Planning for Effective Leadership
We spend a lot of time working with successful mission-driven leaders from all sorts of different backgrounds.
While their businesses and goals are all unique, we’ve found that the overwhelming majority of them have one thing in common: most effective leaders are planners.
We see it immediately in their conversations and behaviors. They’re proactive vs. reactive. They think long-term, and they have the foresight to anticipate challenges.
They have a basic idea about where they are now, where they want to go, and the steps they need to take to get there.
Often, one of the first steps is to find a team that can help devise a more detailed plan. That’s where we come in … And it’s why the first thing we do when we align with a new brand is build a business blueprint.
In the 3-Step Process for Building a Business, we talked about why this ‘architect phase’ is so important to building a successful business, but how does planning make us better leaders? Let’s take a look!
It creates focus and clarity.
When we begin with the end in mind, we’re better equipped to develop and cast a clear vision … And to set defined goals for ourselves and our teams.
By knowing what we want to accomplish, we can develop a plan to meet those goals rather than jumping from initiative to initiative with no set plan or outcome.
With a good plan in place, we know how to allocate our time, resources and efforts in the best way possible … Which helps us avoid zig-zagging and keeps everyone on the quickest path to reach our goals.
Planning improves decision making.
With a clear vision and defined goals, we’re more likely to weigh decisions based on the long-term. And the same is true for those on our teams!
In turn, solid planning creates more confident, empowered decision-makers … And when we have faith that they’ll make choices that support our goals and mission, we’ll feel more comfortable delegating important tasks and decisions.
It’s a big factor in helping us create the type of high-trust culture we value so much at OTS!
More planning = fewer fire drills.
Nobody likes being caught off guard. Just like in investing, in leadership, when we take time to plan for potential challenges and opportunities, we’re more prepared to navigate them when they arise.
When we know a storm’s coming, we can align the team in advance of bumpy waters. This avoids uncertainty and provides a sense of comfort at every level of the organization.
Without a plan, nobody knows what will happen and when, leading to discomfort, stress, and a decline in morale.
A good plan eases growing pains.
There will always be challenges when building and scaling a business … But some of those growing pains can be avoided by simply taking the time to look ahead.
If you’ve ever built a business, you’d probably agree that staffing is one of the most common growing pains. Making sure you have the people you need to get the job done is a huge component of a successful organization.
By making projections about our growth, workload, and finances, we should know how many people we’ll need, when we’ll need them, and when it’s feasible to bring them on board.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” …
Of course, planning alone isn’t a sure-fire way to avoid failure … You also have to COMMIT to putting it into action!
As leaders, we need to show up, be consistent, and hold ourselves and teams accountable to sticking to the plan.
… And periodically check in to measure the progress and adjust our sails as needed.
And perhaps most importantly … we need the right people and processes in place to put it all into motion!
Here’s to planning for success and taking action toward our goals!