2015. New start. Fresh thinking. Higher goals. Before you go flying, or tentatively stepping, up a shaky ladder aspiring to new heights, make sure you have checked the legs. Without a stable foundation there is a good chance you are going to come tumbling down.
And, before we begin talking about what makes up a stable foundation, it is important to know what you are trying to build on that foundation.
Start by thinking about what you REALLY want to accomplish in the coming year. NOT what other people want you to achieve….or what others define as success, but what YOU want!
If the answer is not at the tip of your tongue, think about the following questions, keeping in mind there is no ‘right’ answer to any of them.
- What will honestly get you excited about the future?
- How do you want to be known?
- What kind of balance are you seeking?
Once you have a clear 2015 vision (happy to help offline if you are struggling here), it is time to start thinking about strategy and foundational planning.
“Vision without a plan is just a dream”.
Four Stable Legs
Four foundational pillars to make or breaking any strategic business plan include your clients, ongoing learning, process and alignment. And in each of these areas, here are a few things to think about.
- Clients- Given your aspirations, who is your dream client? Who do you understand better than anyone else? Are these the clients you are currently working with? How will you attract more of the people you aspire to serve? Are you using social media to build relationships and engage in new types of dialog?
- Ongoing Learning- Start with yourself. How are you challenging yourself to keep learning and growing? Who on your team is taking the long scenic trails, and who is ready to take on the double black diamonds? Is everyone in the right jobs? What skill building would you like to accomplish this year?
- Process- How complicated is your mousetrap? Simplicity, consistency and productivity will deliver superior results, and get you there faster. What systems and/or process investment (your time counts here) will make the biggest difference in the coming year?
- Alignment- Two separate thoughts here. One is the ability to achieve balance among your own set of goals, and the second is getting everyone who is involved in the plan on the same page.
- Without planning for all of the various areas of your life, you risk their importance to time and energy spent on more ‘urgent’ goals. Define success in every area of your life for 2015, and take stock regularly.
- Everyone on your team brings a different set of strengths and interests to the table. Sometimes the differences can create a divide, and instead of leveraging people, you zap their ability to apply more of their full potential. If you are not sure how to maximize the strengths of your most important resources- people- seek the guidance of a professional business coach. Team dynamics can destabilize the most solid plans, or support the trickiest challenges. What are the dynamics like on your team?
Make This Year About Growth
With a clear set of aspirations, and a foundation built on the right clients, growth plan, process, and alignment, you will have secured a strong base to climb high.
Author: Helene Mazur
Helene is the founder of Princeton Performance Dynamics, an executive coaching and strategic planning facilitation company for business and non-profit leaders and their teams. Helene’s passion is helping her clients to focus their goals, see new perspectives on their current situation, put in place realistic, motivating plans, and execute to achieve new levels of success.
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