Use these four questions to measure the success of your strategic leadership plan.
Right now, I’m imagining you cheering wildly at the strategic direction, initiatives and suggestions unveiled in the previous three posts.
Okay, I admit it. In my heart — I’m a dreamer. But in my head — I’m a realist.
As a realist, I realize that purposeful activities related to strategizing — or planning in general — are easily set aside and sometimes even intentionally avoided.
Worse still, some leaders wrongly believe that a strategic leadership plan is the exclusive realm of management done only be the “number crunchers,” the “corporate weenies,” the “suits.” Believe me, I’ve heard it all. And it’s just not so.
Quickly, let’s review the ground previously plowed.
Question 1: “Where am I now?”
Question 1 helps establish your baseline — your starting place — as you become a more intentional — and more strategic — leader.
After all, determining clearly where you are, is critical in determining Question 2.
Question 2: “Where do I want to be?”
We all need a mission, goals and objectives — something to work toward.
And that mission, those goals and objectives need to be accompanied by a realistic game plan that gets us where we want to go.
Question 3: “How do I get there?”
A major part of any success is determining the road map to be followed. That includes determining the application of time, effort and resources appropriate to the accomplishment of our goals.
That leads to the fourth strategic leadership plan question.
Question 4: “How do I measure my progress?”
Strategizing, planning — even doing — is no guarantee that we’re making true progress.
I seem to remember a parable about a guy walking briskly down a road — head down, arms pumping, determination evident in every step.
He encountered a fellow pedestrian approaching at a more leisurely from the opposite direction.
As the fleet-footed traveler blew by, the slower of the two called out, “Friend, where you off to in such a hurry?”
“I’m not really sure,” was his answer, followed by, “But I’m sure I’m making great time.”
If you’re not careful you may fall victim to the same snare.
Let’s be clear. A flurry of activity is by no means an appropriate measure of progress.
In fact, it can indicate regress — lapsing backward, falling behind, declining.
True progress is measured by hitting the objectives that have been established for us — or better yet — that we’ve set for ourselves.
Practical and measurable objectives include items like productivity improvements, profitability enhancements, increased inventory turns, reduced down time, improved safety record and yes, personal growth.
Really, the list should consist of what is important to you and the organization you serve and lead.
“Remember, what gets measured gets done!”
And that’s a leader’s job — to make sure things get done!
The more successful, more satisfied leaders among us clearly know:
Where they are right now.
Where they want to be.
How they plan to get there.
How they measure their progress.
Regardless where you are right now, you can use this four-step strategic leadership plan to get you where you want to be!
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