Posted by & filed under Business Credit Journal, Credit, Leadership.

Jan 8, 2018

By: Patrick Spargur, ICCE

Every year I worked as a credit and collections manager, my boss would send me a Goal Setting Form to complete. The form had two sections: one for me to list five personal goals for the new year, the other to list five departmental goals.

My personal goals usually went something like this:

  1. Education: Take an NACM course(s) to increase my job knowledge
  2. Skills: Improve my computer skills (Word, Excel, Outlook)
  3. Time Management: Improve how I structure and manage my day, week, and workload
  4. Efficiency: Evaluate my daily tasks and look for tasks I can minimize, re-assign, or stop doing because they don’t add value
  5. Communication: Improve my verbal and written communication by using best practices by being clear and concise in my messages. Improve communication with other departments by visiting them in person (face to face). This builds teamwork and trust.

The departmental goals went like this:

  1. Collections: Exceed Team Collections performance goals by 5-10% each quarter and Year-over-Year
  2. Credit: Improve turnaround time for credit decisions by proactively working with existing customers; by improving forms and workflows; and by communicating early and often with our sales team
  3. Efficiency: Leverage technology whenever possible. Work closely with our credit and collection software provider to automate workflows and enhance metrics. Work with our business intelligence team to provide better reporting, analytics, and automate distribution to those needing to know.
  4. Staff development: I encouraged my team to take online classes, demo new software, and find new ways of resolving internal challenges. This was to encourage them to be confident and solidify their career paths. Work daily with my team to make sure we all understand the overall goals and expectations.
  5. Be a resource for my superiors and other departments by sharing new ideas and products that allow our company to get better.

I would post these goals on my wall and throughout the year I would self-evaluate my progress. This was a great tool and game plan that I could follow each year to monitor the progress and accomplishments for me and my team.

Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, suggests that “we should strive for a 5-10% improvement in everything we do each year.” After five or ten years you can look back and smile knowing that you did something pretty impressive.

I’ve found that keeping these goals posted nearby helps me remember these process improvements on a daily basis and have a fighting chance to reach them!

What goals are your game plan in 2018?


Patrick Spargur, ICCE

NACM Commercial Services Account Executive


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