Roles, Goals and Expectations

Created 53 days ago
by Rita Palmisano

Categories: categoryLeader Acceleration
Views: 61
by Kathy Cooperman

In my role as executive coach, I keep running into the same leader shortcoming. My coaching clients tell me they could be more effective if they knew what was expected of them.

This is one of the key responsibilities of a leader. How can a team member be expected to perform at a high level without the basic understanding of the position for which they were hired?

If, as a leader, you need a tune-up in these areas, some guidelines follow. They are listed as questions employees need to understand.

1. Role Clarification
- Who does what around here? What are my responsibilities?
- What are the key deliverables that I’m responsible for?
- What is the product or service I’m expected to provide?
- Who depends on the work I do?
- What interdependencies are important?

2. Goal Setting
- What are the team or departmental goals?
- Why are these important?
- What are my individual goals and how do they support the team goals?
- Do the goals meet the SMART criteria? (Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound)

3. Expectations

- What are some important things about this organization’s culture that are important to understand?
- How am I expected to make decisions?
- Who are the key players that I need to know and work with?
- What are my performance expectations for the first 90 days? First 6 months? First year?
- What are the “landmines” I should be aware of?
- In order to be successful, what are the top 3 things I need to understand?
- What causes someone to fail in this position?

Where to Begin?

If you have not made roles, goals and expectations crystal clear for each of your employees, wait no longer. Make this a priority. Here’s what I’d recommend:

1. Schedule one to one meetings with each employee (direct report).
2. Explain that you’re working on building an even more effective team.
3. Ask them (individually) what they see as their current role, goals and expectations.
4. Compare how their answers matches your vision of those three key areas.
5. Clarify any confusion, gaps or misunderstandings.
6. Answer any questions.
7. Ask the employee to restate what they heard to be sure you’ve made it clear.
8. Follow-up with the clarified information in writing.
9. Offer periodic feedback on how each employee is doing on these measures of performance and expectations.
10. Periodically check in to refine or enhance mutual understanding.

Your employees will appreciate a common understanding of what it takes to be successful. If you believe everyone wants to do a good job, you’ll agree that this will make the path to success smoother and more enjoyable.
In case you are fuzzy about your own role, goals and expectations, perhaps schedule a meeting to clarify yours with your boss or board of directors.

Kathy Cooperman, an executive coach and leadership expert, is the president and founder of KC Leadership Consulting LLC. For more information, contact her at, or 720.542.3324.