Developing a Plan That Gets Results

The old saying advises to plan your work, then work your plan. Simple as it is, it's one of the fundamental rules of good management and one that is often overlooked.

Many great plans are made; few are followed. I get it. There are fires to put out and the day, week or quarter gets away from us. To stay on plan though, it requires focus and clarity.

One critical part of leadership is helping the team stay focused which is why it’s so important for YOU to stay on plan.

How do you create a plan that sticks?

  1. First, carve out time each day/week to assess your plan. Make it a living, breathing document that is flexible. Tweak as necessary.
  2. Ensure your plan identifies a clear goal. Read this post about SMART goals.
  3. Identify the steps it will take to reach that goal. Give each step a timeline.
  4. Identify the potential obstacles in reaching that goal. This isn’t being pessimistic; it’s realistic and helps you manage more effectively when those obstacles will happen.
  5. See #1. Seriously. Don’t create a plan and then forget about it. Create a recurring meeting on your calendar and review it. Tweak as needed.

Recently I have had the pleasure of observing life, days and happenings with no plan and with a plan. The times that do not have a plan, while they can have a more organic and go with the flow nature, can also end up with many missed opportunities and disappointments as one runs out of time and literally squanders time in the period of indecision. If you want to get things done, you want to get traction in your life and work… make a plan. Being flexible and adaptable is, of course, important, but a plan is critical to get things moving in the first place.

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