I once explained to a client that merely setting goals is not enough. That would be like setting off on a fantastic journey with no map. It would be like knowing where you want to go but having no idea what it would take to get there. Well-conceived plans are the key to peace of mind. Even though your plans might change, having an overall strategy in place allows you to adjust timelines for setbacks and unexpected delays without having a complete meltdown.
After returning from a trip recently, I found myself inexplicably stressed. I tried to figure out what worry was niggling at the back of my mind. Why should I worry? I had just received word that several proposals had been accepted by clients, and that should be cause for elation rather than angst.
As usual, when I have a knotty problem to unravel, I grabbed a pen and paper and started making a list of all the competing priorities I had to contend with. It didn’t take me long to realize what the problem was: I didn’t have a plan. A couple of the proposals that had recently been accepted were for unique projects, the likes of which I had not experienced before. I was subconsciously stressing about how to begin and what steps I’d need to take. I almost laughed out loud at myself. Just the week before, I had been talking with a coaching client about the very same principle. I guess I needed to follow my own advice.
As a leader, do you chart the course for and with your team? Getting team members involved in goal-setting and action planning is a great way to keep employees engaged. Get their input, ask their opinions, and clearly communicate every step of the way.
Most importantly, work with your team to map out a plan for achieving your goals. You might as well budget some time for unexpected delays and interruptions, because they surely are inevitable.
That’s what I did. Once I had sketched out a plan, I felt much better. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and under-prepared, I felt a sense of calm and confidence. When you know where you are going and how you are going to get there, you will have that same self-assuredness. Better yet, your team members will have greater confidence in you as a leader.
There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and consulting your plan to see what you need to do to get where you want to go. When you and your team are taking action every quarter, month, week, and day toward your goals, you will find that you share a collective sense of certainty and confidence. And I promise you that by planning out your course, you will create greater peace of mind.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS …
• What’s something that you do to get team members engaged in the goal-setting and planning process?
• How do you plan for success with your team?
• Please leave a comment below and share your insights with the community.
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Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication. In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems.