A Powerful 5-Step Planning Tool for Executives to Finish Strong
If you are an executive in charge, acting “on purpose” to guide your team or entity to this year’s finish line is crucial.
I know it’s already on your mind.
Yet September is usually when I see executives start to slide.
They have pushed hard during the first couple of quarters, and have allowed the summer’s workplace to slow things down.
Psychologically, it’s pretty tough to pick back up after ramping up and slowing down. It can cause stress, a feeling of overload as you try to get back on track, and a sense of being behind that can follow you through December 31st.
In fact, you may feel just a wee bit tired and demotivated just reading this, because you know what I mean.
Are you ready to get in front of this so you finish the year strong, avoiding the stress and overload that comes with year-end frenzy?
It’s time to get intentional.
I can help you do that so you finish out the next quarter in a strong and productive way that helps you and your team celebrate effectiveness and achievement.
It’s something I use with my private clients, no matter what time of year, to ramp up their success.
The 5-Step Powerful Planning Tool
1. Review your business foundation.
Gather your team and review your mission, vision, and values statements. Together, these should comprise a strong and exciting philosophy that does not change. These share the inspiration, the “why” of what you do that will fuel your motivation and drive over the next 90 days. Get clear on these before proceeding to step 2.
2. Assess your progress to date.
Review your current goals and strategies. Are these currently meeting and exceeding your business objectives? How well? Refer to any milestones and benchmarks associated with them to see if you are firmly on track, or if you need to adjust or shift any approaches you take to finish out the year. Celebrate the wins, cut the losses, and above all, quickly eliminate any work associated with that which is not working. Clear the deck for your last quarter.
3. Determine your priorities for the next quarter.
What priorities rise to the top? Identify or review the initiatives and projects associated with these. If you find it difficult to triage, do a quick analysis of priorities and projects so that you don’t hang on to the misnomer that “everything is equally important.” Take the lean and mean approach so you can finish strong, allow your team to be recognized well, and save your sanity.
4. Outline your 90-day action plan.
Working a 90-day action plan is incredibly effective at keeping you and your team motivated and energized, if you will include incremental milestones and short-term wins. So, as you identify major projects and activities, responsible parties and key stakeholders, ask yourself: What are the incremental milestones we can celebrate at the end of 90 days? Where are the best short-term wins to be captured that will support longer-range goals? And finally, do a quick assessment to ensure that the plan and its tenets support the enterprise’s mission, vision, and values. This is a great team-building exercise.
5. Up-level your ability to execute.
Use this 90-day action plan to perform a “personal 360°” on your plan and yourself. Have your team do the same, and then come together to discuss so that you can best support one another.
Here are questions to ask yourself:
- As I look to the end of this next quarter, what commitments, activities, and calendar items do I need to shift, put aside, and/or eliminate in order to accomplish the 90-day action plan’s objectives?
- What are those personal leadership behaviors I need to adopt in order to do well?
- What needs eliminating?
- What needs shifting?
- What does meeting with my team to assess progress look like?
- And how shall we celebrate our success at the end of these next 90 days?
I hope you enjoy this process as much as have my clients. They have used this for team-building, heightening performance, productivity, and morale.
What are your biggest barriers to meeting year-end goals? How do you move past these in order to succeed?
Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive coaching, leadership development, succession planning, change, and conflict management. She is also a Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.