a strong vision of where they will be in the future. As a leader, you have to get your people to trust you and be sold on your vision. To sell them on your vision, you need to possess energy and display a positive attitude that is contagious. People want a strong vision of where they are going. No one wants to be stuck in a dead-end organization that is going nowhere...or an organization that is headed in the wrong direction. They want to be involved with a winner! And your people are the ones who will get you to that goal. You cannot do it alone!

When setting goals, keep these points in mind:

They should be realistic and attainable. They should improve the organization (moral, monetary, etc.).Your people should be involved in the goal-setting process. A program should be developed to achieve each goal.

 

There are four characteristics of goal setting:

  1. Goal Difficulty:  Increasing you employee's goal difficulty increases their challenge and enhances the amount of effort expended to achieve them. The more difficult goals lead to increased performance if they seem feasible. If they seem too high, people will give up when they fail to achieve them.
  2. Goal Specificity:  When given specific goals, people tend to perform higher. Telling them to do their best or giving no guidance increases ambiguity about what is expected. People need a set goal or model in order to display the correct behavior.
  3. Feedback:  Providing feedback enhances the effects of goal setting.  Performance feedback keeps their behavior directed on the right target and encourages them to work harder to achieve the goal.
  4. Participation in Goal Setting: Officers and members who participate in the process, generally set higher goals than if the goals were set for them. It also affects their belief that the goals are obtainable and increases their motivation to achieve them.

The Six Steps of Goal Setting

Although finding a vision can be quite a creative challenge, the process of getting that vision implemented can be quite easy if you follow the steps: Vision - Goals - Objectives - Tasks - Time Lines - Follow Up:

Step 1

The first step in setting goals and priorities is to personally develop what the organization should look like at some future point, that is, establish a vision. As a junior leader, such as a supervisor or manager, you will mainly be concerned with a department, section, or small group of people. While the senior leaders set the vision for the entire organization, you set the vision for your team. And that vision needs to support the organization's goals.

The mission of the organization is crucial in determining your vision. Your vision needs to coincide with the "big picture." The term "vision" suggests a mental picture of what the future organization will look like. The concept also implies a later time horizon. This time horizon tends to be mid to long term in nature, focusing on as much as 10, 20, or even 50 years in the future for visions affecting the entire
organization. Your visions should be on much shorter time horizons, such as 6 months to a year.

The concept of a vision has become a popular term within academic, government, defense, and corporate circles. This has spawned many different definitions of vision. But, the vision you want, should be a picture of where you want your organization or group to be at a future date. 

Once you have your vision, it needs to be framed in general, un-measurable terms and communicated to your team. Your team then develops the ends (objectives), ways (concepts), and means (resources)
to achieve the vision.

Step 2

The second step involves establishing goals, with the active participation of the team. Goals are also stated in un-measurable terms, but they are more focused. For example, "The organization must reduce
transportation costs." This establishes the framework of the your vision.

Step 3

Now you establish objectives, again with the active participation of your team. Definable objectives provide a way of measuring the evaluating movement toward vision achievement. This is the strategy of turning visions into reality. It is the crossover mechanism between your forecast of the future and the envisioned, desired future. Objectives are stated in precise, measurable terms such as "By the end of the next quarter, the shipping department will use one parcel service for shipping items under 100 pounds and one motor carrier for shipping items over a hundred pounds."

Step 4

The fourth step is to determine tasks. Through tasks, objectives are accomplished. Tasks are concrete, measurable events that must occur. An example might be, "The transportation coordinator will obtain detailed shipping rates from at least 10 motor carriers."

Step 5

Now it is time to establish a priority for the tasks. Since time is precious and many tasks must be accomplished before another can begin, establishing priorities helps your team to determine the order in which the tasks must be accomplished and by what date. For example, "The shipping rates will be obtained by May 9."

Step 6

The final step is to follow up, measure, and check to see if the team is doing what is required. This kind of leader involvement validates that the stated priorities are worthy of action. For the leader it
demonstrates her commitment to see the matter through to a successful conclusion.

Supervising

Supervision is keeping a grasp on the situation and ensuring that plans and policies are implemented properly. It includes giving instructions and inspecting the accomplishment of a task. There is a narrow band of adequate supervision. On one side of the band is over-supervision; and on the other side is under-supervision. Over-supervision stifles initiative, breeds resentment, and lowers morale and motivation. Under-supervision leads to miscommunication. All team members benefit from appropriate supervision by seniors or leaders with more knowledge and experience who tend to see the situation more objectively.

Evaluating is part of supervising. It is defined as judging the worth, quality, or significance of people, ideas, or things. It includes looking at the ways people are accomplishing a task. It means getting
feedback on how well something is being done and interpreting that feedback. People need feedback so that they judge their performance. Without it, they will keep performing tasks wrong, or stop performing the steps that makes their work great.

Use checklists to list tasks that need to be accomplished. Almost all of us have poor memories when it comes to remembering a list of details. List tasks by priorities. For example, "A" priorities must be done today, "B" priorities must be done by tomorrow, and "C" priorities need to be followed up with in a few days.

Double check on important things by following through. Strange things can happen if you are not aware of them. Paperwork gets lost, plans get changed, and people forget. If you have a system of checks and double checks, you will discover mistakes, have time to correct them, and minimize any disruptions. Following through may seem to be a waste of your time and energy, but in the long run, it pays off. You will spend less time and energy correcting mistakes and omissions made long ago.

Inspiring Your Members

Getting people to accomplish something is much easier if they have the inspiration to do so. Inspire means "to breathe life into." And in order to perform that, we have to have some life ourselves. Three main actions will aid you in accomplishing this. Be passionate. In organizations where the is a leader with great enthusiasm about a project, a trickle-down effect will occur. You must be committed to the work you are doing. If you do not communicate excitement, how can you expect your people to get worked up about it?

Get your members involved in the decision making process. People who are involved in the decision making process participate much more enthusiastically than those who just carry out their boss's order. Help them contribute and tell them you value their opinions. Listen to them and incorporate their ideas when it makes sense to so.

Know what your organization is about! The fundamental truth, as General Creighton W. Abrams used to say in the mid-1970s, is that "the Army is not made up of people. The Army is people. Every decision we make is a people issue." Your organization is the same...it may make a product or sell a service, but it is still people! A leader's primary responsibility is to develop people and enable them to reach their full potential. Your people may come from diverse backgrounds, but they all have goals they want to accomplish. Create a "people environment" where they truly can be all they can be.

Power and Leadership

Al Capone once said "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." Almost anyone can use power, but it takes skill to use leadership. Leadership power is much more than the use of force...it is influencing others to truly WANT to achieve a goal. Plain power forces others to achieve a goal.

The Five Points of Power

A person has the potential for influencing five points of power over another:

Coercive Power - Power that is based on fear. A person with coercive power can make things difficult for people. These are the persons that you want to avoid getting angry. Employees working under coercive managers are unlikely to be committed, and more likely to resist the manager.

Reward Power - Compliance achieved based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable. Able to give special benefits or rewards to people. You might find it advantageous to trade
favors with him or her. 

Legitimate Power - The power a person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of an organization. The person has the right, considering his or her position and your job responsibilities, to expect you to comply with legitimate requests. 

Expert Power - Influence based on special skills or knowledge. This person earns respect by experience and knowledge. Expert power is the most strongly and consistently related to effective employee performance.

Referent Power - Influence based on possession by an individual or desirable resources or personal traits. You like the person and enjoy doing things for him or her.