How Exceptional Leaders Achieve their Goals

Do you know how to set goals that bring you results?

Do you know where to begin and how to approach your goal setting individually or as a group?

Do you know what sets apart average from exceptional leaders?

Their secret is simple yet powerful: it is their ability to set challenging goals that inspire and stretch themselves and others.

The goals of exceptional leaders are rich in relevance and deeply meaningful.

And yet, how many leaders do I work with, set these type of goals consistently?

My experience  is that the answer is mostly, “Not really or No” .

Sadly this is the norm rather than the exception.  

In fact, my research has shown that "only 5% of people actually achieve their goals."

"Only 5% of people actually achieve their goals

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The other 95% have traded in their dreams to help the 5% achieve their dreams. 

Why is this when we have access to information, technology, systems and people on a scale never before seen?

The simple reason is that: 

We have little CONVICTION to overcome the CONVENIENCE of  our everyday habits

Let me explain what I mean.

In my own life, goals have played a vital part in helping me move forward. The big challenge is in me being convicted enough of my goals to stick with the changes that need to happen to help me achieve my end results.

And I have found in the coaching, training and consulting work I do  that having the conviction to change is the missing ingredient from most time management formulas you see out in the world.

The reason that you need conviction is due to the resistance your brain will create once you set in motion your intent to achieve your goal.  Your brain, although initially excited and motivated by a goal, soon goes into chemical warfare against the thoughts and intentions around making that goal happen.

For more about this, read my article on "The Power of Habits."   You can check it out here.

Your Habits hinder your success - and what you can do to step up as a leader

In essence, the part of our brain responsible for our rituals, routines and habits, our basal ganglia doesn’t like change. The reason for this is that although our brain only makes up 2% of our body, it consumes around 20% of our energy. So the focus of the basal ganglia is to help us create routines and habits that help to conserve our energy because these habits allow us to do life “on automatic.”

This helps to explain why you can get in the car in the morning and arrive at work having almost no recall of the actual driving experience.

In order to achieve your goals, you have to be convicted of your goal to do whatever it takes to achieve it.

What most of us don't realise is that we need to be able to recognise our brain’s natural resistance to change in order that we can learn to override the need our brain has control and to conserve it's energy.

When you become convicted, you commit yourself absolutely to achieving this goal.

By KNOWING that you are going to experience resistance, revolt and demotivation as you start to work towards achieving your goals, you can plan for and overcome the biology of your brain.  

The power of your goals will keep you focused and on track, no matter the inconvenience.

So, the question is: 

"Are you part of the 95% who day in and day out are helping others achieve their goals?

Or are you looking to step up and achieve more?

Well, if you are still reading this, then I guess you've made a decision...

Let's keep moving then!

how exceptional leaders achieve their goals

Four Powerful Questions to Transform Dreams Into Reality

There are 4 powerful questions to help you set goals to achieve the success you deserve. I call them my "Be, Do, Have, Legacy" Success Formula.

Let's explore what they are and how they work.

For best results, I suggest you get yourself four pieces of A4 Paper for actioning and making practical, these 4 questions.

First QUESTION for success“Where do you want to BE in the next 5 – 10 years?”

This is a future-focused question and what I am going to suggest is that you write down this goal as if you have already achieved it – in the present tense.

For example: 

“Skill Junction’s online learning empowers leaders to transform their lives by getting them outside their comfort zone and achieving positive change.”

The reason you want to write your goal as if you are already achieving it, is to fool your brain into believing that you are already successfully reaching this goal.  Your brain believes what you put into it - irrespective of whether it is true or not.  

The tv and media moguls know this brain principal and use it against us to encourage us to make buying their client's products and services an easy decision.  This is questionable practice and is aimed at our unconscious programmes.  This principal usually works against us.  

Let's get this same principal working for us at a conscious and practical level.

You have to be able to see your goal – touch it, taste it, smell it as if you were achieving your goal, right now. This increases your chances of success.

Spend time writing this down. It is important that you write it down as your brain processes your ideas better when it is able to physically engage through the act of writing down the idea onto paper….

Second question for success : “What do you want to DO with your one and only life?“

Your life is not a dress rehearsal, it’s the real deal and it’s happening right now.

This question is about trying to figure out what’s meaningful to you: your passion


  1. What do you love to do: what makes you feel both joy as well as peace at the same time?
  2. What are the things that when you do them the time seems to fly by?
  3. What are the things that most fill you up - make you feel happy and fulfilled when you do them?

I also call this the bucket list question.

You alternatively could ask the question: 

“If you only had 12 months to live, what would you do with your time, how would you spend it?”

Normally, figuring your passion could take anywhere from a few months to even years, but it's such an important question to answer because life is too short to spend doing things that are trivial and that make you feel small.

Do what you love, love what you do quote


Resource One: Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life: What am I here for?" has helped millions of people all over the world discover meaning and purpose in their lives

how exceptional leaders achieve success

Resource Two: Adam Leipzig's talk on finding your life purpose in just 5 minutes will get you thinking.....

Third question for success: “What do I want to HAVE as a result of my hard work and effort?“

This question relates to forward thinking and dreaming about what you truly want your life to be about.

For example: 

In the next 5- 10 years, I want to have more time: I want to travel the world and meet interesting people, spend time with my children, family and friends, even make time to read a book in my back garden!

Reactive people go through life yearning and thinking, "If only"

Positive people go through life turning their yearning into realities through goal setting.  

Setting goals about what you want to HAVE through hard work and effort is a very powerful activity.


Because it takes the "soft and fluffy" and "nice to have" to a "vibrant and active probability"

..... Taking you one step closer to achieving the reality

fourth QUESTION FOR SUCCESS:  “What LEGACY do I want to leave?“

This question gets to the heart of how you want to be remembered.  To answer this question, you have to get real with yourself.  

What have you been given in the way of gifts and talents that can help others in the world?

Let's face it, we all have gifts and talents.  But along life's journey people may have told you that you were never going to achieve anything or that you were not good enough, smart enough.  

These are all statements said by people who may have been well-intentioned but really did more damage than good.

The sad thing is that a lot of us are too afraid to step up into our legacy because of baggage, self-doubt or personal trials that make our talents and gifts seem trivial and worthless. 

However, biology and history have taught us one thing: rules are made to be broken.

What you think about expands, so think positive over negative.

Perhaps it was a loved one or a teacher or someone who you really look up to.  They seemed to have it together and so you believed them.

And, it was at that point that you started to lose sight of what really brings you joy and creates fulfillment in other people's lives.  

Because that is what happens when you start to act and use the gifts and talents you were made for: you make a meaningful and positive difference in another person's life.

So, put pen to paper and answer the question, "What legacy do I want to leave for those I love and cherish?”

How exceptional leaders achieve their goals

In Summary

Exceptional leaders are people who spend time making dreams into workable plans because they are broken down into bite-size " chunks"

In this article we have looked at 4 ways to start to understand our goals, learning more about what drives us and identifying how we can leave the world a better place.

 The Four Questions Exceptional Leaders Ask to Achieve Success that you need to find answers to:

1 Where do you want to BE in the next 5 – 10 years?

2 What do you want to DO with your one and only life?

3 What do you want to HAVE as a result of all your hard work and effort?

4 What LEGACY do you want to leave?

Success only comes to those who are serious about success. And, success belongs to those who dare to achieve it on their terms and to realise the purpose for what you have been made for.

So I dare you today, to write down your goals and then post them up in places where they will remind you of them.  Start to do this everyday and watch what happens...

And, if you are really brave, how about posting your answers to these questions in the comments section below - I dare you!

Ending off:

  1. By setting goals in the I've outlined in the article, you create goals that have meaning.
  2. Science shows us that successful people have a much higher success rates in achieving their goals because of the meaning that is attached to their goals.  
  3. Exceptional leader's set goals that have deep intrinsic meaning and the outcomes of these goals will change and positively influence the people they love, admire and respect.

Until next time, I will see you at the top!

Signature Sign Off - Kerry Anne Cassidy

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