Great leaders don’t need just one plan – they need three!
- A strategic plan
- A professional plan
- A personal plan
The strategic plan is the core to any successful organization. Created through a process of evaluation of the current state, recognition and agreement of where we want to be at some time in the future and a plan to get us there. Without a strategic plan that we can revisit and measure ourselves against we run the risk of sailing off rudderless into the future.
Any student of business would not argue with this. In fact, the strategic plan is a base tool most good leaders will insist on. One element of this plan that I think is important in our organization today is the fact that any great organization won’t just have one strategic plan – but many. The corporate head office strategic plan should direct many others. The IT department should have its own plan as should the smaller department within IT. The creation of a strategic plan should be on the schedule for every group within the organization. It creates a process that is valuable to all.
The professional development plan outlines the professional development path for the current and future leader. It becomes an annual evaluation of skills and knowledge missing in the leader’s tool kit and a plan on how to fill the gaps. Remember that our leader could be a middle manager with 5-10 people reporting to him/her. Our leader is not just the CEO, CIO or COO. Regardless of the level within the organization, we all need a professional development plan.
And finally we need a personal plan – or a LIFE Plan. This one is just as important as the others. Every leader needs to be in control of more than the strategic plan and the professional development plan. She/he needs to be in control of him/her life. We put our organizations at risk with health, habits and family life issues that threaten our happiness. A true leader either this under control or is actively working on it.
Our life plan is quite like the other two plans. Where are we today, where do we want to be at some stage in the future and how will we get there?
It can cover any or all of:
- Your physical health
- Your spiritual life
- Your relationship with family and friends
- Your professional life
- Your recreational life
- And more
The process of developing a life plan can be very simple. Grab a part of your life that needs addressing and do a SWOT analysis on it: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Think about the future. Where do you want to be? 10 pounds lighter? Better connected to someone in our world? Better able to enjoy time off? Closer to a certain family member? Create a plan – a step by step guide as to how you are going to get there. And then, like any good plan, you have to follow it, revisit it, adjust it occasionally and measure yourself against it.
Yes the LIFE plan is important to a leader. Your team, your department and your organization wants this part of you under control and well managed just as much as they want to have the strategic plan and your professional development plan to be under control.
How many plans do you have in front of you?
About David Barrett – Speaker on Professional and Personal Leadership:
David Barrett is a National Program Director at The Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich School of Business, York University.
David is also a professional speaker specializing in inspiring leaders at all levels in all industries. His key area of focus is the art and science of getting work done: execution leadership, project leadership and personal leadership.
He is the co-author of The Power of The Plan and co-compiler of The Keys to Our Success.
For more information on David Barrett, please visit: https://bit.ly/1m5LtzL