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  • Liz Cruz

Your Goal Setting Guide for Queer Leadership

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Why set goals, how goal setting works, and goal dos and don’ts.

Picture this: You know how powerful and effective goal setting is. So, you write out a goal to become more comfortable presenting in leadership meetings. You feel excited and motivated. You tell yourself that since you wrote out that goal that this is the year, you’re gonna do it and meet 👏🏼 that 👏🏽 goal 👏🏿.

Except six months have gone by and your hands are still shaking, and you’re sweating before you give that corporate presentation. What happened? Did you forget to work on that goal? Did you not focus on it?

A trans man deep in thought while working at a desk in an office.
A trans man working on prioritizing their goals.

You probably answered no both of those questions. Makes sense, because chances are you didn’t forget to work on it. And you definitely value becoming more comfortable as a leader.

What happened is that you skipped some essential steps to goal setting. Trust me, I’ve done it, and I see other great leaders do the same thing.

That’s where I come in as a coach for LGBTQ+ leaders just like you.

I’ve helped leaders work on things like building confidence in their leadership skills, how to “show up” as their authentic selves, and how to promote themselves in their roles. We often get caught up on outcome goals and forget to focus on the smaller, more actionable input goals.

Not quite sure what I mean? That’s okay– that’s why I wanted to share this post with you. In this blog, I’ll share with you why it’s important to set goals, what steps you can take today to map out your goals, and even more goal setting tips that I use in my coaching. (By the way, this whole thing is a peek behind the curtain on my Queer Your Leadership immersion program - one of the twelve weeks is all about goal setting.)

And at the end of this post, you’ll see how you can get a copy of your own free goal setting workbook for setting leadership development goals.

Sound good? Let’s jump in!

Why should queer leaders set goals?

Leadership in itself is a challenging role. You have a whole team of people who look to you and depend on your ideas and input. Queer leadership takes an even greater amount of bravery and strength. You’re already a changemaker. You wouldn’t be where you are today without your passions, dreams, and motivation. And you probably set some goals for yourself on the way to where you are now, too.

But maybe now that you’re in a more visible role you’re freaking out about what your next move should be. Maybe you’ve got a lot of ideas floating around but you’re not sure what tangible steps you can take. Or maybe you know that increasing your emotional intelligence will help you inspire change within your office, like this research article by Mohammed Issah suggests. But you’re not sure where to start. [1]

That’s why setting goals is so important. The sense of pride and accomplishment you feel when you meet a goal can help you feel like you’re making progress. Goals can motivate you to keep learning, showing up, and being the best version of yourself that you can be. If something along the way stops you from meeting your goals, you can glean something from that, too.

A Filipinx woman with a filtering face mask sits outside a cafe and writes in a notebook. She is wearing headphones and in front of a window, with potted plants all around.
A Filipinx woman writing down their goals.

One of the most interesting parts of the process of goal setting is facing the things that come up and make them challenging. We can make that process easier by knowing how to set goals, which I’m about to talk about next.

How can leaders work on goal setting?

We’ve talked about why setting goals is so important. Now let’s go over how we can set goals that work and are supportive of us. Too often when we set goals we misperceive that we’ve made a plan to get to and achieve that goal. But we’ve actually just set out something we’d like to achieve by a certain date with no real actionable steps to get there. And based on a survey I conducted of queer leaders like you, 44% of them were interested in learning more about goal setting. That’s why I want to share my coaching thought process for goal setting here with you, too.

A leadership development goal like “I want to become a better advocate for myself and my colleagues” is an outcome goal. It’s the vision you have for your leadership style. It’s not a simple thing to do, but rather a thing you’re becoming.

The behaviors, experiments, and activities you engage in are more tangible input goals. They’re the parts you can control and adapt as needed as you move along your leadership development and goal setting journey. These are the specific actions you should be thinking about to get you to the outcome goal. And they’re what determine the output goal’s success.

When you create a detailed plan for a goal, it allows you to think more in-depth. You should ask yourself questions like:

  • What changes do I need to make?

  • What experiments do I need to run?

  • How is it exactly that I can go about meeting this goal?

To see more about how to prioritize, measure success, and design your leadership development goals, make sure to read to the end and grab the goal setting workbook that will walk you through the 3-step goal setting process.

What are the dos and don’ts of goal setting?

You know why setting goals is so important. You understand the difference between larger outcome goals and smaller input goals. Now I want to give you a few more tips to help you in your goal setting journey.

Goal setting dos:

Do practice positive self-talk when you catch yourself falling off course. Anything new can take time to get used to and become practiced. Be easy on yourself and give yourself room to be imperfect.

Do choose a way to define success that suits your style and needs. Be sure you check in with yourself at times that make sense with your unique timeline.

Do celebrate your accomplishments and wins along the way. As you meet each of your goals, make sure to take some time to reflect on what you’ve achieved.

Goal setting don’ts:

Don’t get hung up on a challenge you’re facing for too long. Look for resources that can point you in the right direction. Try to ask questions and seek out help from others.

Don’t let yourself listen to imposter feelings. I know it’s easier said than done. Remind yourself that you deserve to be exactly where you are.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by skipping ahead too many steps. The Stanford Graduate School of Business reports on research that also recommends starting out with smaller goals, primarily when you’re first starting out. It can help you build momentum. [2]


Setting goals is a step in the right direction toward becoming the most successful, happy, confident LGBTQ+ leader you can be. Trust yourself. Push back fear. And dream big enough to go for your biggest leadership goals.

A diverse group of four folks sitting around a white table, looking happy and proud.
A group of leaders celebrating their accomplishments.

I fully support you and your queer leadership journey– no matter where you are on it. And to show that support, I want to share a resource from my coaching practice with you to guide you in setting goals.

Grab your free copy of Setting Leadership Development Goals down below– just add your name & email address. I’ll send it right to your inbox so you can get started setting your leadership development goals today.

Mock-up photo of the Setting Leadership Development Goals free resource.

Links to References


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