How are you going to be successful? What steps are you going to take to reach success? Every leader’s goal is to be successful at what they do. In reaching goals, leaders may face obstacles along the way, but they will make the best out of every situation so they are constantly progressing. The leader knows that as they go through each experience they will either move forward or backward depending on how they approach the situation.
In order to constantly move forward, it is very important to put together a plan. The Wall Street Journal article, A Written Plan Can Help Your Portfolio, by Thomas Coyle explained the importance of having a plan when investing your money. The article focused having an investment-policy statement. The investment policy statement defines your investment goals before you begin investing. It also defines the time frame of your goals and the level of risk you are willing to endure. The investment-policy statement is used by both the agent and the investor so they know how to move forward planning the investments. This plan is very important because as things come up, the investor and the agent can use the statement as a guide. It helps remove the emotions that come with investing (Emotions dictate – portfolio loses value = immediate sell, portfolio gains value = immediate buy). One very important aspect of the policy statement is that it helps people look at things long term.
In the past, investment-policy statements were not used as much as they are now. Since the market became volatile, investors and agents have been using the statements much more than in the past. They are using them because the statements give focus for both parties. The article stated, “‘Twenty years ago, if you asked a roomful of advisers how many of them worked with investment-policy statements, only a few hands would go up. Ask the same question now, and all but a few hands go up,’ says Linda Lubitz.”
Create a Success Plan
As a leader, this has much deeper and overarching implications. In addition to creating an investment plan, you should create a plan for your success. Just as with the investment-policy statement, a success plan will identify how you should do things going forward. It will guide you in your actions if you use it correctly. So how should you put together your plan? Also, what should you do with your plan once it is created?
Write Your Plan Down
First, you must formulate the plan. It is not enough to have a plan in your head. As a leader, it is important to write your plan down. The act of writing the plan out clarifies it in your mind. Once your plan is written down, you have something concrete you can look at in the future.
Detail Your Steps To Success
When you write out your plan, be very detailed in the actions you will take to be successful. Rather than writing “make a lot of money, be the CEO, etc.”, determine specific steps you will take to reach your goal. Identify what you will be willing to give up to reach it. In addition, identify benchmarks for your success plan. Set a specific time frame for when you will complete those benchmarks.
Review Your Plan Regularly
Once you write out your plan, you must review it regularly. Set specific time intervals that you will review your plan. As you review it, identify if you are on schedule. If you find you are behind schedule, change what you are doing to get your plan back on schedule. Identify areas for improvement and what you need to do to make your plan work. As things come up, change your course of action accordingly.
Make Adjustments Where Necessary
As you review your plan, you may find that your goals are no longer relevant. If your goals or plan for success needs to be adjusted to be more relevant, change your plan. Don’t be afraid to change your goals. I have seen a number of people that start down a particular road in their career or life and find it isn’t going where they want to end up. They change their course to something that better suits their needs and abilities. Once the course change is complete, they are much more successful because they are on a better path.
Having A Plan Works
When I was in college, I set a plan for how I was going to obtain my bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. I first identified all the required and elective classes I wanted to take. From there, I set out a very specific schedule for each semester until I would finish college. I determined how many semesters I would take to graduate. At the beginning, middle, and end of each semester I reviewed where I was on my schedule for completion. As I went through college, I made adjustments each semester, as necessary, based on the classes that were being offered and what I still needed to graduate. I also reviewed my plan so I could keep my focus on the end goal. This detailed plan helped me to reach my goal in the time frame I had identified.
How has a plan helped you to be successful? What do you include in your plan? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!