Did I Even Do Anything This Year? Goal Setting for Strategic Leaders Published Jan. 13, 2022 By Chief Master Sgt. Randi Hill 184th Wing MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Chief Master Sgt. Randi Hill, command chief, 184th Wing, illustrates the importance of setting goals for the year, and measuring them against long-term strategies. At Christmas time, it’s a tradition for my parents to have everyone get in a circle to open their gifts. Before we open gifts, my dad has us go around the room and each person tells everyone a “fun fact” about the past year. Whether you are five years old or in your 80’s, everyone has to share a fun fact! We all know it’s going to happen (because we’ve done it since birth…and he reminds us ahead of time). It’s a moment of reflection: “Did I even do anything this year? What goal did I achieve that is noteworthy?” Some of you might have these same thoughts when your supervisor says, “Can you send me a few bullets of things you accomplished this year so I can do your EPR/OPR?” (Hmm, did I do anything?) Here’s a hint to help you avoid these awkward moments: Set some goals! It’s January and many people start talking about New Year’s Resolutions. In all honesty, that wasn’t me for a lot of my life. However, as a leader, I’ve found that if I set a few goals that are attainable, it’s easy to have “fun facts” come EPR time. Goals don't have to be monumental, but should be moving you in the right direction. Also, goals don’t always have to be “personal” goals. Every year our Chiefs Group sets new goals that align with the Wing’s Focus Areas. One concept that took me more than half of my military career to understand was “military strategy.” It’s a bit embarrassing to admit now, but I remember being at PME in-residence and seeing that we were going to get four hours of instruction on strategy. I thought to myself, “Four hours of strategy? I’m enlisted and I just do what I’m told. That block looks like it belongs to the officers to learn.” What a dumb thought that was. Leaders exist in every rank from E-1’s and up. I guess that’s why someone sent me to PME—to get smarter! Strategy has to be understood by everyone or the team can’t win. To truly know if you are at that strategic level as a leader, ask yourself if you know what the wing’s strategy is. Most people can remember the Wing’s Focus Areas because it’s been narrowed down to three areas (easy to remember). Those focus areas come from the wing’s five-year strategic plan called “Jayhawk 2027,” which was sent to your email in December 2021. Finally, if you are trying to separate yourself from your peers, or want to have “fun facts” at evaluation time that say you are “strategic,” then align your 2022 Annual Goals/New Year’s Resolutions with the Focus Areas/Jayhawk 2027. Happy New Year, Jayhawks! Let’s get after it!!