Having a Plan and Having a Purpose November 5, 2014 – Posted in: Leaders and Teams, Personal Development – Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A client asked me yesterday about strategy – how to create one and how to stick to one – and my answer was twofold:

1. Know what your purpose is in life (i.e. be intentional in all you do) and…
2. Start with the end in mind

A strategy is, in essence, a plan of action. It’s deciding what you want and then how you’re going to get there. The ‘end point’ is the summit of the mountain with various base camps along the way. At base camp your job is to assess how far you’ve come, re-jig your route to the summit (if required) and gain strength and motivation for the next part of your journey. The steps you take up the mountain are the small actions you take each day towards your goal. Asking yourself each day, “are these actions going to take me closer to my goal?” will ensure you stay on track, which is a great antidote to procrastination.

If your goal is to start your own business by 2016 then your base camps might be gaining investment and qualifying in your MBA. The smaller actions you take might be creating a regular savings pot to see you through the first few months of self-employment, creating various marketing materials, attending networking meetings etc. With a plan like this, everything you do feeds the whole and makes success a gazillion times more likely.

However, I think the very best strategies are those implemented by people who are operating within the parameters of intention. The people who know what their unique contribution to the world is (based on their values) and set goals in line with it. For example, my purpose in life is to enable others to reach their potential (this includes my three daughters). Therefore my daily work and my parenting decisions align with this intention and help me set appropriate long and short-term goals.

This blog post first appeared as an article in my Life Column in The Bath Magazine.

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