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Unlocking the Full Potential of Leadership to Achieve Success

Unlocking the Power of SMART Leadership: Utilizing Reward Goals, Constructive Feedback, and Acknowledging Achievements to Drive Success

Leadership is an art that requires a combination of skills, knowledge, and personal qualities to achieve successful outcomes, and when supported by a leadership coach can be very beneficial. Whether leading a small team or an entire organization, the ability to motivate, guide, and inspire others is critical to achieving goals and objectives.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

– John C. Maxwell


One approach that can help leaders embody effective leadership

One way is through the use of the well-worn SMART rules and reward goals, effective, constructive feedback, and acknowledging achievement, not just performance. Note that this is different from the SMART rules that we introduce in the Transformational Talent Coaching program called Excel-in-Essentials. Your leadership coach should be knowledgeable in both models.

With SMART rules we refer to Safe, Multiple attempts, Achievement oriented, Recognize progress, Test, and Learn.

The other form of SMART serves as an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. A leadership coach will assist the leader to establish these SMART rules as a set of criteria used to develop effective goals and objectives that are clear, concise, and focused. Here’s what each letter of the SMART acronym stands for:

  • Specific:

Goals should be clear and unambiguous, outlining exactly what needs to be accomplished. The more specific a goal is, the more likely it is to be achieved.

  • Measurable:

Goals should include specific metrics or measurements that will be used to track progress and determine success. Measurable goals allow for objective evaluation of progress towards achieving the goal.

  • Achievable:

Goals should be realistic and achievable given the resources available, skills, and knowledge of the person or team responsible for achieving them.

  • Relevant:

Goals should be aligned with the overall vision and strategy of the organization. Relevant goals are meaningful and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

  • Time-bound:

Goals should have a specific deadline or timeframe for completion. Time-bound goals help to create a sense of urgency and can prevent procrastination or delay.

By using the SMART rules, leaders can set goals and objectives that are focused, clear, and measurable, making it easier to track progress and achieve success.


Rewarding goals is an effective way to motivate and incentivize employees

Leaders can use this method to achieve specific objectives or targets. A leadership coach will be able to guide the leader to ensure employees have a clear understanding of what they need to accomplish and are rewarded for achieving those goals, they are more likely to remain motivated, engaged, and productive. Here are some reasons why rewarding goals is important:

  • Encourages focus and effort:

Setting goals and rewarding employees for achieving them encourages them to focus their efforts on the most important tasks and activities. This helps to ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency.

  • Increases motivation:

When employees are rewarded for achieving goals, they are more likely to feel valued and appreciated. This can increase their motivation to perform well and contribute to the success of the organization.

  • Improves retention:

Offering rewards for achieving goals can also improve employee retention rates. When employees feel recognized and rewarded for their hard work, they are more likely to remain committed to the organization and less likely to look for employment elsewhere.

  • Provides a sense of accomplishment:

Achieving goals and receiving rewards provides a sense of accomplishment and can boost employee confidence and self-esteem. This positive feedback can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction and overall happiness.

Rewarding goals is important because it can increase focus,

A leadership coach is well-versed in the positive impact generated through reward goals. These goals also improve motivation, and retention while providing employees with a sense of accomplishment and recognition for their hard work. Here are some ways to effectively reward goals:

  1. Tie rewards to specific goals:

When setting goals, make sure they are clear and measurable, and tie rewards to achieving these goals. This helps employees see a clear connection between their efforts and the rewards they receive.

  1. Offer a variety of rewards:

Different employees may be motivated by different types of rewards, so it’s important to offer a variety of options. Rewards can include monetary incentives, extra time off, professional development opportunities, or even public recognition.

  1. Make rewards meaningful:

Rewards should be meaningful and aligned with the values and goals of the organization. When employees feel that their work is valued and appreciated, it can increase motivation and engagement.

  1. Make rewards fair and consistent:

Rewards should be fair and consistent across the organization and based on objective criteria such as meeting specific targets or achieving milestones.

  1. Celebrate successes:

Celebrate when goals are achieved, whether it’s a team lunch or a company-wide announcement. This helps employees feel appreciated and motivated to continue working towards future goals.

  1. Get input from employees:

Ask employees for input on what types of rewards would motivate them the most, and consider their feedback when designing reward programs.

  1. Use gamification:

Gamification is the use of game elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards to motivate employees. By creating a sense of competition and fun, gamification can increase employee engagement and motivation.

Leaders who use this approach are clear about what they expect from their team members and provide them with the tools and resources they need to achieve their goals. Additionally, a leadership coach will aid the leader to establish rewards and incentives for individuals and teams who meet or exceed their goals, which serves as motivation to continue striving for excellence.

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

– Ken Blanchard


Effective, constructive feedback is another essential component of effective leadership for several reasons:

  • Improves performance:

Feedback helps employees understand what they are doing well and where they can improve. By providing specific and constructive feedback, leaders can help employees identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments, resulting in improved performance.

  • Builds trust:

When leaders provide feedback in a respectful and constructive way, employees are more likely to trust and respect them. This trust can lead to stronger relationships and more effective communication between leaders and employees.

  • Encourages learning:

Feedback provides opportunities for employees to learn and develop new skills. Constructive feedback can help employees understand what they are doing well and where they can improve, encouraging them to take risks and try new approaches.

  • Increases engagement:

Feedback helps employees feel valued and supported. When employees feel that their contributions are recognized and appreciated, they are more likely to remain engaged and committed to their work.

  • Enhances communication:

Effective feedback provides opportunities for open and honest communication between leaders and employees. A leadership coach will work with the leader on this communication to identify problems early and prevent misunderstandings or conflicts from escalating.

Effective, constructive feedback is important because it improves performance

It also builds trust, encourages learning, increases engagement, and enhances communication. Leadership coaches may ask leaders to provide feedback that is specific, actionable, and focused on behavior rather than personality traits can help their team members identify areas for improvement and make positive changes. Giving effective, constructive feedback can be a challenging task, but here are some tips to help you provide feedback that is helpful and well-received:

  1. Be specific:

Provide specific examples of the behavior or performance you are addressing. This helps the employee understand exactly what they did well or what they need to improve.

  1. Be timely:

Provide feedback as soon as possible after the behavior or performance occurred. This helps the employee remember the situation and take action to address the issue.

  1. Be objective:

Stick to the facts and avoid making assumptions or judgments about the employee’s intentions or motivations.

  1. Be respectful:

Use a respectful and professional tone when giving feedback. Avoid using accusatory or confrontational language, and focus on the behavior or performance rather than the person.

  1. Be supportive:

Offer suggestions and guidance for improvement, and provide resources or training opportunities if needed.

  1. Be open to feedback:

Encourage the employee to provide their perspective on the situation and be open to their feedback.

  1. Focus on the positive:

While it’s important to address areas for improvement, it’s also important to acknowledge the employee’s strengths and successes.

  1. Follow up:

Check-in with the employee to see if they have made progress on the issue and provide additional support if needed.

In summary, giving effective, constructive feedback requires specific examples, timeliness, objectivity, respect, support, openness to feedback, focus on the positive, and follow-up. A leadership coach will assist leaders to follow these tips. You can provide feedback that helps employees improve their performance and contributes to a positive work environment. By providing feedback in a constructive and supportive manner, leaders can foster a culture of continuous improvement that benefits both the individual and the team as a whole.

“Rewards are powerful motivators that can push us to achieve our goals and aspirations.”

– Brian Tracy

Acknowledging achievements rather than just performance

A leadership coach will likely introduce leaders to this critical means to embody a leadership approach, which recognizes and rewards employees for their hard work and accomplishments, which can help to boost morale, motivation, and engagement. Here are some reasons why acknowledging achievements is important:

  • Encourages excellence:

When employees are acknowledged and rewarded for their achievements, it encourages them to strive for excellence and perform at their best. This can lead to improved performance and increased productivity.

  • Boosts morale:

Acknowledging achievements can boost employee morale and job satisfaction, which can lead to a positive work environment and reduced turnover.

  • Fosters teamwork:

Acknowledging achievements can also foster teamwork by recognizing the contributions of individuals and encouraging collaboration among team members.

  • Increases motivation:

Recognizing achievements can increase employee motivation and create a sense of pride in their work. This can lead to increased engagement and a desire to continue performing at a high level.

  • Builds trust:

When employees feel that their contributions are valued and recognized, it can help to build trust between employees and leaders, which can lead to stronger relationships and better communication.

In summary, acknowledging achievements rather than just performance

Leadership coaches understand the importance because it encourages excellence, boosts morale, fosters teamwork, increases motivation, and builds trust. Leaders who take the time to recognize and reward employees for their achievements can help to create a positive and productive work environment.

“When we celebrate our achievements, we not only feel good about ourselves,

but we also inspire others to strive for greatness.”

– Richard Branson


Leaders must learn to recognize and appreciate the effort individuals put into achieving their goals.

Celebrating achievements can be done through public recognition, a simple thank-you note, or even small gifts. Leadership coaches will be able to support the leader in identifying ways to recognize achievements. This provides a sense of accomplishment for individuals and motivates them to continue working hard. Here are some ways to acknowledge achievements rather than just performance:

  1. Provide specific feedback:

When acknowledging achievements, provide specific feedback on what the employee did well and how it contributed to the success of the organization or team. This shows that you are paying attention to their work and value their contributions.

  1. Recognize achievements publicly:

Publicly recognizing achievements can make employees feel valued and appreciated. This can be done through company-wide emails, public announcements, or during team meetings.

  1. Celebrate achievements:

Celebrating achievements can be a great way to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of employees. Celebrations can be as simple as bringing in treats or organizing a team lunch.

  1. Offer non-monetary rewards:

Offering non-monetary rewards such as extra time off, flexible work arrangements, or professional development opportunities can be a great way to acknowledge achievements and show that you value your employees’ contributions.

  1. Personalize recognition:

Acknowledging achievements in a personalized way, such as through a handwritten note or one-on-one meeting, can show that you value your employees as individuals and appreciate their unique contributions.

  1. Use social media:

Working with a leadership coach and discussing strategies for acknowledging achievements on social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter can not only show that you value your employees but can also help to build your organization’s brand.

A leadership coach will aid you in providing specific feedback, recognizing achievements publicly, celebrating achievements, offering non-monetary rewards, personalizing recognition, and using social media. Through this approach, Leaders can create a culture of appreciation and recognition that motivates employees to perform at their best.



In conclusion, the assistance of a leadership coach can ensure that embodying a leadership approach which is essential for the success of any organization. Leaders must set SMART goals and create reward systems that align with these goals. Providing effective and constructive feedback can promote growth and development. Lastly, acknowledging achievements rather than just performance can motivate individuals to continue working towards the common goal. By following these guidelines, leaders can create a positive work environment that fosters growth and success.


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Based on that exposure, our company has intentionally set out to support those practicing the art and science of leadership – or as often referred to, “Executive Talent.” These are people who acknowledge that they are not experts. They are open to opportunities for continued growth and carry the desire for learning what is needed to become a success in today’s complexity and uncertainty.

To this end, we have purposely structured our company and engaged with associates in strategic global locations, so that we are able to provide the full suite of transformational executive career coaching, facilitation, and education support required.




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