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Pause before you plan

Strategic planning should be the first step in a clear progression taking you from where you are to where you want to be. Many start their planning efforts years or months in advance of when they are needed, but let's be honest as entrepreneurs often we find ourselves just trying to get through TO the next year with our head above water. The good news is it's never to late to pause...

A brief pause in the first quarter, with reflection, value alignment, CONNECTION and collaboration in your goal setting can make all the difference in what you are able to achieve.

We often search online, read books, even attend events or seminars in an effort to find success, but why does it seem like you're pushing freight train? Many times this happens because of a lack of collaboration in the planning process and a lack of intentional thought and collaboration with your intra and inter-personal networks. Here are a few tips for creating a plan that will work:

Base your plan on proven guidance.

Make your plan realistic. It doesn't do much good to plan for the next 10 years, when you haven't thought about the next 3 months.

Be collaborative.

"No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you're playing a solo game, you'll always lose out to a team".

-Reid Hoffman

Personalize your plan and set your standards.

One of the most common reasons that a plan will fail, is because it does not start with personal growth and value alignment. Many of us don't examine the "why" behind what is actually working, so how can we adequately accelerate success or plan for success?

One of the best tools I've used recently in my own business and with our clients has been DiSC evaluation in combination with group coaching and collaborative planning. This is not a gimmick to see what "personality" traits we have, but it is a tangible and objective evaluation of behavior and communication. I'm sure most everyone has taken one of these evaluations at some point in their life, career, education- but many do not revisit or use this as a tool for understanding, evaluation, and most importantly communication and resource management. I don't know one successful person or business that achieved success alone and communication is often the key ingredient to that success and yet the most challenging aspect of our existence. Business is not really about the best product or service- it is about how the best products and services and organizations use communication internally and externally. Simply stated- success in business comes from success in your person and to be successful as an individual, you must have a personal development plan before a business or organizational development plan.

So- my best advice for success is to take a breath, begin to question and understand your "why", your values and how that aligns with your organizations values before you ever start to plan. Once you understand those values you can begin to set realistic goals and actions aligned with those values... and all the sudden you will be running instead of pushing.

If you would like to learn more about how our executive coaching programs can help you personally or your organization's strategic planning process more effective connect with us at

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