A Building Block to Better Performance: Using Council-Manager Goal-Setting to Support Performance Evaluation

by: Rod Gould, ICMA-CM

As managers, we’re used to setting goals. We help our city councils set annual and long-range goals. We ask our department managers to set goals for the budget. We measure the success of our local governments by whether we meet organization-wide goals.

But, like cobblers’ children who go shoeless, many of us do our jobs in the absence of specific goals for our own work. The lack of annual goals for the manager does a disservice to not only to the manager, but to the local government as a whole.

Goal-setting at the manager’s level will reinforce organization-wide goals, while neglecting the exercise for an individual manager hinders the government’s ability to perform at maximum effectiveness.

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