TOOL 11 Review – Monthly Dashboard Report

By John Pearson

What Are Your CEO’s Top-5 Goals This Year?

Peter Drucker warned, “If you have more than five goals, you have none.”

Michael Hyatt’s book on goals, Your Best Year Ever, cautions about sloppy goal-setting:

“Goals poorly formulated
are goals easily forgotten.”

Gary Keller, author of The ONE Thing, notes: “Individuals who wrote their goals and sent progress reports to friends were 76.7 percent more likely to achieve them.”

So…when it comes to goal setting in your ministry, does your CEO embrace “S.M.A.R.T.” goals—and what accountability is in place for reporting progress on goals? This tool will help!


Use this tool to update the board and senior team on the CEO’s Top-5 Annual S.M.A.R.T. Goals. (Send updates at least monthly.)

Tool #11 in the new resource, ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance, is one of three tools in Part 3, “Reporting to the Board,” in this jam-packed 272-page resource. The tool also helps answer the question for board members, “What should we be praying about?”

Imagine the impact and clarity about CEO priorities—if on the 15th of every month, your CEO emailed a one-page progress report to the board with color-coded updates on the board-approved “Top-5 S.M.A.R.T. Goals for the CEO.”

  • Green (On Target!)

  • Yellow (Caution!)

  • Red (Alert!)

S.M.A.R.T. Goals are:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Realistic

  • Time-related

We’ve all grimaced in boardrooms over many “Not-So-SMART Goals,” such as:

  1. Plan the best annual meeting event on the planet!

  2. Increase the number of donors giving $5 billion or more.

  3. Conduct a client satisfaction survey by Sept. 30, 2020.

  4. Launch the XYZ Program as soon as possible in numerous cities.

  5. To raise $50,000, ask every donor to give an extra $10 this month.

Tool #11, “Monthly Dashboard Report,” includes color commentary, a convicting true story by Peter Drucker, examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals, a one-page color-coded template, six questions (and quotes) for the board on goal setting, and two factoids on CEO goals from an ECFA governance survey.

Order the tools book from Amazon by clicking on this title: ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance: Time-Saving Solutions for Your Board, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. The book gives you full access to all 22 tools and templates—formatted as Word documents so you can customize the tools for your board’s unique uses.

BOARD DISCUSSION: Ruth Haley Barton has the audacity to write, “Just because something is strategic does not necessarily mean it is God’s will for us right now.” Have we used a spiritual discernment process to discern our goals for the year?

MORE RESOURCES: David Schmidt weighs in on “Don’t Stretch Credulity With BHAGs and Stretch Goals,” and notes this: “Always—we must test motives and drivers when setting goals. Pride and fear can easily disguise themselves as bold leadership.” Click here to read Schmidt’s guest blog on Lesson 37 in Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: 40 Insights for Better Board Meetings, by Dan Busby and John Pearson.


This article was originally posted on the “Governance of Christ-Centered Organizations” blog, hosted by ECFA.
John Pearson, a board governance consultant and author, was ECFA’s governance blogger from 2011 to 2020.
© 2021, ECFA and John Pearson. All rights reserved.


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.