The Power of Owners & Target Dates

Dave Stalsbroten, Senior Project Manager, LexisNexis:

“Shoot for the moon – even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale

We’ve all heard about the power of goal setting, yet it’s easy to forget this in our day-to-day meetings. Whether consciously or subconsciously, many people avoid assigning responsibilities and setting target dates for tasks. Maybe this avoidance comes from a reluctance to “stress others out” by putting timeframes on deliverables. Maybe we don’t want to be overbearing. Whatever the reason, what we often fail to realize is that most stress and anxiety come from a lack of clarity.

As a leader on any project, one of the greatest gifts you can give to your team is clarity. By setting target dates and owners for each task, you can actually reduce the team’s anxiety by helping to establishing clear priorities. It doesn’t have to be a power trip either – by gently inviting people to take responsibility for tasks and asking if they have a potential target date, you’ve already increased the likelihood of it getting done. In doing so, you avoid the pitfall of the age old wisdom: “Everyone’s responsibility is no one’s responsibility.”

Try adopting this mantra for your next project meeting: “every task must have an owner and a target date.” Here’s to clarity and getting things done!